I was brought up in a Christian home, went to a Christian High School, went to a Christian College. I even have a degree in Bible and to top it off I married a Pastor. Yet I sit here at thirty years old having found myself in this journey of realizing that I don’t have a true understanding of God’s love.
My head is full of all of the “right” answers about God’s love, but my heart has not been saturated with it. My life has not been changed by God’s love to the degree that I want it to be. In saying all this I don’t really know if anyone will ever have a complete grasp of the love of the Father until we are in heaven however I personally want to get as close as I can while I am here on earth.
Something that I have struggled with for what feels like my entire life is anxiety. Not the typical anxiety that everyone gets before starting a new school or job or the butterflies you get before a first date. It’s an anxiety that goes way beyond that. I believe the Lord will use what I have gone through in my life to bring hope to others who know and understand the kind of pain that I am talking about. One day when I feel brave enough I will share more about that part of my life.
Fear and love go hand in hand. Sounds so weird, but its true. The bible specifically says in 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Micca Campbell explains it this way, “A woman who knows she is loved has nothing to fear. A wife doesn’t fear a loving husband, nor does a child fear the love of his or her parents. Instead, each one thinks that the person showing love is good, and they consider themselves worthy of being loved. A person who knows and believes God loves her will not live in fear. If fear is present, the person doesn’t understand God’s love for her” (Campbell,184).
Ouch, right? That is what I felt after reading this. I have believed in Jesus and what He did for me on the cross since I was 5 and yet I don’t understand God’s love for me? This truth hit me like a ton of bricks. Almost like I was just back stabbed by my best friend and yet it was also really freeing. Freeing because I felt the Holy Spirit working in my heart bringing things to light that I didn’t realize. I feel like the Lord has me on a journey of experiencing his love for me not just knowing it and that is really exciting.
1 John 4:16 points out that we should be conscious of God’s love. It needs to be more than just a biblical fact for us… we need to experience it daily (Meyers). I am trying to put this into practice. I realize in the craziness of my life and we all have busy schedules and things going on. I had managed to put my time with the Lord on the back burner. Sure I talked to Him throughout the day but I didn’t set time to be in His presence and let me tell you it makes a HUGE difference.
I don’t set this time aside as a religious thing to check off my list because guess what Christ paid the price for you and me and there is absolutely nothing I can do to earn my salvation. If I never set a side a “quiet time” to just be with Jesus, pray and read the word I would still be saved and still go to heaven and that my friends is the good news of Jesus. However I thirst for Jesus to be a part of my every day life. I long for it. My soul needs Him every second of every day!
So as I am walking this path where a lot of things in my life are completely out of my control and fear begins to rise up in my chest and thoughts begin to run 100 miles an hour in my mind. The Holy Spirit quietly nudges me of how I need to be focused on Jesus love for little old me. Fawn who is a mess most of the time and filled with fear and doubt and questions and frustrations. Even though I am a mess I know the Father is showing me his Love for me. Love that is unconditional, Love that can be experienced and felt in this life here in this screwed up world. Finding beauty in things that are messy. Finding truth in the lies that I have believed for so long.
What I have been doing is keeping a journal. I write down every day all of things I am thankful for. They can be little things like chocolate or big things like watching my children play with their father who loves them so much. Small or Big they are all gifts from God because His word says every good and perfect gift is from Him. I believe these blessings or gifts are the Lord showing me His love for me and I know that this will change my heart forever. So that I will no longer be Fawn filled with fear, but Fawn filled with Faith!