I do not consider myself a religious person. There was a time when I was. I was converted 15 years ago and boy was I on fire. I read the bible, attended every church service I could and volunteered at Sunday School. I learned a great deal about the history of the church and could quote scripture from heart. I wanted to convert the whole world. I wanted everyone to know the grace and freedom found in my savior. Funny thing was, I still felt empty inside.
The void I felt was nothing more than a desire to be loved. I can sit here today and honestly tell you that growing up with an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother, I had no idea what true and unconditional love was. It was confusing to here the words I love you Roxanne, but you are a burden to me. No matter how good I tried to be, I couldn’t make my father love me the way I needed him to. I suppose I projected those feelings when I became a Christian. NO matter how good I tried to be, I just didn’t feel I was enough.
I spent many years searching for God, trying to understand him or her or whatever God was. I read many books, listened to great spiritual leaders and still nothing ever seemed to fulfill me.
What’s crazy about this whole journey is how I have tried so hard to fulfill this void on my own- religion, sex, booze, hiding, depression, and so forth. With that, comes guilt, shame and brokenness. No wonder I was so lost- some days more than others.
God is hard to understand. So I gave up trying to understand. I will never understand the mystery that surrounds us all. The mystery of creation. The mystery of love. The mystery of evil and good. The mystery of the virgin birth. The mystery of the cross. The mystery of life after death. It’s all one big mystery and trying to find answers and understanding just makes me crazy.
Then I watched this movie called “The Shack.” I can’t explain the power it had when I allowed myself to watch with an open heart and mind. I sobbed when I started to realize that I was not alone in my doubts, anger and confusion. I loved that God was portrayed as an African-American female. I loved how real Jesus was. I loved that the Holy Spirit was also portrayed as a sweet and kind female. I can understand why some people would find it offensive to portray God in such a way, after all being a female is offensive in itself, right? God is hard to understand.
After watching this film, I realized that I was trying to understand God on an intellectual level. I was trying to use logic and reason. I wanted answers.
The only answer I have and will ever receive is- BELIEVE. HAVE FAITH. TRUST.
God is creator. God is good. God is love. God is showing me, beyond all else, that HOW I COME TO UNDERSTAND GOD IS NOT NEARLY AS IMPORTANT AS KNOWING THAT GOD UNDERSTANDS ME! God knows, understands and created me in love. That is all I need to know and understand.
Here is what God told me five years ago:
There is not enough space or time to adequately show you just how loved you are! Imagine the stars in the heavens and the galaxies that lay among the skies, you are far more glorious then they are. The birds that sing while the sun begins to peek over the Sandia Mountain, with all its magnificent colors and glorious peace, you my sweet child are more precious. Your smile makes my heart fill with surpassing joy. You, Roxanne, are my master piece. You are the the majestic crown of creation. When I created all that you see, it was incomplete until I created you. I made you unique and different and I am a master creator, I make no mistakes. I planned you. You are my special child I adore and cherish. Your beauty lies within your soul. Do not focus on your flaws. I am always creating a new heart in you. Do not be afraid to let your beauty shine, for when you do, I shine with you. If you saw what I see in you, you would know why. I will not hurt you. I will not harm you. Believe in me and I will show you love. I am safe. My love will bring you healing. I love you my sweet child.
Nothing else matters. There is nothing in this world that matters more than knowing that God is real and God loves you. Full stop. No buts, no what ifs, no anything. God is too big and too wonderful for us to understand. All that matters is that God understands us, and loves us anyway.