Recently, I attended a seminar at a church in my local area. The focus of the seminar was caring for each other. Particularly how women in the church can play an integral role in reaching out and caring for other women. There was a lot of talk about our “story.” We were given supplies to create a time line of our lives in whatever manner we chose to do so. Since I do better when I write things out on a piece of scrap paper before I begin my final copy, I began listing the years of my life and grouping them into different “periods” of my life. Under each “period” I began to list significant events and memories that I have from those times. Some of what this exercise (which I highly recommend, by the way) brought out for me was that I have some losses in my life that I have not fully grieved. Instead of grieving these losses, I pushed them under the surface, not even aware that I had done so.
In combination with the grief that was beginning to make its way to the surface, came a feeling of complete exhaustion stemming from the emotional stress that I have been experiencing for quite some time. The more the speakers shared, the more I realized how broken I really felt. Finally not being able to hold back my tears any longer, I left the room and decided to take a walk outside. As I walked out of the front door of the church building, I spied a picnic table over by the entrance to the parking lot. I walked over to the table and sat down and began to weep. So overwhelmed, I just held a tissue to my eyes. Finally, I was able to restrain my tears and when at last I took the tissue away and opened my eyes, the first thing that I saw was “I Love You!” written in pencil right in front of me on the table. I was so startled that I stared at the words for quite some time sensing in my heart that I was experiencing what I call a “God moment.” A moment when God shows up in a very personal, intimate way just to let me know that He’s there and His love for me never fails.
Of course, I realize that a human wrote those words at some point in the past, but I believe with all my heart that it wasn’t just a coincidence that I sat down at the table where I did that day and that when I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was “I Love You!” Those were the words I most needed to hear to bring comfort to my aching heart. I still have a way to go to grieve the losses in my life, but I know that Jesus is with me and will heal my brokenness one step at a time.
“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (Psalm 103:17)
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:9b-10)