It’s coming up to a year since I stood on stage in church and gave testimony. I’m sorry to say I got it totally, utterly wrong.
The SAP may well be reaching for his holy intervention kit right now. After all, being chased by the hound of heaven, bibles falling off shelves, songs shoving you awake at 3am, rounded off by a hilarious phone call to a smart-alec pastor are quite the testimony.
Don’t get me wrong. Every word I spoke on the stage was the truth. Now, a year on, I’m recognising I wasn’t truthful enough.
You see, the holy spirit download that accompanies embracing G&J is something I equate to the equivalent of soul fracking. It’s possibly a lot more gentle than its geological equivalent, however I have been known to mutter “fracking hell” as certain soul seams are tapped.
What I didn’t utter on stage during testimony was how Jesus had made me look at my shame around being unloveable. There are some life chapters you don’t read aloud. And, really? Soooo boring. Built a bridge and got over it in my 20s. So God stopped me in my tracks when the excavating holy spirit pressed gently on that carefully hidden soul seam a few weeks back.
“Oh c’mon, really?” I blustered. “That was one threrapied a while back. You’re surely not trying to tell me I’m still missing the point on that one are You, God?”
God smiled. “I know you’re capable. I know you’re confident. I know you’ve done the therapy sessions, and I also know you’re yawning at Me right now in some strange protectionist denial because you did it your way so fiercely and so well. But just stop. Because until you really look and accept that scar – and I know it it is there, dear heart, despite how much you yawn, roll your eyes, and bluster about therapy and moving on – but until you accept and sit with it, there’s always going to be the tiniest bit of you that you try to hide from Me.”
And then do you know what He said?
“Don’t you know, Phil, how much it hurts Me when even the tiniest, faintest scarred part of you refuses to accept just how much I love you?”
Which is what stopped me in my tracks. I forget I have the ability to wound God. He’s God, after all. How can a mere mortal like me wound Him? Yet he hurts like a parent over us. He bears our wounds and feels our pain. He wants all of us, even the scar-tissued, unloveable bits we paper over. It’s a demanding, honest, confronting all or nothing kind of love. Which I thought I grasped 12 months ago as I gave testimony. And yet, day after day, He reveals there is never any way I can rely on my own, limited, human understanding of it.