While scrolling through my Facebook feed some years ago, I came across a link to Bill Wolfe’s website, Read Her Like an Open Book. Someone had posted a link to a book review he’d written, and I’d clicked on it, finding myself at a website dedicated to reviewing and showcasing books by women. As a…
On Saturday, I made my way to Two Rivers Trail, thinking I would just go for a quick 2 mile run. After about a quarter mile, I felt this pull–this heaviness on my body–like someone was holding onto the back of my shirt, tugging at it, trying to get me to slow down. Jesus doesn’t let me avoid conversations for long. He never has. He makes certain that if I won’t listen to him, he will send me someone I can’t ignore–like the anonymous pastor in the Indian restaurant 17 years ago who told me to break up with boyfriend, who was, incidentally, really bad news and probably would have screwed up my life. But I digress.
Sometimes I notice that when I allow my body movement and momentum, it forces me out of my own mind. It opens up my soul and makes everything else quiet except for the rhythm of my legs and arms. I slowed to a walk, feeling His presence resting on my chest. Felt this enormous love swallow me, surround me. And then he did something that I’m not sure he has ever done before.
He started shouting.
Not the angry kind of shouting where I felt punishment and fear but the kind of shouting that penetrated me with truth. The kind of shouting that was loud for the sake of loudness so that I couldn’t hear anything else but what he said about me. “You are a prize!!” he shouted, “you are MY prize!! I have given my life, chased you down for years and years, watched you almost give up a few times, and I have never stopped trying to win you. YOU are what I gave my life for. You are so so so precious to me. You are of great worth and value and you deserve everything I have to give you. You deserve every promise. Every treasure. You are a prize!!”
Ya’ll, this went on for three hours, my skin crisping to a bright red in the sun. The thought of deserving anything was hard for me to swallow. The thought of being anyone’s “prize” was even more difficult. Every time an argument arose in my head… yeah right. I’m a lost cause. This has gone on too long. I’m unlovable. There must be something really wrong with me. But Jesus kept shouting.
And I was forced to listen.
I’m thankful that he didn’t let me talk during this time. The trail was full of walkers and runners and bikers and although this was an extremely emotional experience, it was if God was securing everything, locking it in place so that I wouldn’t unravel right there on the trail. My face and shoulders were buzzing as if a surge of electricity moved through my body. The more I allowed myself to open up to his truth–to begin agreeing with him–the more I felt his love become a part of the structure of my person–knew it to be true in the core of my soul.
So much of my calling, in the past, has been this very visible display of my intimacy with God. As a former worship leader, as a person who ministered and led in the prophetic, I was always connecting to the Father and pouring out his thoughts and heart to and about others. It was something I loved to do. It was how I experienced intimacy with God because I was His friend and apparently He liked to hang out with me. But even though I didn’t have a problem hearing His heart for others, there has always been this residual uncertainty of how He feels about me. Sure He LIKED me but there has always been this low-grade belief that He is consistently disappointed–that I can never get my own life with Him quite right.
But you guys, this is just not true. And I feel like I’m not alone in believing this. And I feel like He has things to say to you too. Even if you are struggling and feel that you are constantly failing or just cannot fathom your value and worth, choosing to believe this truth about who you really are comes first (Romans 6:6 ya’ll). It is foundational. These beliefs about who you are, are actually not true anymore. They are just a shell of your former life. Let Jesus shout the truth over you today.