I was lost, and I knew it, but I wasn't sure where the rope out of this seemingly-ever-deepening hole would come from, and I just wanted to break down and cry. And I was lost, and I was scared, so very scared.
I still am a bit scared, and I still am a bit lost. But something has changed in me.
Sunday evening worship: after a busy weekend I managed to rush to Church just in time for the monthly praise and worship evening service.
If ever I have been in the ‘right’ sort of mind-set for a service, I really wasn't in it, I felt physically and emotionally exhausted and drained.
I've been trying to think of a way to continue, to put into words the journey I went on in the two hours I spent at the praise and worship evening. And I just can't do it, but I will try.
When I returned home that evening I wrote, "Tonight I was taken on a journey, I was in such an awful place, and I realise now that it was because I had forgotten that He loves me. It seems totally crazy, but I had! Tonight was everything I needed and more! It was as if someone had started reading the book of my life and they knew what needed to be written in next, so they chose the songs for this evening's praise and worship"
It was amazing, as each song started being sung it was like God was seeing what I was saying to Him, how I was pleading with Him, and He was responding back to me through the next song, showing me the next step in my journey, allowing me the space to let my heart be broken.
And it did break, and it was only when we finally started to sing, 'I love the King, and the King loves me...' over and over and over, and finally I realised why I was so broken, I had forgotten that He loves me.
I had fallen into the trap of thinking that I had to do something, I had to be good, I had to be who He wanted me to be for Him to love me.
I thought that me failing this call to wait with patience, and to be active in the waiting, meant that He didn't love me.
After years of learning, and finding, and beginning to understand how far and wide and huge, His love stretches, I still forgot. It all left my mind, and I found myself in a very lonely place, and I was scared.
The thing, the thing I had forgotten, is that there is nothing I can do to make God love me any less, and He won't love me any more, and really He just unconditionally pours out a never-ending flow of His overwhelming love onto me.
His love is so great it conquers all, and it picks up our brokenness, and it carries it, and it heals it, and it changes it, and it shapes it, and it moulds it.
I need to stop trying in my own strength, I need to stop trying to prove something to God, I need to just stop, and let myself be loved. I need to stop and let myself be loved by my Creator. Because He does love me, He loves and He loves me, and it is by His love that I will be able to do anything He calls me to do.
He wants to love me and love me and love me, and He does love me, and He calls me to be patient in the waiting, but that's not something He tells me to do and then sends me off to do by myself, instead He wants to work with me, He wants to catch my tears when it becomes too much for me to handle, He wants to encourage me through it, and He wants to love me through it, and He wants to celebrate with me when its all going well.
And when I start to re-accept His love I realise that I am not alone, and I don't need to be scared.
And oh it is so much better to just keep remembering that He loves me, and when I do remember that He loves me, I start to look to Him, and wow, 'I see Your face, You're beautiful'.
And WOW He is SO beautiful, and now I am beginning to see His Beauty once more, and THIS is SUCH an answer to prayer, and THIS is because He LOVES ME.
HE LOVES ME. HE LOVES ME. HE LOVES ME.
I must not forget it, ever, ever again.
I may be scared, I may look to the future and think, 'I will never be able to do that' but I must never forget that He loves me, and because of that I don't need to be able to do 'that' because He loves me, and it is by His strength that I walk each day.
And my world is becoming so much more colourful.
If I start to forget again, remind me, because I can't do this alone. I can't walk alone. I can't wait with patience (a good attitude) and I can't be the 'restorer of broken walls, [and the] repairer of streets with dwellings' (Isaiah 58:12) that I have been called to be, alone. I can't do this in my own strength.
Remind me, HE LOVES ME.
And I remind you now, too, HE LOVES YOU.
And I am NOT running or building alone, and neither are you. HE LOVES ME. HE LOVES YOU. And we can run together if you like? Me and you, and God too. Except God doesn't need to run, He carries, and He loves.
And as we build and restore and repair together, we will share His love, we won't be able to help it.
You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham,
covered by Dan Shiells and Jayson Hobbs.