“We love because he first loved us.”

- 1 John 4:19 -

          I have not been in the spirit of loving. Recently I have found loving people to be difficult and draining. I am tired, I am exhausted, I am worn. There is a spiritual kind of emptiness that has caught up to me even through the mess and busyness of life and even through all the distractions it offers. I know the reason for this emptiness, I know exactly what the problem is and I have not had the energy to take action to do anything about it. The reason I feel empty is because I have forgotten my first love. I have neglected this love that has been so freely given to me, so easily attainable for me, all because I have pushed and pushed and pushed trying to achieve some type of “excellence” that the world has placed on me. “I love you, Abba…but I just can’t right now,”, is a constant thought that runs through my mind, almost daily in fact and it has become so “normal” for me that I just have learned to accept it and think, “tomorrow, tomorrow I will do something about it”. This was such a slow and creeping feeling that came in day by day, I hadn’t really even realized just how far I was from my first love until I tried to read my Bible and I couldn’t…isn’t that how Satan works though slowly pulling us away from Christ, he is so subtle that we don’t even notice. He has slowly worked his way into my life and taken my joy, and it is all because I was “so busy”, he saw that, and he took advantage of it.

          Ironically the one thing that would fix this missed connection would be to dive into the word, to pour into my community but I have hit this level of exhaustion that I simply just do not want to put in the effort. This all started when I decided to take this year to read the entire Bible. In all my years of being a Christian and I have never once read the entire Bible. So this year seemed like a good……okay hold on…I gotta share this story that just happened, like literally just this second, then I’ll come back to this..

God is seriously so good!! As I was writing this I was approached by a young man named Ngobi Evanz, my first thought was like ughh leave me alone…I am busy writing this blog about how its hard for me to love people cause I’m too busy and you are distracting me….(funny sense of humor God). Evanz already approached me once and then I caught him staring at me for at least 10 minutes while I was writing this so I checked out. Then he came over again to sit down and talk to me and what did we start talking about? Loving people. God meets us where we are at so much, and so often it goes unnoticed and we take it for granted. In talking with Evanz he expressed to me how much he wanted to learn about love. His parents chased him away (kicked) him out when he was in secondary 2, (high school) and he has been living on the streets ever sense. He said that when they chased him away he said its okay because God loves me and he will protect me and Evanz seems to be doing pretty alright. So I’d say God is taking great care of him. So I sat down with him for about 30 minutes and I shared with him 1 John, 1 Corinthians and Song of Songs…..briefly describing the types of loved mentioned in each and what they mean exactly. What an eagerness he has to know love and to understand it. God used the part of me that feels the weakest right now to reveal the very thing that my heart is longing for, being loving when I feel empty. 2nd Corinthians 12:9a But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

So that was a crazy, amazing experience that I had with God. He loves me so much and what I am constantly learning is that even when I feel far from him, and I am not pursuing him daily, he is still pursuing me. Always. Let me get back to what I was saying…I started reading the Bible front to back, Genesis was great! So exciting! Exodus was good too, then I started Leviticus and that’s where my problems began. Something you need to know about me is that I have had extremely vivid demonic dreams ever since I was a little girl, I can seriously remember every demonic dream I have had up to the age of 4, when I had my first one. As I was reading Leviticus specifically the parts about sacrificing animals and what to do with specific parts of the body I started to have nightmares about that happening to people. The worst part of it all was that I was helping cut people and separate their bodies for sacrifices. I woke up and my first thought was I am done reading Leviticus. That was horrible. I talked with my roommate Kiki about it and even though she had much wisdom and insight I wanted nothing to do with it.

            In that I should have realized it was the enemy taking something good and corrupting it and using it against me in a way that would specifically hurt me. He took the Bible and corrupted it in a way that caused fear in me. So I stopped reading Leviticus and haven’t gone back to it sense. I started reading more in the New Testament, something lighter and easier to digest but there is a part of me that just does not want to finish Leviticus cause I don’t want those dreams to come back. I said to Kiki why doesn’t God protect me from that? Why does he let those images fill my mind? I have never forgotten a dream that I have had, not a single one and they are all so vivid and all so very real. In my own selfish way I blamed God instead of naming the lie and words from the mouth of Satan. But because I was so tired I just didn’t even care.

            My attitude is much different now, I have begun to get back into the word with fresh eyes and an eager heart to learn about my Father and grow more intimate with him. I know that I have my days of focusing too much on the things I want and desire but I am still seeking him. It is nearly impossible to love people without loving God first, he is and should always be our first love. In loving God and inviting that relationship to guide and direct out lives he gives us an overflow of love that we can pour out to our brothers and sisters. God reminded me of that with Evanz, I was taking a moment to search my heart and be with my father and he brought someone to me to not only show his love for Evanz, but his love for me. He is so good and his love is constantly pursing us and it is seriously so beautiful. 2nd Corinthians 12:9b “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

“I am my beloveds and his desire is for me.”

-       Song of Songs 7:10 –

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