Growing up, I always had a sense of family. Being home-schooled meant two things. One, my cousins were my best friends. And two, I got my socialization from church. I might as well have been a pastor’s kid, because my mother was the worship leader at a small church for almost nine years. We pretty much never missed a service.
I was involved throughout our attendance there. Whether it was helping clean the church for a short time, running sound for years, until finally being on stage playing as I was learning guitar. I even “preached” a few messages somewhere there in the middle. The last couple of years there got pretty rough though. Being a teenager, I really wanted to be around people my own age, but seeing how our church had no youth, that wasn’t really possible.
I believe it was during this time that I became very inward, quiet, and shy. There was even a time I didn’t like making eye contact. I would go through spells of being just fine one day and the next just wanting to stay in my room. I did not like answering the phone, ordering food in a drive-through, or even eating in a restaurant. I could really only talk to family, people I really knew.
That all started this strange twist of inward feelings. I still loved people, but I couldn’t feel it. I still worshiped, but I couldn’t experience it. The injustices of the world that use to ignite a flame and anger within me to do something laid dormant. Nothing moved me. I purposefully disconnected from emotion. I found in doing so I was never emotional at all, but I still had this sadness I simply couldn’t feel. There would be times I would want emotions again, so I would turn them on again. Feeling unable to handle them, I would simply turn them off, like a flip of a switch.
During the past year, things began to shift. A desire to feel, to be free with my whole being, grew stronger and stronger. I really wanted to believe God loved me. That people loved me. That I loved God, and that I loved people. That desire grew and and grew until it finally plateaued into an onslaught of emotion. Referencing back to my last post, A New Love, it was that night I encountered God’s love that I truly became alive again.
God is love. He created us to have emotions, to feel what He feels, to love what He loves, to hate what He hates. Yes, things will hurt us. People will betray us. Our world may crumble. But when my savior, the Creator of the universe, says He loves me, He loves me. And He will never leave or forsake me. And it’s His love that transforms lives. Truly loving Him is truly loving everything that He is. Truly loving people is loving them for who God has created them to be. No matter where you are or what you’re going through, God is so much greater! Cast all your cares on Him, because he cares about you! There are no human words that can describe how much He loves you. His love can thaw the coldest of hearts.