This is a blog in response to a challenge by the Proverbs 31 Ministry on-line Bible Study to write my God love story. This is all about God. It is not all about the people – some kids, some strangers, a variety of people from a variety of places… who have said certain things and done certain things that have affected my life. In order to give a testimony, it requires some honest. I have been compelled to not give my testimony because it’s messy for myself and others around me. I realize, however, that in order to truly grasp God and his goodness, I not only must recall some of what has happened, but authentically share my journey. How can I pray for someone who struggles with embarrassing and troublesome issues while pretending I’ve been always intact. I have to tell some of the mess. Forgiveness is a first step in all healing. That, because of harm I’ve caused others myself, and the forgiveness granted me, has been granted many years ago. Words and phrases, many of them blend together, leaving it difficult to say who said what all those years ago. I have forgiven each one, all of whom are on growth paths of their own. Here’s to saying yes to God when He calls for something uncomfortable, because He is forever stretching us, and I trust Him.
“Oh be careful … For the Father up above is looking down in love”. I’m guessing a lot of us miss that “in love” part. Instead, the omnipresence of God has caused us to fear a God who peers down on every little naughty thing we’ve done, and keeps a record of it all. And yet, when leaving that eye doctor’s office, walking the narrow sidewalk uphill towards car, words telling me “You know you made up not being able to see, our eyes are fine, you know you can see!” “She likes getting attention”, that though face burned hot and throat tight, deep in some unspoken place, I felt God eyes through Heaven window watching me. Eyes that saw how hard eight-year-old eyes had tried to see those letters so that she would not be told she was trying to get attention. God from a distance seeing that I could not see, and deep in my heart knowing that God was glad I was brave enough to wear glasses, even though I hated making a scene by wearing the things. God eyes noticing when our family moved from a place we had known to a new place, and then to another new place. Seeing where I slept, knowing where my things were that my scattered self couldn’t seem to locate, helping me find them so many times. The depression so dark I cried when I saw my sisters playing in the yard below, knowing I would never play that way again, because of the unspoken change. Knowing no one would ever understand, as I didn’t even have words or ways to understand myself. Yet, beneath that blackish hell, a stirring in heart emerged that God eyes were on me holy-like, crying God eyes, not eyes that robbed and ripped and tore away at me. And knowing He saw me, it soothed the ache some.
I’m pretty sure that when Dad went looking for a place to park our trailer, God noticed the ice rink just beyond the trailer park, and picked out the place for my sisters and me. Crack the whip on winter days warmed up frozen heart. I picture God with beautiful smile wrinkles round them. A smile for the time he scooped us out of dark Alaska and placed us back in the green, lush, rich land of the Olympic Peninsula. A smile for the time we got to live on Grandma Lindquist’s farm a short while, Narcissa the donkey to wake us up each morn, irrigations ditches, little Andy and Goldie the dog, all a kid of 10 would want for the perfect life. A smile for every lovely thing, too many to mention, that He has planned out and delivered to my life.
God seeing the good and bad gave me the feeling of being understood, and gave me a sense of safety on a core level, even when I had no reason to feel either. God eyes, they saw the youth pastor that helped himself to more of my soul. From Heaven, God heard the words “It’s very interesting, he did this to you, but he never did anything to us, and we spent just as much time with him as you did” – this phrase repeated over and over. And because God was watching, He was aware of the implications of those words, and also knew the truth – and hung on tight. Year after year, more words that cut. “You’re nose flares when you laugh. Don’t flare your nose, that looks weird.” “Your hair is frizzy. Do something with it!” “Don’t laugh like that.” “Stop singing. Why do you think people want to hear you sing?” “You bounce when you walk, just walk normal!” “You have hair all over your back. That’s disgusting!!” On and on, they fly like shrapnel, creating recordings that still to this day want to play for me, even though I have a husband who tells me I am beautiful, and “I wish you could just see it, honey.”
And somehow, beyond the wounds that have healed and opened up again and again,and healed some more I feel God trying to catch my eye from far above me. From His high place. Catching my eye, that’s what He tries to do, I’ve noticed, so that I can see those beautiful God Eyes loving the flawed and screwed up me. Eyes that know all my weirdness, years of depression unable to shake no matter the hours spent praying and running and eating better, pulling out my own hair without realizing it, and, “Oh no, no eye brows”, missing hair on top head. The years of Bulimia, all the shame and hopelessness that entailed. Facial hair and hair all over my back and places it is not suppose to be because of PCOS. The decision to become a counselor. More words “You, a counselor! You are more screwed up than anyone I know!” Staring right at me, laughing, loud and long into my face. God eyes, seeing all, I feel Him proud of me Graduation Day, amidst the put down jokes about chosen degree and the disaster that is me. God and I walking the sacred halls of the ER, one room than another we have worked these holy visits together 18 years, now God and I in therapy sessions, side by side we treat broken beauties – people He has watched every year of their lives; deeply treasuring each one. We are not valuable to God because any one of us is admirable, but because God has been with us our whole life long, has seen what our life has been made of, and has not missed one thing. Love is not aligning ones self with another for ones own benefit. Love is God, who aligns Himself to me even though I make Him look bad. I love being loved by God.