What if we all became lovers of the One who has radically loved us and is pursuing us right now, chasing after our hearts right here in this moment? What if we went beyond just seeking to acquire knowledge about God and instead became people who walk hand in hand with Him? What if we didn’t just talk about abiding in Him, but actually started abiding?
If you truly believed that there is One who is in love with you, who is captivated by your heart, and loves loving you, wouldn’t this change everything?
As some of you may know, I love public speaking. It’s been an amazing journey the past few years seeing how the Lord has called out these gifts and passions for speaking in me. He took me as a quiet, insecure teenage girl about 4 years ago, and placed in my heart a gift for speaking, displaying that this gift is from Him and not me, and is to be used for His glory.
This past weekend I had the honor of speaking at a women’t retreat in Limassol. The theme of the retreat was “Intimacy with God”. Women of all ages, from all different places across the island came together for 24 hours away with the Father, seeking His face, and daring to ask the questions at the beginning of this blog.
Little side story: After arriving at our hotel Friday afternoon I checked into my room and, to my surprise, I had been booked a Sea View room on the 6th floor of the hotel. I then proceeded to squeal like a little school girl as I walked out onto my balcony, with the gorgeous Sea spread out below, the smell of the salty air blowing into my room, and the sound of the water hitting the shore filling up the space with quiet noise. Now, if you’ve talked to me in the past six months or have been following my trip at all, you know how obsessed I am with the Sea. It’s just about my favorite thing, besides Jesus and ice cream. So this room, with this view was AHHHHMAZING. I’m so spoiled guys.
So after checking into the hotel, I had a couple of hours to spare until the retreat started. I spent some time to just relax, pray, and prepare for my speech later that evening. As I sat out on the balcony, looking out over the Sea, I was so captivated by the thought that the One who created all of that beauty, who carefully carved out every jagged edge of the shoreline and who paints the sunset each night, never once making it the same as the night before, is actually in love with me.
It still remains a wonderful mystery to me that this same One who designed this gorgeous place that I love so dearly, would look down, point to me, and say, “I want Joanna.”, and he would start dreaming up all kinds of dreams about places he wants to take me and ways he wants to shine his glory through me.
“But I’m so broken, Lord.”
“I want your brokenness, my daughter. Give me your brokenness.”
“But what if I fail you?”
“My grace is enough for you. Come to me, my power is made perfect in your weakness.”
“But why me? Surely someone else is far more qualified to serve you than I am.”
“Because I want you. I have created within you things which you do not yet know, things which I will reveal to you as you step out in faith and let me take you by the hand as we walk this journey together. Come away with me, and see the great ways that I will use you to shout my glory from the rooftops and whisper my tender love into the ears of the broken. You are qualified because I AM, and you are mine.”
What sweet words of love and affection the Father speaks over us when we just come and sit in his presence. He desires a relationship with us. He longs for us to just come and sit with him, to bring before him everything, to chat with him about all the little things in our day, and to pour out what’s aching on our hearts. He does love to love us, and he is passionately pursuing us; nothing will every change those things, but we have to open up our hearts to him. We must turn our affection towards him in all the little moments of our days. When our minds wander, may they wander towards him. When our hearts dream, may they dream dreams which have been created by him.
May we fall so deeply in love with our Father who is completely enamored by us. Let our love move us into action, not from a place of guilt or obligation, but from an overflow of what he has poured into us.
I want to be a lover, God. Make me a lover of you.