"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Long Journey

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Life is a long, long journey.

Like destinations, there are many lessons that I wish I could just check off my list... and say I "have learned" this!  Been there.  Done that.

While certainly there have been lessons learned; I seem to circle back to 'same-old' places over and over again.

But, the one lesson that seems to be a reoccurring and reoccurring theme in my life is the lesson of "loved". I have both known it and not known it for many, many years.  For, "knowing" and surrendering-to-it are two very different things.

When I began this blog 8 years ago this very theme is clear in much of my writing---I wrote on my "Why Koodaigirl" page:  "I desire to live as loved".  This is still my same desire; and it only grows stronger, deeper, and more profound.  More hungry.

In the journey, though, along with the difficulties and struggles, we also have moments of great victory.  I have been seeing this victory lately in my life.  I can't really say when it began exactly; before time, it feels.  For God has been speaking to me of His love my whole Christian life.  All I really remember from my salvation day (at age 15) was a message about love.  I don't know what else Larry said that day... but, he said something very significant about the love of God.  That day I walked through the door of "loved" and have been journeying inward ever since.

These last months something significant has shifted.  I not only deeply believe, with all my mind, that God loves me (a profound gift He gave me about 10 years back); I now feel His love "poured out in my heart" (Romans 5:5) on a very regular basis.  Where I have felt it here and there for years, I am "knowing" this abiding love.  I am experiencing His love filling me.  This is no small miracle.  My physical healing 15 years ago was "nothing" in comparison to this battle won!

This knowing of God's love... to my mind AND to my heart is a great gift.  A gift I believe He wants to give all His children.

I have to admit it took many pleas from my wooing Lord.  He has used songs multiple time (the funniest was the 80's classic, "I can't make you love me.")  He has used dreams, people, gifts, blessings, and suffering.  And, He has many, many times used His Word.  "Do not harden your heart" was the most recent Biblical phrase that led me to repent of my hardening to His love and His rest---it led me to lean-in and open my hands.  (Why I harden my heart is another conversation to be shared another time!)

After spending the day with Him yesterday and enjoying this love---sitting with it, working with it, eating with it--- I lay in bed last night and had a memory flood into my mind.  It was of our first trip to visit Wales 7 years ago.  When I walked into the house we currently live in there was a sign:  "Loved".  Like a message from His Spirit to my soul, I knew then that it was for me.  He was, yet again, speaking love over me.

So, last night after seeing this memory, I said to the Lord, "Wow!  It has taken 7 years for me to be won over to this amazing love! Wow...You have had to work for me for 7 years like Jacob, Lord!"  

Instantly, I heard in my spirit, something akin to "Longer..."  

Longer, Stephanie.  

Yes, Lord, much longer.  Like Rachel.  I am Your Rachel!!  You worked for over 14 years for me to accept and receive Your love.  

I fell asleep relishing in the fact that I am Jesus' Rachel.  What a blessed thought.

In the morning, I woke remembering it with a smile.  I am the Lord's Rachel.  His bride.   His beloved.

But, even as I write this... right now...the word I heard last night still lingers and speaks.  Longer...  

I have worked longer for you...

"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight... in love..." (Ephesians 1:4)

A very, very long journey for God indeed.

Another very significant song in this journey for me...  Video... a must listen.  :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azBAF3dObps  *the whole album is awesome, by the way!!  

"I pray that being grounded and rooted in love, you might have the power, with all God's people, to grasp how high, wide, long and deep is the love of Christ and to know that love that surpasses knowledge..."  (Ephesians 3:18)

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