Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What Am I Missing?

A few months ago, I heard God call me to start another Bible study, in addition to the Hebrews study I am doing on Elmbrook. I had no idea what was going to be studied, I only knew that God was saying, "Make time for this one in Watertown." So, I made time. I made the commitment, along with Joe because doing this study means I am out of the home one night a week. I attended the first night of study, the oddball in the living room, for every other woman knew each other. They all go to church together. I, on the other hand, drive 40 minutes away to go to church.

A little uncomfortable, and still questioning God about if I really need to do this, our group leader passed out the books. Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I have heard great things about this study and have always wanted to dive into a Beth Moore study, but never felt compelled to do this particular one. Breaking free? From what? As far as I knew it, I didn't' need to break free from anything; I don't use drugs, I haven't struggled with depression, I have never been abused...what could I possible need to break free from?

I put aside my bad attitude and settled in for the first DVD's teaching. OK, maybe there is something I need to break free from; still not sure what at this point, but willing to pray that God would reveal it to me.

In the time between studies, I dive into the homework. I pray that God would reveal something to me. Beth Moore defines captivity, which she says we all have, as anything that prevents us form living an abundant and effective Spirit-filled life, doing the things that God has planned in advance for us to do. As I read the definition over and over again, two words struck me: ABUNDANT and EFFECTIVE. Humbly, I admit I am neither abundant nor effective right now.

I feel like I am in the pit, in the mire. I am angry at God for this past year. In fact, recently I shouted this at Him loudly in my car, just to make sure He knew how angry I was. I can write on my blog days upon days how I am loving George and things are getting better, but the cold hard truth is that I struggle every day loving this child! I forget his background, I forget his emotional age, I forget what he is dealing with and I can't love him like he deserves to be loved. We are being tested, pulled, pushed, stretched...all by God asking us, "Do you trust me?"

No.

Joe and I were blessed to watch Pete Briscoe at An Evening With The Briscoes. He preached on trust and he said this: We don't trust God because we don't believe He loves us. Truth.

This truth pierced both Joe and I to the core. I mean, neither one of us can shake this truth. Yes, this is where I am. I don't believe God really loves me.

How could I have possibly missed feeling God's love for me? How could I miss the immense love that I read about in His word? What am I doing wrong?

I attended my second night of Bible study and Beth Moore starts by saying, "My prayer is tonight you walk away more in love with Jesus." The skeptic in me thought, "Yea, right." But as she wove us through Isaiah and I read and meditated on the suffering servant, Jesus, my heart began to break. God loved this world so much that He gave Jesus, not just to serve us, but to suffer and die for us. That is a deep, true love. Beth Moore ends the teaching with a quiet time of prayer and asks God to speak to us. I heard this, "Traci, I love you."

Sunday, Jill Briscoe spoke. At the end of her sermon, she led us in quiet prayer and then became silent, letting God speak to us. I heard this, "Traci, I love you."

My heart is breaking because I hear these messages and I know what God did for me, yet I am still doubting His love for me! I can't figure out why I doubt that! Joe and I have talked at length about this; he feels that what he has done in his past is so bad that it makes him unlovable. That's not me. I had a friend who when praying used to visualizing curling up into God's lap. That's not me, either.

I have been going along in this life quoting two things about God, "God is love and God is holy." But I think I am realizing that I don't quite get it. I know I went through a period about 5 years ago where I truly "got" God's holiness. I mourned and wept over my sin. I became very aware of my sin nature and I know "my sin is always before me." I know I can't be in God's presence because of that sin, because of God's holiness. I really get that.

But have I ever really felt the God is love part? I know God is love. I read about it, I hear other people talk about it, but I can't say that I have basked in His love and felt it. And I know that is not God's fault. It is mine. Somewhere, I am putting up a wall. And that wall is leaving me less abundant and less effective than what God created me to be.

I know there is a correlation between George and my life with God. I am struggling greatly this week to love George. Greatly! I feel like I am being attacked and I feel farther away from God's love than ever before. Yet, when I am quiet and waiting on God to speak to me, He says the same thing over and over again, "Traci, I love you."

Why can't I feel it?

1 comment:

heidi said...

We're in the pit with you Traci. Praying.