Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Chapter 10: The shade garden pt 1

I awake with many questions raging through my mind. Amidst all that He has shown me, I am seeing that I no longer know what to do, how to handle situations that I once knew how to deal with. The old ways are not longer adequate, but I am not sure of what to do. I bare my heart to Him, asking what to do, how to respond to these issues. I find that I shrink back a little, waiting for Him to respond, expecting correction, rebuke and even harshness from Him.

He shakes His head and gently answers me. “How can I correct what you have already been corrected for and repented of? How can I rebuke what is not disobedience? These are issues now of rebuilding, not correction.” He goes on to show me two clear places for change, but He is compassionate and caring in His direction.

“You keep expecting harshness and pain from Me even as you bare your heart. The pain of correction is to train the heart to see what it did not before understand, to mourn what it did not before grieve. Rebuke is to shape the will. Their purpose is not to retaliate against you for being less than perfect. Perfection is not necessary to please Me—a heart that seeks to obey and please Me is what I desire. I heard your heart in these things, a willingness to obey, to please. Remember My yoke is easy and My burden light.” He reminds.

Some of fear leaves me. It has always been difficult for me to be honest for fear of what the repercussions would be.

Gently, He presses my head to His shoulder. “Child, I will not turn away from you, no matter what you tell me in this place. Remember I love you.”

“Papa, “I find myself saying before I can stop the outpouring of my heart, “I do not think I know what that means.”

“I know. I will show you if you want.”

“I want to know, at least I think I do. But something holds me back. Papa, there is this discomfort deep within when I hear those words, I Love You. There are a very few I can hear it from without a strange pang in my guts. I feel that pang now and I think it stops me from truly hearing You. What is it?” Even as I ask this, I find fear welling up within me once again. I wonder if I will ever stop bring afraid. Without thinking, I reach out to Him, wrapping my arms around His neck. In the back of my mind I wonder if I have ever done this before? I cling tightly to Him, feeling strangely relieved that He does not push me away.

Whispering softly in my ear, He answers me. “That sense is the fruit of disappointment over hearing those words spoken but not meant over and over again. It is the fruit of the vow you made that you would be unloved. It is dying even as that vow is uprooted. For now, let Me tend the wounds it has left upon you.”

As I cling to Him, He carefully eases my injuries with His salve. I remain with Him for a few moment, but then leave His lap to look out the window. I stand there, apart from Him for a long time.

Finally, He walks over to me and lays a loving hand on my shoulder. “You made a decision that you did not want to be loved because you were afraid of it. You are still afraid to be loved.”

I find I have no response to Him. I continue to stare out the window.

“The answer you seek is not there.” He tells me what I already know. “Come, sit with Me.” With tenderness He leads me away from the window and back to the fireplace. He sits in His chair. I sit on the floor beside Him, my head resting on His leg. Stroking my hair, He murmurs, “This is where you will find what you seek. Now, my daughter, tell me your heart.”

It is a long time before I can respond. “I do not think I know my heart, that’s the problem. I still find it so much easier to accept pain than love. I seem to take it in, curl around it like a kitten with a toy, draw it into myself, center upon it. But love—I fear that. Why do I have this so backwards?”

He is quiet for a long moment before he answers. “It comes from infancy, when comfort and pain were confused, you learned to fear and avoid love, yet pain which was associated with love became comfort to you.”

It seems so confusing to me, it does not make sense. It seems like something is miswired in my heart. “Papa, I want this changed. I want to embrace Your love, not fear it. What ever it takes.” I pause. “Does this mean Your correction is needed?” I bite my lip, waiting His answer, knowing already what He will say.

“Yes.” I pull away and try to rise. “Wait a bit and receive my comfort first.” He draws me into His lap and I lay my head on His shoulder. Tears well up, but I find I cannot cry. “You must know that I am not angry with you.” He explains with surprising firmness. “ Your heart needs to be retrained right now. You embrace the wrong things, You must learn to change that back to the way it should be.”

I nod, but feel weak and defeated. My strength is gone. I want to walk this path with Him so much but feel as though I have nothing left with which to do it.

Part 2-->

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