At times we may be forced to our knees in our vulnerability. Life is precious like a fragile wildflower. To love life means to love our vulnerability as we reach out and ask for care, support guidance and love. We must remember to capture these moments of our weakness and allow ourselves to dwell in peace and love as we hear our Father say, “You are my Beloved, on you my Favor rests.” To hear this still, small voice requires special effort; it requires silence, solitude and a determination to listen. And we should and we do. If we do listen to that small voice, we can experience beauty, peace, restoration and remarkable, extravagant love.
In the 1300s Catherine of Siena stated, “In the midst of life’s gladness, the betrayal of others and our own infidelity at times force us by their pain to question whether there is anything or anyone worthy of trust or finally true in the world.”
The great news is God’s peace shines upon us, and these rays of peace transcend understanding. We are to be in close communion with our Father God and then we can give to people who are desperate for his love. And He will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7b).
The world’s view
In this mixed up world it’s easy to adapt to the world’s view of what love is. These worldly messages of what love is or is not are conveyed to us on social media, television and magazines. The messages often include the themes of “hold me, touch me, pay attention to me, speak to me, give to me!”
These messages may have an ounce of truth in them, but we spend way too much energy, time and resources micromanaging our world to adapt to these imposter messages…wanting, grasping and demanding others to fill our love needs when God alone is the only one that can fulfill us. We must start by realizing that our restless hearts that yearn for perfect love can only be met through communion with the one who created us.
We can discover that the person we expected to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we are demanding. Often that person may feel oppressed by our demands and runs away in despair and sometimes fear. When we approach another person with the empty cup of loneliness, no mature relationship can develop. When we cling to each other in loneliness and neediness, we become suffocated and eventually it becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space to allow God to come and fill this lonely restlessness where we find peace and love in Him alone.
Wounded by betrayal
This all sounds like good news and indeed it is good news. But where do we go if we feel like our life has been hit by a wrecking ball? If we have been hit by a friend or loved one that has left us betrayed, stolen from, abused and left under the bus to bleed?
We can find refuge, and I know I do, in knowing that many walk through this life of “wounded healers” that too have been hit by the arrows and assaults of others. They have become whole in Christ and now live a life of “restored beauty, love and joy” as they reach out and love others in a more extravagant love and strength of God they didn’t know they had before the trauma and assaults. They now are exceedingly thankful for the battle scars as it pushes them forward in love and consolation, letting them be with the ones who need them.
In Ephesians 5:1-2, it says we are to be “Imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
The Great Healer
I have learned to take consolation in the lives of the Saints and today find hope in the healing of Jeremiah’s sufferings. When we get self-important, God often gets quiet. The prophet wasn’t troubled by the prevalence of people’s wordsbut was deeply sorrowful at the absence of the words of God. When we are screaming with pain, often the intensity of our devotion to our great God our comforter is lost.
In the Scriptures Jeremiah learned to turn to God, which made him rich with wounds that only God can heal. Jeremiah 40: 4”I am going to take off your chains and let you go. The whole land is yours. I will see that you are well cared for.”
God is always beckoning us into a deeper richer experience of love with him. We can come out of the fire of a broken relationship overwhelmed with joy and love. We can become addicted to all things glorious and then have the great opportunity to give that extravagant glorious love away as God creates a LOVE REVOLUTION through us!
As St. Augustine said, “To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances – to see Him, the greatest adventure – to find Him, the greatest achievement.”
Julie Woodley, MA, is founder and director of Restoring the Heart Ministries as well as a Gateway Counseling Center Therapist. For information visit Rthm.CC or call 1-866-780-7846.