"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Lover of My Soul

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul 
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
 and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
 and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

I can't tell you how many times in the past year I've wanted to write this post, but my thoughts on it are so great, it feels impossible to get out.  I finally decided to force myself to do it because I haven't blogged in so long and a conversation for a friend I've added to my prayer list.  Couple of friends really.  

First of all, God is amazing.  Just the way He sovereignly knows what I need, knows how to orchestrate the bad in my life to be the biggest blessings just blows my mind every time.  And just then stacks blessing on top of blessing.  I cannot fathom the way He loves us.  

As you know I got divorced 2.5 years ago.  That was by far the darkest hour of my life, emotionally.  I just felt like I was in this emotional fog constantly, and never really knew how to stay afloat.  And I certainly didn't keep myself afloat. I literally felt God carry me.  I mean literally hold me together because I was falling apart.  My opinion of myself during and after marriage was shattered.  The 4 years of that relationship were focused on me being reminded I was basically worthless.  And even when I walked away from that mentality, the mindset stuck for a long time.  (Still even being healed...)

God, in His mercy, brought me to a place where I had very little.  I was forced to rely solely on Him, to recognize all the ways I didn't put Him first.  And it was the biggest blessing.  Just feeling yourself carried through the day by Christ alone is a huge blessing.  I mean some days He's just there ya know.  (He's there all days, some days you just are more in tune.)  And I love that.  

There were a whole range of emotions I experienced the first year of that, most of them negative.  But each time I reached out to Christ, almost solely.  I learned so much about who Christ is during that time.  If there is one attribute that sticks out- and one I try to live daily still- it's that Jesus is the Lover of My Soul.   

I have to admit I always thought it was weird how that term was used to describe Christ.  It seemed so weird.  Not anymore.  Jesus was the one who hugged me emotionally.  He reassured me when I felt like I was nothing.  He made me know I was unconditionally loved when I felt worthless.  He was dependable when the person I thought should have been never was.  He made me feel special and adored and accepted because He chose me out of this world.  He took the time to come into my mess and transform me into something completely different.  He told me I was beautifully.  Not physically-but soul beautiful.  All these things I thought that a husband was supposed to do- He did.  And he did them so much better.  To the point I felt totally filled in every way.  I loved Christ's presence so much in my life, I came to realize that dating and getting remarried someday would be lovely and certainly a great gift, but never necessary.  Christ was able to satisfy my entire emotional desire to be loved.  100% able to.  Phillippians tells us that Our God will supply all our needs.  For some reason I thought that meant financially, physically, etc.  I just never realized he could meet all these emotional needs that I have as a girl.  The need to be loved, treasured, taken care of was His job alone.  And He could do it fully.  And there is not a person on this earth who would do it better.  This lesson has been the greatest gift of divorce.  I have felt so loved and secure the past year or so.  So far beyond my understanding.  And even now I fear these poor little words will never do justice to the way it is to be emotionally taken care of in Christ.  To not need a guy to tell me of my worth.  It's just crazy to me.  Mind blowing.  Christ loves you so deeply.  Experiencing Him is just beyond words.

My prayer for all women is that they understand that their heart is the most truly satisfied in Christ.  That regardless of how the person you are married to acts, you are totally loved and accepted and treasured by Him.  That if you are depending on a guy to fill that need, let go, and give that need to Christ.  And if you are single, be thankful.  Because you can pour yourself into Christ's love and find the fulfillment you crave.  And if you learn what it's like to be loved by Christ, it's amazing how much you can recognize godly when another guy does come along.  And it's amazing to me how liking a guy because of the way he acts like Christ in itself is so much more exciting that the romantic things.  Liking someone more and more because they are like Christ is both reassuring and truly exciting.  But more on that for another day.

Today, date Christ.  Let him woo you and be the only true Lover of you soul.  He can satisfy that need in amazing ways.  If you aren't a Christian, I encourage you to just try to get to know Christ.  You might be surprised by what you find.  I know He surprises me daily.

Also, Jude turned 3 in October!!!


Aunt Cherri said...

Hey, Ashley, you are spot on with these thoughts! I am in a different place than you in life, but am struggling with this concept myself- that Christ needs to be the center of my being! I grew up with the mentality you describe, the negative image, etc. and I am tired of the struggle of "am I good enough for God?" Have been seeking Christ alone and it's been pretty amazing! Keep looking up!

ThistleAshD said...

That's awesome :)

I imagine this is one of those lessons that I will keep relearning in different ways over and over again :)

Aunt Cherri said...

Yes, and if you're a smart woman, as I know you are, you will continue to do so! This journey goes on for a lifetime and the dynamics of a relationship with Christ changes as we age and mature and just live life! The key is to be teachable and to confess when we've failed and get back on track! That's what His grace is all about!

God's girl said...

Ashley, you probably don't remember me, but I am a friend of your mom from WV. Thank you for sharing those beautiful words. After 30 years of marriage, my husband and I separated. We were apart for 2.5 years. During that time, this song became one of my favorites. God does amazing things inside our hearts/souls when there are no distractions. I have never been able to fully explain the changes God made in me...there are truly no words. It is simply a new Spirit and a new understanding of who He is. I still seek Him at every opportunity, but yeah, sometimes He's just there...and it is such a nice feeling to have.He's like a gentle breeze on a beautiful sunny day. Praying that your path will always be God's path. Sisters in Christ ...Duwana

ThistleAshD said...

Love hearing about what God's done/is doing in people's lives. Thanks so much for sharing with me. So encouraging :) Love the way you described him as a gentle breeze- so perfect

Kristin Cho said...

Gosh yes!! Girl you are an inspiration! I struggle in my marriage; we are very different people and very different believers. I am learning to lean on God for everything, and to respect my husband for the mortal man he is. It's crazy to think that we women will look to our husbands for everything, knowing they are just as human as we are...

"I just never realized he could meet all these emotional needs that I have as a girl." <-- my journey as a 4 year old Christian. I only wish I'd have known this earlier. But the journey has been well worth it.

This has blessed me, thank you for sharing!!