There I was, alone in the black of night. The fan across the room whirring around in a mesmerizing rhythm. A glimmer of light peeking through a crack in the blind, casting a single shadow on the wall next to me. I had turned the lights off. It seemed easier, not being able to actually see me this vulnerable, as I was taking my walls down one-by-one.
I breathe in deep and find myself exhaling to the rhythm of the fan. Slow, steady, quiet. Maybe with the next breath I will build up enough confidence to ask my one question. And finally it comes:
Father — Why do you love me?
What do you see in me?
It wasn’t until my lips curled around the real question that I realized it was more than one. But both needed to be asked for both were burning inside me, aching to know. And now I wait, still breathing in time with the fan. Doubt tries to find its way to me, following the glow of the street light. Ashamedness quickly follows.
Not tonight. The walls are staying down. This is something I must do. I must listen.
And I will never know if the voice I heard was my imagination or the real deal. It doesn’t even matter for in my heart, I know God found a way to speak to me. So softly I almost missed it at first. But the more I lingered on the moment, the more it became clear. Three questions He asked of me:
Why do you love Me?
What do you see in Me?
My child — why do you not love yourself?
Emotions come crashing down like a tidal wave. My breath taken out to sea. I instinctively reach out, trying to grasp at something. Anything. Where or where are my walls when I need them.
No. Not tonight. This is something I must do. I must think. I must answer Him. I have to know…
I’m not sure how long I sat there that night. The years between then and now have softened my memory some. But I will never forget the way He gently guided me to answering the questions I should have been asking all along.
Friends, it was true. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t hate myself, either, but that’s not what He asked me.
And I wasn’t able to quickly answer why I loved my Redeemer. It seems like such an easy question to answer and yet, I couldn’t find the words. Truth was, I had never asked myself that question so point-blank before. Maybe if you were blessed to grow up in a Christian home like I was, you can admit the same thing. Even if you didn’t, maybe you can relate.
I found myself stammering for words. Excuses started pouring from my thoughts and I found myself uttering the rhetorical question that put me in checkmate.
“Well…what’s not to love?!?”
Silence followed. Long enough for me to realize I couldn’t hear the fan anymore. I sat up, more alert, trying to find my bearings once again. Then I heard it. Just one word. One word that answered every question posed that night.
Even now, when I hear that one word, I often think of Him. I think of the one night that opened my eyes to the life I had been missing. The life of love only found in Him.
And even now it still amazes me that it’s there. Love like that. Freely offered to anyone willing to ask for it.
Oh how He loves us.
I’ve grown much since that dark night of clarity. And I’ve spent every day since answering His three questions. Trying to grasp why I love Him so much. Counting the ways. Trying to fathom Him and all that He is. Attempting to truly see. Trying to accept that I can love myself, for He is a part of me. He is the reason I live and breathe. Without Him, that last question will go unanswered. For I have nothing worth loving apart from Him. And with Him, I have everything.
Yes. Exactly. What’s not to love.
How about you? Why do you love Him? Do you love yourself? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.
(please visit Nikki here at her blog, Simply Striving)