“It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace to be known, fully known and loved by you.” Wow! What truth I have discovered in that verse of one of my favorite songs. I could put it on repeat for hours. I wish that I could say I am a woman of great faith; a woman who always remembers that God is fully in love with me. Let me explain…
Studies show that the first 5 years of our lives are crucial to our health, wellbeing and overall trajectory of our lives. Things like how we deal with conflict, whether or not we go to college, how we parent our children and even what career path we choose, are impacted as early as birth. Many of my developmental years and beyond, were spent trying to convince my birth father and my step father to like me. I truly believe they loved me but feel they were incapable of liking me due to their own brokenness. They displayed their love for me by providing essentials, giving me life and even teaching me the ins and outs and rights and wrongs of life. In fact, some of my best traits and qualities are a result of my relationships with them. Some were intentional and some were me watching consequences unfold and fortunately choosing healthier ways for myself. While I don’t desire to bash either of them, they both have played a vital role in some of my greatest challenges to overcome as a believing, adult.
You see, The Father’s love often gets distorted by the relationships we had with our earthly fathers. We sub-consciously expect God to treat us the way our dads did and/or still do. Now, for some of you, your earthly fathers have wonderfully portrayed God through their parenting. What a blessing! For others, the actions and ways of their fathers, have created a journey to find, experience and remember God’s love in the purest and most beautiful form.
Our view of God and his heart towards us is something that is easily reflected or distorted by our earthly relationships. I think it’s the reason I so easily cling to the verse of that song I shared at the beginning. When I worship and read my bible, I’m reminded that God fully knows me, loves me and likes me too. His love is so holy and pure that even in my faults, he still desires to spend time with me. He still delights in teaching and correcting me. God’s love is not dependent upon my works. His faithfulness and devotion to me and my well-being, isn’t reliant upon my attempt to give him reasons to do so. His love is enough. His grace is enough. His word is enough. His presence is enough. God is enough, period!
When I said “I wish I could say I am a woman of great faith”, I wasn’t referring to my belief in God. I’m saying, it’s a daily process. In other words, it doesn’t come natural. It takes practice to renew my mind so that I can remember, God is not what I experienced as a child. God is and was the perfect father when my earthy fathers were not. And that’s true for even the greatest of dads; humans are flawed. When I forsake the renewing of my mind whether by reading my bible, worshipping or simply going to church, I continue to be caught in the cycle of a distorted and damaging thought process of who God is to me.
So, it’s a choice. Do I think God is happy about all of my childhood experiences with my dad and step-father? Not at all. Do I believe He desires to re-write my story and re-program my mind? Absolutely! Because my perception of God impacts my relationship with him and He greatly desires a healthy and transparent relationship with all of his children. I need the renewal that comes through spiritual disciplines. My relationship with God depends on it.
I must ask, are you making it a priority to renew your mind daily? Do you see any distortions from your past or present events that could be hindering your relationship with God? If so, I encourage you to meditate on Philippians 4:8, Psalm 51:10 and Romans 8:28. These scriptures reset my mind and bring my vision back into focus. They adjust my emotions and change the posture of my heart so that I may move forward and not dwell in the wrongs and hurts of my past. God is for you my friend. He loves you and he desires your perception of him to be restored back to truth.