“Can I talk to you Papa?” I ask.
“Always,” He reminds me, encouraging.
“This was so difficult, Papa. I do not understand. I really did not want to leave that comfortable place with You, especially since it seems that I have just found it. It feels like I have lost it again.
“It hurts, Papa, even now it hurts. You tell me that I did this right, that You are pleased, but my feelings tell me the opposite. Please, I guess I just need Your reassurance right now.” I am reluctant to ask for it though, thinking that perhaps I should not need it.
“My child,” He breathes, tenderly pressing His hand to my face. “You did right. You see, it was only in that closeness that your heart could hear My whisper. And you did hear it, leaping to My call.
“You could have ignored it, and waited. If you had, I would have called and invited you to deal with this thing again and again. But, had you continued to resist, I would have had to bring a rebuke to you as I did before.”
I cringe at the thought, before I realize it. My heart still stings in remembrance of His rebuke.
“The correction had to come, you know that. But in this way, when you responded quickly, it was much easier.” I hear myself laugh ruefully at this, but He nods firmly, stopping me. “Yes, easier and less painful to you. You are sitting here with Me now, not flinching away in fear with a wall between us because you chose to quickly obey.
“Yes, you pleased me.” He hugs me briefly, I press my head to His arm.
“If this was right, why does it still hurt so?”
“Sin damages much. When you repented much was torn down. But what your heart longs for is not yet present. It is time for rebuilding.”
“But how!” Frustration fills my voice. “I don’t know how to do this relationship differently. I don’t know what You want from me!”
“Trust Me.” I am reminded of His promise and some of the tense frustration leaves me. “Simply change your response to her. You have responded defensively out of the deep hurts that have remained unhealed and the expectation of more of the same. Stop. I guard your heart now. You do not need to be defensive any longer.”
His words arrest my attention. The possibility of not having to be on constant guard, protecting myself has never occurred to me. If He guards me now…. I realize with a powerful suddenness that what He asks, I can do!
“I can do that, Papa! I will do what You ask! I will obey You, I will obey!” A tension drains from me, leaving me feeling weak in its wake. “I expected You to demand so much more of me.” I stammer finally.
“That is a deception of the flesh. When it cannot distract you from My way, it will demand more than My way, demanding what will cause you to fail.” He explains. “I am releasing you, giving you freedom now, to be who I made you to be. Do not allow other demands to change that, to cause you to pursue other than that.”
“Yes, Papa.” I sigh resting in His arms. I love this place, surrounded by Him.