Last weekend I went back to Colorado for another "Captivating" women's retreat. I didn't expect it to be as powerful as the first time. I mean, I'd already been there, done that, right? I was looking forward to the music. I wanted to spend time in the worship room, drinking in the presence of God. But I didn't expect anything earth-shaking. Why yes, I can be a little slow some times.
Y'see, this is intended to be a time of profound healing and rejuvenation. It feeds the artist in me. And if there was healing the first time, well...of course there was deeper healing the second time.
I learned something profound about myself, something hard to admit. I've known that I had a problem accepting love from people. It is really hard for me to believe that others genuinely love me -- anyone who really knew my parents deeply will understand this. What I had not realized was that my heart had extended this doubt to include God. Again, in retrospect, maybe that was obvious. But I've *known* that God loved me for my entire life. I can remember accepting him and what a vibrant memory that is, but I was only a small child. Somewhere in the growing up, my heart and my head developed very different views. My head knows that God loves me, but my heart says, "Well, of course He does. He loves everyone." Can you see how very subtle that difference is?
He loves me? Me? With all of my faults? Isn't He just tolerating me? No. He loves me. Wow.
The day to day impact of His personal love defies description. A friend who watched me wrestle with this summed it up wonderfully. "This is going to take some time."
This time, I brought back the music. (They were kind enough to provide a list.) More than that, I brought back a renewed energy and an understanding of who I am to God.
I have a friend who writes the most beautiful romances. I've often admired them and noticed my own lack in that area. Who knows? Maybe this will clear away some of the webbing around my romantic heart.