Saturday, August 15, 2009

Little Girl

I'm finding myself pretty inarticulate lately. Probably because there's more going on under the surface than my mouth (or fingers) can keep up with. I've been learning a lot about myself lately. More importantly, I've been learning a lot about God.

A more recent discovery is that my heart has really gotten far away from the understanding that God loves me. It sounds so trivial, so common, so "Sunday school" to me that I even hate to write it. "Of course He loves me," I would tell myself. It became a given. Posts like this were a bit redundant to me. I heard it all the time. Something I glazed over when I read it. Something I didn't ponder. Something even boring... bouncing off my heart like a ball.

Instead, I pursued what "seasoned" Christians do (of course I would never say that or talk as if God's love for me were reduced to a 2 year olds nursery class at church in my heart. I'm "seasoned."). I read and talked about what I deemed "deep" like theology issues, social justice issues, political issues, well respected authors and pastors, strategies for reaching unreached people groups, discipleship, the state of the church in America.

(Note: I am not falling off the wagon. These things are near and dear to my heart because God put them there. But He didn't put them there to be replaced by them.)

And, perhaps, the real issue was that I used those things to make me feel close to God. I used others' opinions of me (or whatever opinions I projected on them) to gauge where I stood in my ranks with the Lord. I watched what other believers did, read, talked about, and kinda decided that must be the standard for folks who are really passionate about the Lord. I'm still really struggling with this, so you're getting it pretty raw today.

I've known the Lord was uprooting some trends in my heart and mind when Josh and I left the Advance '09 conference, but God really used my interaction with Isaiah the other day to drive home what He wanted to say to me.

You can read the post below to know what I'm talking about. That pure, sweet, beautiful moment with him was more than just a Mommy loving her son. It was a Mommy who has forgotten that she's really a little girl. A little girl who had forgotten her Daddy wants to hold her. I had really, really forgotten that. He wouldn't let me forget Isaiah's little voice. It kept coming back to my mind over and over again..."Ok Mommy. But can you hold me?"

It finally hit me like a ton of bricks. I -- the one who feels so responsible for things happening around me all the time, who takes care of 2 little boys, who is a wife, who lives out on her own, who's turning 30, who teaches kids music, who talks to her friends about strollers and toddler personalities and what's for dinner -- I'm little.

(You are too, by the way)

I'm a little girl to Someone who longs to scoop me up and hold me like I'm almost 3 again. He wants me to be need Him. He wants me to hold my arms up and half crawl into His lap waiting to be picked up like Isaiah does. He doesn't want me to not need Him, if that were think I've outgrown Him. It's crazy for me to think that this Daddy wants me to look up and say, "Ok Daddy. But can you hold me?" I can't remember the last time I felt that way about Him. It's amazing to feel little sometimes.

So yeah, there's been a lot of emotions floating around here lately. But it's been almost like once I got to that place...being little again, asking Him to hold me...we could finally get to work on the roots of all kinds of things. Lies that have sunk their roots deep. I hear Him speaking to those one by one. I don't feel alone in the process, though it's, like everything else, a daily struggle.

It was funny because I'm reading "Crazy Love" with my friend Corey, and I had read the chapter we met to discuss about a month prior. When we got together to discuss it the other night, I was revisiting what I had underlined and here's part of what it said:

"Thankfully, my relationship with God took a major turn when I became a father myself. After my oldest daughter was born, I began to see how wrong I was in my thinking about God. For the first time I got a taste of what I believe God feels toward us. I thought about my daughter often. I prayed for her while she slept at night. I showed her picture to anyone who would look. I wanted to give her the world.

Sometimes when I come home from work, my little girl greets me by running out to the driveway and jumping into my arms before I can even get out of the car. As you can imagine, driving home is one of my favorite moments of the day.

My own love and desire for my kids' love is so strong that it opened my eyes to how much God desires and loves us. My daughter's expression of love for me and her desire to be with me is the most amazing thing. Nothing compares to being truly, exuberantly wanted by your children.

Through this experience, I came to understand that my desire for my children is only a faint echo of God's great love for me and for every person He made. I am just an earthly, sinful father, and I love my kids so much it hurts. How could I not trust a heavenly, perfect Father who loves me infinitely more than I will ever love my kids?"


Kelly said...

Dana, it's uncanny...every time we talk (in real life or in blogland), it's like the Lord is doing the same work in both of us. I couldn't have written this better to describe what's going on with me lately. There have been a lot of emotions around here lately too.

Praise the Lord, is all I can say at the end of the day.

Scotty and Lisa said...

Sigh...I also totally relate to this. How do I become a little girl again?