Sunday, April 26, 2009


When I was a little girl, about 3 years old, my daddy worked in Vietnam as a civilian on American aircraft, because it was good money. It kept him away from his family – me, my two older brothers and my mom, but he was able to provide for his family. I remember my daddy would send me gifts in the mail and letters telling me how much he loved me and for me to be a big girl for mommy. I still remember this one particular letter he wrote. It was on very thin, delicate stationary with pretty flowers on it. I remember the international envelope it came in with all the postmarks on the front. Since I was too young to read, my mother would read it for me. Every time she would start reading, she would have to stop because it would make me cry. I missed him so much. I was just a tiny girl. How could I have loved him so much? My mother was very good to me and my brothers. She always made sure all our needs were met. She poured herself into us during the time my daddy was away. I loved my mother just as much as my daddy, but he wasn’t there and I needed him emotionally to make my life complete.

This weekend at our ladies retreat, there was a letter address to each of us lying on our pillow. I knew what it was because my husband had let the cat out of the bag last Sunday, by apologizing for not writing me a note. I encouraged him to try anyway and then forgot about it. After our icebreaker activity, during our break, I went to my bedroom and read my letter. I know my husband wrote it because he said he loved me "more than chicken nuggets." That is an expression my son coined when he was only 3 years old (for he absolutely loved chicken nuggets...and still does) and has been a statement of just how big our love is for each other. Everytime I took out the letter to read during the retreat, I was overcome with emotion, just like when my mother used to read my daddy's letter to me. My husband wrote such a simple love letter to me, but he hardly ever writes me love letters or even sends me cards, so this was a real shocker. I immediately thought about my daddy’s “love” letter to me when I was three years old. I felt like that little girl again, unable to take in just how much someone would love me.

Why God is that so scary for me? Is my whole concept of love based upon the love of the two most important men in my life? Why does so much rest on those relationships? An even bigger why is WHY is it difficult for me? I still have a loving relationship with my father who eventually came home to live with us and he and my mother became Christians and raised me and my brothers in a Christian home. I have always felt love and acceptance from my father and allowed him to do things for me…but as a young adult and now a middle aged adult, I still find it hard to accept other people’s love for me…including yours God. I’m getting better at it, but to actually become vulnerable and rest in someone’s love is very difficult. I have spent the past 20+ years becoming self sufficient and not dependant upon others for my needs, for the sheer frustration of always being disappointed.

Now this letter from my husband expressing his love for me and acknowledging what is important to me, a deeper walk with you God, is exactly what I’ve been praying for and it melts my heart. I've never heard him express his gratitude and love toward me like he did in that letter. It takes two people to "hear", one to express and one to receive. Perhaps I have not been receiving what he's been saying to me these past 21 years. But even more than the expression of love, he goes on to tell me what his hope is for me during this retreat which tells me he cares about what I care about, a deeper relationship with God. He truly connected with me on all levels. I am so lucky and blessed. How God, how do I embrace this kind of unconditional love? How do I take the clothes off of my defense system and just be loved…by my husband and by you?

God the other night you laid me down and poured your love all over my body and soul. Your peaceful yet powerful, healing Spirit, cooled and soothed my aching body and soul. You released me from the grip of pain in my neck and back. Allowing myself to be completely at rest in your arms was a step toward deeper intimacy with you, God. I am learning to be still and let you love me. Thank you for breaking the yoke of self sufficiency. Please continue to teach me to depend upon you for all of my needs…not just my spiritual ones, but my physical and emotional ones too. Dependence upon you is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. Thank you God for wooing me and going slowly with me, for I am still that little girl who loves and misses her daddy…even if YOU haven’t gone anywhere.

I’m ready to grow up Papa God. I’m ready to move on to the next level in our relationship. Let me hold your hand and walk with you. Don’t let me wonder too far anymore. Keep me close by. Show me again how to dance with you and be joyful.

“My beloved speaks and says to me, “Arise, my love, my beautiful one. And come away, for behold the winter is past the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”

Song of Solomon 2:10-12

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