“Papa? Papa…” my tears fall on His outstretched hand even as I press it to my heart.
“Daughter, “he gently speaks, “I love your heart. I delight in it, I take pleasure in what I have created in you, exactly what I desired it should be. I will not damage that which I love so dearly. That is why I will not bring rebuke or correction to you in this innermost place in your heart. Those things are for other places.” It is true, that is exactly what He has done. “The pain that was caused you here, I will not cause you. I will not betray your trust here.” I find myself clinging to His hand, crying. His promise soothes my fear. His hand is heavy upon me, warm, not painful.
“I want to help you rebuild the structures of your hear. Would you let me take you to the structures that were formed in your pain to rebuild?” Now I am reluctant. I do not honestly want to go back, to relive those wounds, to be reminded of them again. I want to keep them buried where they are. But I feel His hand upon me, in my hands. I remember the scars and my name. How can I tell Him no?
“I will go with you, Papa. I honestly do not want to go back there, it hurts to go there. But if You tell me that is needed and You are going to take me, to be with me, then I will go.” I swallow hard, fearful of what He will show me.
He nods, wrapping His strong arms around me once again as if to protect me from what I must see.
I see myself as a baby, comforted in my daddy’s arms. But he is saying, “You are making things so difficult for you mommy. Why can’t you be good for her?” My heart drops, breaking as I hear these words. An empty aloneness floods coldly into me, isolating me from the comfort I had felt.
I see myself as a little girl, longing for daddy’s attention but not able to get it, not able to please. I see myself at ten years old, crying out for understanding support, but receiving only criticism and guilt.
My heart cries out, “I can’t please daddy!” I hear myself say it over and over and over again. I can’t please Him—he will not be pleased, neither daddy nor my Papa God! I sob from some place so deep within me there are no words, no tears, only gut wrenching cries. I finally see the vow my heart has made out of these hurts.
“I repent of this vow! I repent! Forgive me, Papa, forgive me!” I cry, struggling now. “I….I…I break this vow!” The words are so very difficult; the sobs come more forcefully now. It is hard to try to break what has always seemed so undeniably true. How can this not be true? It is what I have always known; it is what has always been. And yet, He told me that He is pleased in me. He said He is pleased with me!
“I break this vow. Oh, Papa, I break it, I renounce it! I can please my daddy, my Papa, I can! He is pleased with me! I release my heart to receive this!” The words pour out of my wounded soul. I feel myself collapse, feeling spent and weak, as though I have lost a major support for everything I know. What do I do now? Everything I have known before, trusted and believed has just been overturned.
“I took you here to rebuild, not to leave you without.” He tells me. “Let me rebuild for you.” He whispers in my ear.
“Expose these wounded places to Me. Let me touch and heal them.” I try to obey, exposing my heart to Him. But something is not right. I wait for Him to explain. “No child, that is not where your wounds are.” He pauses. I still do not see. “Your wounds are on your back. Lie here, across my lap that I might tend those wounds.”
I obey, but pull the robe down with me, over me, to cover and protect me.
“Let the robe go for now. Expose yourself you Me.” He instructs again. There is no anger in His voice, but I remember this instruction when He rebuked me and fear is stirred within me. The fear takes on a life of its own, growing more menacing by the moment until it overwhelms me.
I am shaking violently, my guts convulsing. He tries to touch my wounds, but I flinch and pull away. I hear myself crying out, “Daddy, don’t hurt me, please!” I know that this is the old way, but I cannot stop it. “Don’t hurt me!” I want to hide from Him, to run away. I cover my head with my hands as if to protect myself from His touch.
Tenderly, with great patience, He gently places His hand ever so lightly on my shoulder. After a moment, he carefully reaches over and brushes my hair from my face. I fight not to flinch. I feel so afraid, so vulnerable and exposed. I keep expecting correction, rebuke, pain. Surely there is some reason for Him to hurt me now. There must be! I am so exposed, so vulnerable right now, it must be so that He can hurt me. Tears flood down my cheeks, my trembling, uncontrollable.
Gently He asks, “Why are you here right now?” The words hang in the air, not demanding, but waiting for response.
My mind races to find an answer that will protect me, one that will not bring anger down on me. I heard no anger in His words, yet, but surly it is not far behind. “Because you told me to.” I finally reply. But that is not the full answer.
“Because…because you said you would not hurt me.” I whisper, afraid to speak these words. I fear that I have heard Him wrong, that perhaps this was what I wanted to hear and not really what He said. Afraid that he will be angry at my misunderstanding, I persist. “You said that you would not hurt me here. I am here because I chose to trust You. I choose to trust You!”
The revelation of what I have just said hits me with a resounding impact, leaving me feeling like a spring suddenly unwound. I do trust Him! He means what He has said to me! Tension pours from me, from the top of my head through my entire being. I relax heavily into His lap. He rests His hand heavily on my shoulder as if welcoming me to rest upon Him as He soothes my wounds with His heavy, fragrant balm. I breathe deeply of the healing fragrance, drawing it deeply into me. It eases the aching of my heart even as it relieves the sting of my wounds.
Once He is finished, He lets me rest there a long time. Then he draws me into His lap once more.
“Because you chose to trust Me, You have seen Me as trustworthy. Because you chose, you have seen. So it is the way with faith, choice precedes sight. You chose faith and I am pleased.” He pauses for a few moments. “Rest a while now.”
I sleep on His shoulder.