When People Distort God's Image

It's really hard for me to always believe that God is FOR me. Does that resonate? If we're really honest, I think most of us would say that that is a very common, very deep wound. We are such connected creatures. Everything about us bleeds into other parts of ourselves. We don't compartmentalize as well as we think we do.

So, when I try to reconcile my spiritual wounding at the hands of other people, I can't quite leap into an understanding of God's posture towards me. I often find myself trying to convince God to do good for me. I struggle to see that He WANTS good for me. So, I battle through my own defenses, explaining to him why I shouldn't be crushed by life.

It's a cycle, friends.

Here's the big Truth, I KNOW what this is rooted in for me. I know that I am prone to being a creature of fear, waiting for the next big life dump to carry me away. I know that this has absolutely nothing to do with any experience I have ever had with God.

With people, yes. With God, never.

My darkest spaces have been sparked with light, not because I convinced God to show up and rescue me, but because I had nowhere else to go, nothing else to lean into. I had no margin left to give to my fear. Which means I had nothing to convince me that God was ignoring me, or at the very least, uninterested in me.

When I was seventeen someone told me a really big, convincing lie. She told me that God probably favored someone else over me. There was just enough Biblical "truth" in her argument to convince me that it might be completely true. You know what I've learned since then? "Just enough" truth doesn't make it true. Ever.

Lies prick us, but spiritual manipulation and abuse gouge us. We walk around with ragged holes in our hearts, certain of being a disappointment.

That wasn't the first time someone had spoken that particular lie to me. It wasn't even the last. Sometimes I was the one to speak it, to grip it, to own it. Sometimes it was another person, using their own power in a dangerous way. Sometimes it was another person, way too wounded to be speaking life at all.

The image of God has been distorted for me. One little sliver made its way into my young heart and created an illusion that does not, in any way, reflect the truth of the God who came for me.

He's been healing that. I've been writing about it a lot lately. I've talked about it, admitted the shame of being unchosen. I'm making choices to see myself under the banner of Truth, rather than in the grief of an old lie. It's still there in smaller ways. It still grips me sometimes. It still shoves me back onto my ass when I'm not looking. But its healing. Slowly. Intentionally.

Last week, after my Tuesday Holy Yoga class, my girlfriend told me that she had heard Jesus speak to her in savasana. She said that he told her to take all the cash in her purse and dump it into my basket. And then he told her to tell me that His posture towards me is generous.

Damn.

He's healing me, friends. So slowly, but with such deep, generous intention. He isn't letting me slide through this, not knowing how I arrived at whole. He's surgical, prying out each, tiny, sharp sliver. He's tending to the ragged edges of my sadness. He's undoing what other people have done. He's rewriting my story.

What's your wound, friend? What has crushed and diminished you? Where does it sit in your battered heart? If you haven't felt it yet, know this Truth, he is coming for you.

He is coming to heal, sliver by sliver. He is coming to give back what has been stripped away.

Freedom.

*June 2013