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I AM — My Father’s Child

June 15, 2014

One obstacle, or pothole, that I have come upon A LOT in my spiritual journey involves TRUST and  understanding the concept of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE that God offers. I was never even introduced to the terminology of “unconditional love” until I was about 32 years old. It came from a song I sang in church titled, “Unconditional Love.”

“Unconditional love. Lord, I never thought I’d find, unconditional love.

Through both good and troubled times.

You knew me way back when, still you take me as I am.

And you always give to me, unconditional love.”      

I knew only enough then to think that it was an elusive dream … perhaps not even for me given my life’s experiences of rejection and “conditions” for acceptance or tolerance. Understanding the love of “God the Father” was beyond what I could grasp because I had no positive earthly reference for the concept of “unconditional” love.

Spiritual mentors would encourage me to “trust” people. And I so wanted to be able to do that … but it never proved effective. It made me feel even more “defective.” I would ask God, “What’s wrong me? When other people can be and experience unconditional love (or just everyday love) … what’s wrong with me?”

I tried all kinds of ways to “earn” or prove myself “lovable” and “acceptable” to no avail. I could not give enough or be enough for love to last. When I withdrew and built up defensive walls around my heart, I only felt lonelier and certainly not protected.   I convinced myself I was more “merely tolerated” than truly loved … and for most of my spiritual journey as a “saved” Christian — I figured I was just lucky to be around “good Christian folk.” It was the best that I could expect.

Then, about the age of 40, I came upon a new and different concept (which I had never heard of) — spiritual warfare. God’s enemy, Satan, goes to great extents to make sure that we don’t “get it.” Worst of all, he often uses people we are supposed to be able to trust with our hearts, minds, lives, as his agents to keep us from knowing and understanding just how great the Father’s love is for us!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYV7hpD9JTI&feature=kp

It’s too much to expect earthly fathers and others to be able to love to this extent. Many fail in their trying. And we must recognize those honorable efforts. They are special men. Perhaps those who don’t even try were never exposed to the concept of “unconditional love” themselves, thus perpetuating generational damage. Don’t you know … Satan loves that — he’s been successful.

As a matter of fact, if you look at our world today … it’s a world desperate for “unconditional love” — and all we are hearing from each other are … conditions.

“I will love you if you think, behave, speak, and look like me.”

Millions of people have no idea what unconditional love is or what it would look like or how it would feel. Hearts long for it … but each and every one of us is prone to settle for second best, or quick fixes. That is until we’ve had enough hurt, pain, disappointed and disillusionment … and we harden our hearts, build up those walls and resort to only surface, or worse … virtual relationships.

The Lord and I have had numerous conversations about this matter. He brings me back to a few other words in the song I sang …

            “I’ve spent most of my life, just trying to fit in.

            I was wanting to be like everyone else, but losing myself.

            Finding out that people would tend to let me down … “

People do let us down. We let each other down. We’re fallible, broken, imperfect, mostly selfish, self-centered, frightened people. WE CAN’T BE GOD … we can’t be omnipotent, omniscient, and certainly we don’t have the capacity to be “unconditional” in our feelings or affections toward each other.

I don’t like it but I can accept it as it is relative to “people-ness.” But, it’s a bit hard to swallow when it comes to family and those with whom we declare to have loving relationships.

I once told a male acquaintance who was worried and struggling with choices that his 15-year old daughter was making, that I thought the most effective and valuable tool that a young girl should/could have in her life is a HERO DADDY who loved her unconditionally. She needs a daddy who defends and protects her … who demonstrates to her how a man should care for a woman by loving and respecting her mother, and demonstrates a godly work ethic at home and in the marketplace and a daddy that appreciates creativity, critical thinking and that she knows will help her find out who she is, and reach her dreams. That’s a daddy anyone could be proud of and would call a HERO. I told him, while she might (most likely will) make some bad choices, they won’t be near as devastating if she’s not trying to fill a void where an earthly father never was and if she knows he loves her “unconditionally.”

But alas, no one is perfect and  we ‘lose ourselves” in the quest to fill voids that earthly relationships were truly NEVER MEANT TO FULFILL.

And that’s what the Lord says to me.

            “Let Me be enough. Let Me be your All in All.”

            “Stop settling for and trying to obtain second best … and LET ME BE GOD!”

Another part of that song says that I’ve been so busy trying to “make life as it should be” that I’ve “put Him on a shelf.” No truer words have ever been lived or sung!

This is Father’s Day and generally it’s never been a good day for me. For many years, I’ve “tried” to go through the motions of making contact with my earthly father, buying a card with some mushy words that have no tangible meaning in our circumstances. I have longed for years for something “real” … and certainly something “unconditional,” only to have my heart broken again.

At best, our relationship is all pretense … and I believe that satisfies him.

But, I don’t believe that My Father, God, accepts “pretense.” Matter of fact, I know and have experienced the elation of an “authentic and transparent” relationship with Him. I know it “can be” — it can exist.  That’s why when I cry out and ask Him, “What’s wrong with me?” I can trust and accept His admonishing response,

“I have loved you with an everlasting love…” (Jeremiah 31:3)

My heart also hears Him saying to stop seeking the approval of men regardless of who it is.

 “Seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33

I hear Him telling my heart that I AM enough … I AM all you need, if you will only accept and “rest” in that Truth.

As much as I sometimes tend to wallow in the self-pity brought on my loneliness, rejection, and distrust, and basically chasing ideals that seems elusive in earthly terms, I am reminded that no one longs for unconditional love more than God, my Heavenly Father.

I’m reminded of the sacrifices He made to demonstrate His Great Love toward me and all other humankind …. Only to be mocked, dismissed and rejected over and over throughout all time … Only to hear those same words, “I will love you if you think, speak, behave and look like me.”

And then I think … not “what’s wrong with me?” But, “Who Am I?”

I AM my Father’s Child … I AM loved unconditionally!

Happy Father’s Day … to all … but especially to my Heavenly Father.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_rTX23V7Q

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