A sweet preacher in Mobile teaches that You love us too much to leave us the way we are. Ever since I heard those words, it has become more and more evident in my life. Last Sunday afternoon, the message was on the Holy Spirit and how we were born with a hole in us and a need for Jesus. I’ve heard before that we have a Jesus sized hole and we try to fill it with everything else and it never fits right. I’ve experienced it too. I know the pain of trying to make myself whole on my own. I can’t do it and no one can do it for me. The only one that can make me whole is You, Lord. I’ve been thinking about the message and rereading my notes all week.
In college, I saw a lot of thriving, but also settling, for relationships, for majors, for jobs. I saw people go out every single week and come back feeling worse than they left. I saw people hold onto any semblance of a relationship, no matter how toxic or wrong for each other they were. I saw people struggling so hard in classes and careers they didn’t even want. I saw people lose or give up on majors and careers they spent their whole lives wanting. I saw a lot of hurt and pain. Taylor Swift’s song Bad Blood was supposed to be about stickin it to the mean girl or whatever. And I jam out pretty hard, every single time it comes on. But when I really sit down and listen to the lyrics, I realize how truly, deeply sad it is. I saw a lot of bad blood in college, and even had some myself. My relationship with You allows me to be set apart from some of that heartache because I deal with it by taking it You, learning from it, and letting it go without it consuming me. I learned in college, that not everyone has that relationship with You and some of them are truly, madly lost and searching for things to fill their God shaped hole and coming up empty. I learned in college that “Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes.”
In the sermon, the pastor told us we have a spiritual hunger that has a voice like a growl and the more we feast on You, the more hungry we become, the more we crave it. He said we can’t stay the way we are, that only You can satisfy us. I just read The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter, in literally two days. I mean, from the first page, I was almost in tears and completely captivated. I couldn’t put the book down. The story came down to a couple who didn’t handle things by taking them to You, they tried to handle them on their own. Both fled. Both left. They lived Toby Mac’s lyrics: “I’d be packin’ my bags when I need to stay.” When they found each other again, they learned to take things to You in the process.
When we are kids, we are taught that voice in our head, showing us right from wrong, is our conscience. It is our own little Jiminy Cricket living in our head. I think it’s more than that though. The closer we move to You, the more clearly You speak to us. I believe that You use signs, signals, people, doors, windows, walls, roadblocks, whatever You need to speak to our hearts. Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes we have to slow down and be still so we can listen. In The Goodbye Bride, Denise wrote: “Help me, God. Something pulled inside. Something she’d never felt before. A hard tug in her spirit, telling her to stay.” That girl had never known anything but running. Running is all she had ever been taught or knew how to do. Later she wrote: “But there was a God who loved her enough to give her courage in the face of her fear. I will never leave you nor forsake you.“
So, this is my prayer today. Lord, I was so deep, so incomplete til’ you rescued me. I pray that you are mine and I am Yours. Thank you for rescuing me. I pray that I am yours forever. Thank you for saving me, remaking me. Thank you for changing me. Thank you for loving me too much to leave me as I am. Thank you for healing my heart. Thank you for being the well that never runs dry. Thank you for allowing me to come to you. Thank you for opening your arms for me. Thank you for leading me to you. Thank you for calling me home when I go astray. Thank you for sending people and signs to bring me back to you. Thank you for being deep enough for every soul. Thank you for speaking directly to me and to my life and to my heart. Thank you for never leaving or forsaking me. Thank you for showing me love despite my fear. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.