three little BAFFLING words @EmbraceThisSeason.com

He First Loved Us In The Hard Seasons

It was a Sunday morning.  Just like all the other Sundays during that hard season, I stood during our morning worship welcome time with my eyes cast downward, trying to hide my tear-streaked face.

Poor choir!  Our third-row-pew afforded the choir members an up-front-and-personal view of raw emotion so visible that I know it grew somewhat irritating and tiresome for them to endure every Sunday.  Week after week turned into month upon month.  When would it end?

That’s the way it is with a prodigal season of shame, sadness, and indescribable grief.  Well, that’s the way it was for me, at least.  If you’ve experienced a season of brutal betrayal, you can relate.  My Sunday tears were no different on other weekdays.  I stayed home where I was free to cry without abandon or explanation.

This next part is a little hard for me to admit.  Those of you who were readers of my former blog (which I miss very much!) never saw a thing.  At least that was my attempt.  I virtually put a smile on my face while I could not manage a smile for real.  Blogging allowed me to have an on-line persona that was far from reality.

That’s the way it is with a prodigal season. You feel shame, sadness, and indescribable grief. But, God is near. He is with you. Click To Tweet

I had such fun with blogging during those early years!  After our daughter left in rebellion, in my devastation, I tried to carry on like before.  And, it was hard.  In many ways, though, readers and commenters were my lifeline to normalcy.  If that included you, you were my daily dose of how life was supposed to be, my escape from the truth of the horror story we were living.  God blessed me so much through you!

I was determined to continue on and not allow Satan to end my encouragement of others, and especially my Sunday spiritual posts. Years prior, the Lord led me to start that blog (just as with this one), and He had not said for me to stop in spite of my circumstances.  So I kept going.

God miraculously filled me with the continuous flow of ideas, energy, and inspiration to go on.  It seemed sort of odd, but the Lord knows when we need diversion and distraction.  I learned a valuable lesson:  Pray for God to fill your mind with something other than your hard season, your storm.  He will do it!

Pray for God to fill your mind with something other than your hard season, your storm. He will do it! Click To Tweet

I’m happy to report that our prodigal returned.  She is now writing a beautiful life story.  That former nightmare is behind us, and our Glorious, Faithful God provided the miracle for which we fervently prayed.  Praise Him!  He is our Rescue, our Compassionate Heavenly Father!  God is All-Sufficient and especially in the tough times.

Back to the Jesus love story.

Tears flowed (publicly) every Sunday.
No matter how hard I tried to hold back,
my ugly cry exposed my deep grief.
And  it. was. truly. ugly.

On this particular Sunday, only a few weeks had passed since our prodigal left home.  When I stood for the greeting time, I wasn’t yet fully vertical as I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder.  I turned to see the mom of my son’s friend who quickly and fully embraced me and said what I knew were the words of Jesus Himself.

I. Love. You.

As I looked at her in shock, my baffled expression of confusion and disbelief evidently revealed my inner turmoil as she said again and again, while nodding up and down and smiling compassionately,

I do! I do! I really do!

Balm….

As this beautiful friend moved on to greet others, her words began swiping salve over my soul.  As the emollient began to penetrate, inside I thought,

You do?…….But, why?……..How?……..I’m so unworthy!……..
You must have heard something through the rumor mill………
but surely you don’t know everything.  For if you knew it all,
you wouldn’t.  You couldn’t.  Love.  Me.

I turned to see the mom of my son's friend who embraced me and said what I knew to be the words of Jesus Himself. (We love because He first loved us.) Click To Tweet

The salve of Christ’s love, slowly began soaking into my soul, yet it still took months to perforate the depths.  I will never forget it.  Her delivery.  Her words.  Her love.

We love because he first loved us. (1 john 4:19)

The love of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
When they are troubled, we will be able to give them
the same comfort God has given us.  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

I knew even then that God was giving me a piece of the life story I would someday use for His Glory . . . to give others comfort when they are troubled.  It is interesting how God works ahead of us.  He was preparing me for today.  Just remember, in your tough season, God is finishing your sentence with the thing for which you will be able . . .

three little BAFFLING words @EmbraceThisSeason.com

Praise be to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of all Comfort, Who is with us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trial with the comfort we ourselves receive from the Lord.
Christ’s love heals all wounds.  Do you agree that we need more demonstrations of the love of Jesus among our church members?  And, what about our witness to the masses?  Don’t they need Jesus, too?  Will you share the love today?
Go to church.  Yes, be Christ’s church.  Share His love.
Because He lives~
Join me at the Faith ‘n Friends Link Party here.

Hi and welcome! It's wonderful to have fellow "embracers" during some pretty tough seasons - and some triumphant ones, too. I invite you to enroll to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss what's coming next.

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