Saturday, April 26, 2014

The love of God and white shoes

I am spending today typing out a bit of my story and studying about the Love of God.

It's so vast it's hard to know where to begin.

So, I just unravel my own story and look for His hand in my own life and relearn some lessons about who He really is.

I didn't come from a "Lovey" "Touchy" "Feely" type of home. I remember vividly wanting to "Feel loved," and did things to try to get that feeling. The only way I can describe my home was that we all just did our own thing.

I wanted to make my parents proud and to me in that measuring up I would feel loved and complete and life would be grand.

But that's not how things worked out for me. That's just not my story.

My parents were busy trying to provide for us, and trying to be the best parents they knew how to be. They both grew up with a parent who was distant or whom didn't actively "Show" them love and so they learned that you just "know" your loved and that's good enough. We didn't even tell each other that we loved each other.

It's not bad, it's just doing what we know, and living-out how you are raised. It really hasn't been until this year watching my oldest girl slowly becoming a teen that I have realized how hard it must have been for my Mom to not have a doting Mother herself.

I really felt that if I was  good enough that I would feel loved, wanted, adored, needed and everything else a kid wants to feel.

And so, I looked at God this way.

I work, and it is understood that He just loves.

I remember going off to college and feeling so alone. I don't think I have ever felt so alone as I did that first year away from all I knew.

My room mates were dear gals and I think I was hugged more by my room mates in that first year than all of my years growing up.

One of my room mates had parents that loved to visit and bring treats. They lived a good distance away, but it seemed like nothing to them to stop in to see her. They would come and take her out and spoil her a bit and it was fun to watch.  One particular visit it was close to Easter and they were taking her out to get her an Easter outfit.

We didn't say much, as I had much to do that day, but I do remember feeling lonely and ready for my first hard freshman year to be over.  I was feeling so unloved.

You can imagine my surprise when I came back to my room after they had left to find a box for me. I was wide-eyed and remember thinking what I could have done for this family for them to want to gift me with anything. It was a shoe box with bright white pumps in it. I couldn't remember the last time I had had new shoes for  Easter. Just remembering how I felt then brings tears to my eyes now, some many years later.

I remember feeling so loved. And embarrassed that I had not done anything to earn that love. I had hardly said two words to them on their visit. It was such a reminder of who God was to me. I was beginning to understand that God did not love me because of what I did for him or didn't do. He loved me simply because He created me and delights in me.

Standing in my room with my shoes in my hands I felt like the earth was tiny and that God did indeed see me and knew how lonely I truly was. I felt in awe that God would prompt someone who barely knew me to meet a need for me and to even find out my shoe size. They didn't just love on me. They loved on me in a very specific way, individual to only me. And that is how God loves us.

This was just the beginning of understanding God's vast love for me.

I wore those shoes until they fell apart.

These shoes started me off on a journey of realizing that I will never need to be "good enough" to warrant God's love. It is freely given.