I would like to tell Jennie’s story. One day maybe I will write it all down. Or perhaps she will write it herself. I’m sure her version would include aspects that I would miss, as I can only tell what I have seen and heard as I have watched the love of Jesus transform Jennie’s life.
Jennie and her fiancee (at the time), Jeff, were to light the last Christmas advent candle during the Sunday service just before Christmas this last year. The candle they were lighting represented love, so Jennie read what she had written about her journey in experiencing God’s love for her this past year. She has given me permission to post her thoughts here:
Love by Jennie Jo Mayn
In the last year God has been saying one thing to me: I love you. He’s been saying it a lot longer than just this alst year, but it wasn’t ‘til recently that I was able to recognize that it was Him who was saying it or what He meant by it. See, I used to hear the words “I love you” as “I’m going to use you, and because I “love” you, you’re going to let me.”
I viewed it this way to prevent myself from being hurt, but thinking this way was hurting me. It was hurting me because I was depriving my of something that was essential to me, something that I was programmed to need to survive, and it prevented me from truly giving love to others because I suspiciously viewed others by how much they could hurt me.
God has been changing that in me. As I’ve been ready, Jesus has been showing me different sides of Him. First, as a friend. He showed me this side of Him by putting people in my life who listened without assuming and waited patiently for me to let them in. Jesus showed me His character through others, then He, too, patiently waited for me to let Him in. And slowly, I did. I was able to accept His love first as a friend.
Through my daughter, I know the love of God the Father. When I look at at her, I see God looking at me in the same way. He whispers to me when I am full of overwhelming love for her that He is overwhelmingly in love with me.
Finally, I’m seeing and experiencing the love of Jesus the Bridegroom. Until recently, this was the side of Him that I most adamantly denied. But as I look at what He is doing and how He’s revealing Himself in this way, I find myself excited and joyful. Things I believed a year ago were nothing but myth I’m finding out to be wonderful truths.
God has shown me love by giving me friends and family. But, slowly and gently, He’s been showing me love by restoring me. As He heals me, I experience more of His love. And the more I experience His love, the more I have of it to give out.