I get his phone call and can tell I’m on speaker phone.
Um, I think I’m lost.
Only a few weeks into having a driver’s license, this is a big adventure to get himself south of town for district music festival. We talked through the directions before he left for school in the morning, but he made one wrong turn. Found himself close to the right place but not in the right place.
Get through the light, I tell him. Then a left turn at the four-way stop. Then a right turn onto Fifth Avenue.
He texts me, “Made it”, and I text back, “Is that the adventure you were hoping for when you left the house this morning?”
I’ve been on an adventure of my own these last many months, filled with writing conference, editor, contract, agent, contract declined, publicist. Lately all of life has been slowing.
And I’ve been a bit lost.
This person who has been blogging on joy and the goodness of God, unable to get my shoulders set and strong again.
My counselor husband says it’s okay. It’s okay to feel low when life makes an abrupt change in many directions.
But yesterday morning I was weighed down with all this sadness. I spent hours praying, crying to God. Asking, What is wrong with me? What am I missing? Bring me the joy of your salvation again.
Hours I read the Bible. Prayed. Cried. Praying without stopping. For a whole day.
Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord.” (Philippians 4:4 NIV) Sometimes this rejoicing requires hard, hard work. Seeking, praying, reading the Bible, and praying some more. It’s not like one just pastes a smile on and there ya go. It’s knocking on God’s door the way my son would do when he would get home from school, just to be ornery. Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock -without ceasing, until I came and unlocked the door.
We must bang hard, demanding joy, and we can’t stop the banging until God swings open the door of understanding and grace. But surely God is like this momma who was on her way to the door every day, looking forward to seeing that tall, lanky boy and hearing how his day at school was. I always looked forward to that knocking knocking knocking. I was always coming.
So yesterday I did the work of rejoicing all day, and God answered.
This is what He said to me: I love you.
And I realized I had forgotten. Got so busy trying to please people (Will they like my blog post? Will they like my teaching? Will my words impress?) that I forgot God loves me regardless of what other people think. I listened to this song. Singing the words my heart needed to hear.
When my husband left the house in the morning he said the words he has spoken to me more days than not over 22 years. You do know that I love you today? I gave a smile.
Yes. I know.
But knowing I’m loved doesn’t mean I ever stop needing to hear it. Every time he says it my insides turn to mush, and I’m a teenage girl inside. I’m loved, and I’m special to this man. I need him to tell me this because hours go by, and I start to forget how valuable I am.
And there was God yesterday, answering my persistent, demanding knock. I need you! I hollered. And He opened the door to welcome me in, getting close enough to my face that I could feel His breath on my cheek and could hear Him say, You do know that I love you today?
To experience the love of God is to find our way home.
Do you know God loves you today?
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19 NIV)