When someone tells me he loves me, it’s like I am at a fork in the road where one path goes to the thought “Of course you do. I’m awesome” and the other to “oh no what’s wrong with you?” My mind goes back and forth from path to path struggling to accept someone’s love and trying not to think I totally deserve it.
On one hand, our society drowns us in how great we are, how we are our own best asset/resource, how you are a beautiful or unique snowflake and how you deserve to be happy. The side of me that rebels in this line of thinking, that you aren’t that great and I’ve met you, is based mostly in the truth of what I believe about life and human existence and a God Who is great and I have met Him too. He created us, but we’ve fallen away deliberately, spitting in the very face of the God Who loves us the very most and has given everything for us to be with Him.
And that’s the side that gives way to the other path – how could I possibly ever deserve to be happy? How can I accept a gift that was purchased for me, when I struggle so much with owning it? Why can’t I just be loved?
There’s a great line in The Incredibles at the introduction where someone is interviewing Mr. Incredible and he’s talking about saving the world and he says something like “Why can’t you just STAY saved?!” It makes me laugh every time and I think yeah, really. Why do we have to keep screwing it up so bad? And why can’t people just love each other and stop trying to lie, cheat, steal, rape, plunder, pillage and kill? Can’t we all just get along?!
And it’s a similar line of thought for being loved – why can’t I just STAY loved? For me, the thought process goes – well how can he love me THAT much? there must be something wrong with him or maybe I’m not being honest enough or maybe he’s just not really listening or maybe he wants to just gloss over anything that I’m saying could be a potential problem for us or maybe he didn’t quite catch what I said because I’m trying to have a deep heavy conversation at a show at the Norva. (Ok for the record I haven’t actually tried to do this. I actually hate when people talk alot at shows. But that’s another blog for another day.)
When it all boils down, it’s the fear of rejection – even when in your heart, way down deep in there, you either know that you will not be rejected (as in the case with the love of God who has accepted you and adopted you and called you His own for all eternity) or you know that if this person is worth half his salt and isn’t lying to you and is fully believing and relying on the perfect will of the God who loves us both, more than we could ever love each other, and guides us to His perfect plans for us, then all this fear is unfounded and if you don’t crush it and nip it in the bud, it’s a matter of time before it will break you or swallow you whole.
Speaking of getting swallowed, this reminds me of the book of Jonah – sitting in the belly of whale after having run the opposite direction of where God wanted him and told him to go. And while I haven’t heard the voice of God lately, not in the sense of an audible voice or supernaturally clear direction, it isn’t that I haven’t been shown in a hundred ways or more the direction to go and the affirmation from a hundred different people and places and circumstances and in my very soul.
Knowing without a doubt in your head that this is a gift that God has given, how could I possibly reject it? How could I hold it skeptically, wondering if the gift receipt is inside just in case? And like a gift you get from someone who doesn’t really know you or your preferences, the gift receipt was created to avoid those awkward moments of this is the worst possible thing you could have picked for me. But unlike that gift, we know God doesn’t give those. And why I second guess Him still, after all this time, well, it’s the stuff of blog fodder and late night conversations and early morning ponderings and rainy stormy day poetry and music making.
“Just STAY LOVED” is my new motto. A close second after “Perfect love casts out fear…”