Coded for Worship

“…all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Posts Tagged ‘Love

Rock [Me] Hard-Place

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I have a problem.

It’s one I’ve had since I was a young boy.  A problem I’ve always known about, yet have failed to fully explore.  There is really no one person or occurrence to which I can point the finger of blame.  No, this problem is a by-product of my life.

I was born to a couple who had very little in common.  She was 25, he was 50, and an age difference of 25 years were the least of the differences my parents had.  My mom wore her heart on her sleeve.  My dad was a man of little emotion, except for the times that alcohol took the proverbial wheel.  My mom wanted the best for me, as most any loving mother would.  My dad seemed as though he did not care about the future — he lived for the here and now.  My mom taught me to cook, to clean, to care, and to always stand up for myself.  My dad taught me nothing of value — at least not directly.

The relationships that I had with my parents were rather skewed.  Emotions that should have been shared were squelched instead.  Emotions that had no place being expressed to a child were exclaimed throughout the entire house.  With my dad, actions that should never take place were common place.

I just want to be loved…to be accepted.  I’m your son, you know.

Looking back, I see my dad, and I have no clear memory of him expressing fatherly love to me.  On occasion, the alcohol would take over and with his eyelids half shut, clouded by cigarette smoke, he would tell me he loved me.  Yet, my mind would go back to him holding a shotgun over my 5-year-old body as my mom held me tightly, screaming for help.  I would remember cleaning up both my dad and his vomit, only to be told that it never happened.  He would tell me he loved me, but I never saw it, never felt it … as though his “love” for me never existed.  Even in 2004  (the last time I saw him) he told me I was still the same fat “kid” I was when I lived at home and expressed his severe doubt that I would ever make anything of myself.  He died a year later.

Now, as I see my third decade of life on the horizon, I look back over my life and realize that I’m still trying to gain that love, that acceptance.  I tried throughout elementary school.  I tried throughout middle/junior-high school.  I tried through my high school years.

I’m still trying.

The problem that I have is that I try, either directly or covertly, to “help” people like me, to “help” people accept me, or to “give” people some sort of reason to love me.  This is a flaw.  This is not how love works, not true love, at least.  This would not be such a big deal normally — however, I’ve transposed it into a spiritual issue.  Yet, not in the way one might initially think.  I’m not trying to make God love me.  I know this to be futile.  God’s love for anyone is based on His grace and His grace alone.

Finally!  I’ve found the love and acceptance I’ve longed for all these years!

Not quite.  You see, I fully believe that God loves me.  I fully believe that I am acceptable to Him.  I believe all of these things based on the truth of His word — yet, I only believe them with my head.  My heart, my emotions, they refuse to let me fully embrace these truths.  It’s almost as though my heart is saying to my Creator, “No.  You don’t love me.  There’s no way,” and with that, I write-off the idea of God’s love — of my Father’s love for me.

A few years ago, my wife and I were working on growing closer, communicating better, and understanding each other more than we did at that time.  Angela asked me, “Do you know, fully know, that I will love you no matter what?” I answered her with honesty, not with what I knew she wanted to hear…

No.  I don’t know what it is to have that assurance.  I don’t know how that feels.

Years and years of a deep, aching yearning to have acceptance and love with no conditions.  Yet, when I finally am given these things, I refuse to believe that they are real.  It’s not my wife’s fault.  She has expressed and lived-out unconditional love on countless occasions.  It’s not my dad’s fault, as it was not his role to love me unconditionally — and if it was, he was a flawed human being who failed like so many others (including myself).

No, this is my problem.  It’s one I hope to, one day, see solved.  My heart still needs a lot of work, and while my gut tells me that the Holy Spirit is continually tending to that — my head, my flesh, screams obscene doubts and instills fear.

The truth is this, however: even if I live a full life and die an old age, my problem may never be solved.  Yet, even if it isn’t, it is my lot.  God’s nature does not change, He does not falter, and the love that flows from Him is true and firm.  No-matter-what.

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Written by Andy

September 21, 2008 at 4:24 am

Posted in Life and Living

Tagged with , , , ,

Grace, Mercy, Anger, and Love

with 3 comments

When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t “feeling” that great.  I had awakened 2 hours earlier than I had planned and had a very hard time going back to sleep.  That made my morning get off to a slow and bumpy start.

However, the Holy Spirit came along as I was making my morning rounds on the ‘net and reminded me that no matter how I feel or how much sleep I did or didn’t get, that I had awakened to the awesome truth that:

The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 145:8 (ESV)

Even though I didn’t take the time to open my Bible this morning, God used my blog and some RSS to remind me of what I was walking in — and that is His grace, mercy, and love coupled with the absence of His condemnation.

And what a sweet walk it is.

Written by Andy

June 30, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Life and Living, The Bible

Tagged with , , ,