Finding a love that lasts.

You don’t love people anymore.

That was the biggest ouch I had been avoiding. Dancing around with my eyes shut, singing loudly to hush the whisper of truth. I knew. It’s something so easy to tell when your body wants to knock out half the people that talk to you. When your iPad pictures are filled with screenshots of all the idiotic things you’ve judged people for. But to sit down in that matching chair opposing Jesus, the one you’ve become the worst at paralleling, & to sit hand in hand with him while he put words to your aches. That’s why I had been keeping my eyes shut tight. That’s why I yelled for them to keep the music playing. Whatever you do, don’t stop.

Having a baby is time consuming. Just like being in high school again, trying to balance cheerleading, student council, art club, homecoming committee, pep club, homework, & life outside school. Just like being an adult, graduating college, getting a real job, maintaining a healthy relationship. Just like being human. You could sit on Netflix all day, & it’s time consuming.

So my whole mindset has been focused on my lack of time to dig into the scriptures. That was my issue. But somehow, even reading lately, it feels like my soul just doesn’t connect like it used to. I don’t leave feeling filled & full of Jesus & his fruits. The little time I’d given, I hadn’t second guessed the diagnosis for the ugly roots within me. Nope. I just need to read more. The more I read my bible, the better the person I’ll become. It’ll all come as naturally as it used to.

So the other day I’d done something I haven’t really done in a while. I prayed before reading, asking God to reveal himself & make the connections.

& I read the words

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet, you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” (John 5:39-40)

& I heard,

You don’t love people anymore.

But he didn’t have me collapse in the chair across from him to shame me. He didn’t stop there, shooting me with accusations.

He could judge us, sure. He was given all authority of everything & full reign to judge all. He could’ve slipped out his iPad & shown me screenshots of all the unloving & hurtful things I’ve done. But he doesn’t. He looks for no explanations or excuses. His forgiveness doesn’t miss a beat.

You don’t love people anymore, He said. You’re leaning on your own strength. You’re looking in the mirror for fruit to flow, but the mirror is flat. The mirror is empty. I’m your endless supply of love. I’m your true, deep soul change. I’m how you forgive & how you let go. I’m healing & I’m replenishing.

It’s easy to be a by the books kind of person, getting lost in the rules & how tos. It’s easy to become like the Jewish religious leaders Jesus was speaking to. It’s easy to let our frustrations inhibit us. It’s easier. Less patience necessary. But the hard is where his fruit lies. When you pass the suffering & push into the fire, that’s where we find perseverance, & with each opportunity the clenched fists open with a little more ease, allowing us to go deeper & build character & then deeper yet into hope. (Romans 5:3-4, paraphrasing)

So how do we do the hard?

Maybe in my deepest frustration, it’s repeating Jesus’ name until I find Him.
I’m coming to find Him being everything I need is more than a Christian cliché.
It’s where things bloom & grow & you don’t find yourself all shifty & withery.

Bill Johnson said, “Faith doesn’t deny a problems existence, it denies a problem a place of influence.”

How perfect & tidy. Give all your influence to Jesus instead of the easy,
quick fix response, & the ease will come with lasting triumph.
That’s where you’ll find your unending source of love.

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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