encountering love

When we aren’t at peace, when we aren’t content, we’re triggered.  We’re turned on.  We’re seeking with skilled excellence to find that contentment, and it’s easier to find it in that woman eyeing you from across the bar, the boy offering you a drink at the party.  But how will you feel in the morning? You’ll still be searching.  ~ Rob Bell (Sex God)

I long for a life in which I am completely content, one in which I never believe that the hand that life has dealt me is insufficient or inferior in any way. One in which I don’t buy into the lie the situations I find myself in or the wounds my heart has sustained at the hands of others aren’t fair and I deserve better.

When I view my life that way, I am not at peace. And when I am not at peace, I am at war….. with myself and the one who created me.

I begin to believe that since I am not content and satisfied, it is my right to find ways to change that. So I search desperately for people, things, position, anything to fill the deep, lonely abyss that has slowly become my soul. In my search, whether I want to confess it or not, my actions scream out “Jesus what you’ve provided for me isn’t enough. What you’ve done for me wasn’t enough.  YOU aren’t enough!”

When I live this way, If you could peel back my skin and see beneath the layers of who people might perceive me to to be you’d find

fragmented
unsatisfied
lonely
unfulfilled
bitter
empty
loveless.

This is exactly what my soul has the natural tendency to be apart from understanding and abiding in the fullness of my Creator’s love for me.

I can know God and even belong to Him, but when I’ve never truly had an encounter the grace and love of God for me they are of no personal worth. It can’t change who I am. Those life saving, life altering miracles become reduced to nothing more than words in a book and lyrics to songs I sing.

So I prostitute my soul out to temporary worldly satisfactions only to come up more empty than before. Searching to fill up the emptiness, my heart abandons the pure and authentic for filthy, cheap substitutes.

Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one who’s found myself in that place. I doubt I’m the only person who was raised on a church pew, knew all the right lines, believed they had all the right theology but somehow, had never allowed their self to have a true encounter with the love of Christ.

There came a time in my life where nothing but a face to face encounter with who I am outside of Jesus could change me. A time in which something in my life broke me of my pride, compelled me to let down my walls and let Him show me who I am without Him.

The painful brokenness that followed that realization would actually save my heart. That kind of brokenness is beautiful because it changes us. It is impossible to have a face to face encounter with the barrenness of our own soul apart from Jesus and then watch Him cover everything over in His love and grace and walk away unchanged.

Only one love has that kind of power. One we cannot afford to live without.

We  end up “prostituting” our souls out to other people or things because we have never really allowed ourselves to wholly be filled up with the agape love that comes from God alone.  Being filled with that kind of love and grace demands something of us, hunger and great humility. When we aren’t willing, we go through life missing the extravagant love Jesus gave up His life to clothe us in.

It’s time to stop searching for what will never be found from this world. We came into the world empty and broken, and there is only one love that can change that.

For me, it’s not enough anymore to know, talk, sing or just write about it. Finding my life instead of losing it means that I live every day, allowing my heart to have an intimate encounter with the love of Jesus. And in His great love, I encounter Him.

His love is drawing me in, filling my soul, whispering gently, “I am enough.”

This love is for you.

 If you know what it is to experience this kind of love before, I’d love to hear your story.

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