Love Story

I've been thinking about volcanos.

And itchy skin.

And A'havah love.

And leaning in.

And healing... how it sometimes looks like a big hot mess.

And that tree that has rooted itself in the very center of my heart.

Mostly about the tree.

It all started with the tree. Remember that post? Over the past few weeks God has gone deep into my heart, pruning back branches and gently digging up roots. I've had these intense moments of deep heart work. I've been leaning in, friends, in a very new way.

I've gained some new freedom; things I'm not even really ready to talk about.

But I can talk about A'havah love. It's this wild, fierce, steady love of the will. It's not an emotion, or a fluttering. It's a digging-in-your-heels kind of love. It's a love of choice. Isn't that interesting? It's almost foreign. We certainly don't have much to compare it to. Love stories aren't made of A'havah. Right?

Maybe they are. At least one is.

You've read John 3:16, no? Of course you have. It's everywhere. It's the anthem of the Kingdom of God. It's on billboards and painted on people's jiggly bellies. It's neatly typed into our Bibles. It's distorted by people who would somehow use it to force and shame other wounded people. But it's there, and we know it.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. Whoever believes in him will have eternal life. 

Do you see the A'havah in there? God loved the world with this determined, unashamed loved. He dug in his heels and resolved to love the shit out of our crazy. He loved us enough to press in, past our denials, our idolatry, our resolution to push him away. God stood his ground and loved us even when we lied about him, looked right past him, ignored his every word.

Who does that? Who loves like that? We're not talking about a co-dependant reliance. We're talking about "I know how messy and disfigured you are. I get it. I'm leaning in anyway."

He isn't denying our rats nest crazy. He isn't pretending we're something else. He's just choosing to lean in anyway.

It would be so easy to stop there. I think I often do. But don't miss this.

We have to lean back into him.

If we want to receive the benefit of his A'hava love, we have to press in. We have to respond. We have to turn our stubborn heads and listen to the sound of his steady heartbeat. We have to yield to his whisper. That's where life is. That's where the love story melts our grossly wounded hearts.

I've been thinking about A'havah. I've been sitting in the deep waters of Jesus and his great love story. It's resonating. It's sinking into the soil of my heart. It's loosening the grip of those old tree roots.

He's leaning into us, friends. Lets lean back.

*I'll tell you about volcanos another time <3

*March 2013