Sunday night I experienced a fundamental shift in my understanding of myself and God.
For the last few weeks I've really struggled with an increasing desire for intimacy with God in the midst of a debilitating fear of the same thing. I was torn in two directions. I'm not sure exactly what it was that I call fear, but something within me kept me from really seeking God. I still carried a strong desire for intimacy. Over the past weekend my fiancee was (and will be) in Guyana (until Sunday). Tyson was driving back from Florida in a minivan his grandparents gave him. Mike and Jon were basically gone for the weekend working with the Detroit Urban Plunge with InterVarsity. So if Luke wasn't home, I was alone. And even when Luke was home, he spends a good portion of his at-home time alone, so I was still alone. Vulnerable.
On and off for the last six months I've desired a mentor - an older man to be able to share my heart with, who would speak the Truth into my life. But that desire has intensified over the last three weeks or so. Several things contribute. I see how blessed those around me who have mentors are by those relationships. I want to be able to be a mentor for those behind me, but I feel a certain emptiness or dryness. I've realized that throughout my college experience I relied on InterVarsity and church for external spiritual input, and I don't think I've adjusted to the lack of IV (and a completely different church environment) as well as I thought I had. Additionally, as Belinda and I approach marriage this summer I'm confronting changes in my relationship with my parents that I don't always understand.
So two strong desires culminate within me, for intimacy and for a mentor.
Luke and I were the only ones home for House Dinner Sunday night. So I was sharing many of these things with him. And he prayed for me. God gave him an image that completely broke me.
God -- God himself, my Father -- he wanted to come over for coffee.
I am a sinner. And for my whole life, I've believed in the total depravity of man. I still believe it. But the sinfulness of man has been so emphasized by my Christian tradition that I came to believe that I was bad, and bad came to mean not valuable.
Oh, I know that God loves me. I know it. And I know that God when God sees me, he sees the righteousness of Christ, not my sin.
But I don't think I really believed it. In my heart I didn't really believe that God took delight in me. And to suddenly feel it, to feel that my Father just wanted to come over and hang out, to be that mentor - the perfect mentor... I cannot describe the joy and relief and hope. I felt so completely loved.
I tear up over somewhat emotional things fairly regularly. This is the first time I've openly wept in as long as I can remember. It takes a long time to pray aloud when you're weeping. ;) I haven't felt like that since God met me at the Red Sea and gave me the vision for living in community in an American city.
Monday afternoon when I came back from school, God came over for coffee. Neither of us drank any. I'm still learning, but he's promised that if I continue to invite him over and be diligent in writing to him, he'll teach me intimacy with him.