Word, Truth, Life, Love

Neither Debt nor Diagnosis…

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Photo by Helen Williams on Unsplash

It was a foul, damp night. I may as well have hopped into a DeLorean with Doc Brown and traveled back to 1830 and into Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s famous opening line – “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain [indeed] fell in torrents.”
I was seven and a half years and two beautiful daughters into what I thought was a good marriage when my husband caught my eye with his for a long moment, then dropped his eyes and said, “I don’t love you anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever loved you.”

Have you ever had one of those nights? The kind that slithers into your heart, curls up in a corner, and slowly overtakes the room. An atmosphere changer. That was mine. It was April 23, 2003.

That was 15 years ago. I am one marriage poorer, one kiddo richer, and have made peace with that moment, but I’ll tell you – it stuck around in my heart for quite awhile. I felt unlovable. Unknowable.

I acted unlovable and unknowable for a few years until I read the following passage one day and let it evict those slithering sentiments from my heart:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 NIV)

I’m a writer. I hope the Lord doesn’t mind if I personalize and expand upon those words. When I read this passage to myself, I read it like this:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present NOR MY PAST nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, NOR DEPRESSION NOR ANXIETY, NEITHER DIVORCE NOR JUDGE’S DECISION, NEITHER DEBT NOR DIAGNOSIS, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate ME from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus MY Lord.

NO THING. Not one thing.
I am loved by God Almighty. In fact: He gave His own son to pay the debt for my sins so that I could come to Heaven with Him because He WANTS TO lavish love on me and be with me FOREVER.

Devil: IN YA FACE!

If I’m perfectly candid, I know all of that, and then I come to a crossroads like tomorrow’s medical tests, and I discover that my knees are knocking, my doubts are creeping, and fear has begun its attempt at slithering back into my heart.
But I find the more I am in the Word, the more of the Word is in me. And when it is in me, it inevitably springs back up out of my soul at the right time.
This is what came out of my soul this evening as I was thinking about tomorrow’s medical exam:

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
(From Psalm 43)

And this:

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
(From Psalm 46)

Sometimes I just have to speak to my soul.
Spoken words are powerful.
In John 17:17, as Jesus is praying, he tells God, “…your word is truth.”
I find that the more truth I get into me through God’s Word, the more truth I have stored up to pour out in times when the torrential rains pelt my sunny days. It covers me like an umbrella in moments when someone I have trusted tells me lies like: “I don’t love you.” or “You’re ugly.” or “You’re not good enough.”
That’s when I can look deep into the eyes of my soul and remind myself of these truths: “God made you beautiful – inside and out. He is pleased with you. And He loves you just as you are. And He means for forever.”

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