Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Door is Always Open

As I stood at the edge of the threshold, a hush filled the room. What would He think when He saw me standing there? I don’t deserve to be here. Will He see me? Will He wonder why I’ve come? I don’t think I can bear to see the look of disappointment on His face.


My eyes look down, embarrassed to have them looked into. I want so desperately to enter in and feel His embrace. What must He think of me? I haven't lived as I should. I haven’t been who I was made to be. Is He disgusted with me too? Will He talk to me today? I don’t deserve to be talked to. I don’t even deserve His glance. I don’t deserve to be here. Should I turn and leave before He sees me?


Suddenly I hear His voice. “Come here, Jewel.” “Come sit with me a bit”. Tentatively I move forward to sit.


How can He look at me that way? How can His eyes light up like that as I move towards Him? Doesn’t He see how dirty I am? Doesn’t He see my sin covering me? I feel it shroud me and I am ashamed. Surely He sees it too?


I don’t want to fall back into these places, but I do. If it’s not who He says I am, then why do I keep falling back here?


He pats the seat next to Him and tells me to sit. I see the kindness in His eyes and I am undone. How can He look at me like that? How can He love me so?


He knows what I am thinking. After all He knows everything. “Jewel, you are still looking at your performance aren’t you?” “You’re still grading my love for you based on how well you perform.” “It’s not your good behavior that invites you here with me, it’s love.” “You belong to me, Jewel, it’s that simple.” “That’s why I created you.” “ I moved heaven and earth to be with you.” “Nothing you do or don’t do can change that.”


I hear His words yet they are still so hard to grasp. He loves me apart from anything I do? He loves me just because He does? He will never be disgusted with me? He doesn’t see me the way I see myself? He knows that my sin does not define me? He knows that the choices I make are not my identity?


But I don’t deserve this love.


His voice penetrates my thoughts. “Jewel, if you look at your behavior as a barometer for love, you will never deserve.” “Love isn’t based on what is deserved” “That makes it about you.” “It’s not about you.” "It's about the Father." "God is love." “We created in order to love.” “Unconditional love means there are no conditions to being loved.” “You’re just loved... period.”


“Think about your children, Jewel” “You have always loved them.” “They are a part of you.” “This love you have for them runs so deep that nothing that they do could ever take it away.” “You don’t love them because of their choices, or actions.” “You love them because they were made in the midst of love to be loved.” “That’s me with you, Jewel.”


Truth begins to awaken my soul. No matter how many times I screw up and make the wrong choice those eyes of kindness look up at me, welcoming me to sit right beside Him and feel His embrace. His kindness leads to repentance. I feel the tenderness of His heart as He reminds me that He reveals my sin to take it away. He only wants to cover me with His love. He doesn’t grade me or keep record. Neither should I.


This intense love draws me in and I am undone. I have never experienced anything like this. As His truth washes over me, I linger there in His embrace, feeling the full affects of the cross, and resurrection.


The door is always open. I am always welcomed in. He delights in loving me. I will never be graded again. There are no conditions, nothing to fulfill, only love awaits. I am a daughter of God, created in the midst of love. I see it now. He's been waiting to love me.


Let us then approach the throne room of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16


©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd

26 comments:

ktwalden said... Reply to comment

Julie, you have painted a picture so breathtaking of our wonderful Lord! And the part you wrote " No matter how many times I screw up and make the wrong choice those eyes of kindness look up at me, welcoming me to sit right beside Him and feel His embrace., well I have been there, my friend, many many times. That unconditional love you wrote about and His everlasting mercy that we receive new each day are...well, you said it best.." Oh this fierce love. I can scarcely take it in. Thank you for sharing this!

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

I hear me in your words.. over and over again...

I think the bottom line is... we NEED Him...

Galations 2:21... says it all...

I love you my dear friend

Connie

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

One of the pictures I have always loved is that of an open door... and you have painted a beautiful picture of an open door with your words.

He stands at the closed door of our hearts and knocks...

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Julie, this is how I feel so often, so unworthy to be in His presence... and praise God His response is always the same...I love you with an everlasting love.

Blessings my friend.

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

the imagery evoked by your words is nothing less than spectacular.

Gail W. said... Reply to comment

Julie, this is such a POWERFUL post - I am so thankful you shared it with us. "I will never be graded again" really made my heart leap. What a miracle this Truth is! I am in His presence with you this morning; many thanks, dear friend.

Bretta said... Reply to comment

I am sitting here in puddles, my friend. What a beautiful picture! I can't help but wonder if my son read this if it would make any difference in his heart towards Jesus, realizing how precious is His love for him...maybe someday, but for now, I pray. Thanks for giving me something I can pray for him to see and for me too. Love you!

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

I'm with you. At the doorway, trembling but no doubt feeling the LOVE of our God! His fierce love is what has changed me. I, like you, go to performance over and over. I'm trying to rest and yet be obedient to His call on my life. The call requires taking steps and trusting.

Thank you for sharing the doorway of hope to us.

I loved it as always...

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

Had to come back. As I am reading the Word I found this one. So perfect. God speaks repeatedly to me to make a point. I'm listening.

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.

For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. Proverbs 8:34-35(NIV)

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

Beautiful...this is absolutely beautiful!!!

Much, much love!
Amy

lisasmith said... Reply to comment

Julie, Thanks for your sweet encouragement on my blog. Being a mother is such a sweet gift isn't it? I love the passion and love you share for our Lord and Rescuer. Blessings!!

And, oh mother of five, please share your advice!!! Your kids are gorgeous!!

Laura said... Reply to comment

oh, love, this speaks to my heart. i've been having a little dark time...just temporary, I know. He is always there.

So breathtakingly beautiful.

Lindsey @ A New Life said... Reply to comment

I can't wait to read more of your blog when I have time!! I love the Isiah verse in your header!

You have a beautiful way with words...a great way of making me feel like I am sitting there right beside you listening in on your conversation!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting today. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement!

Blessings,
Lindsey @ A New Life

Joyful said... Reply to comment

Julie, I was thinking earlier tonight about God's love for me. It's unconditional, sufficient, constant, measureless, pure, loyal, jealous, relentless, forgiving, forever, mysterious and sincere. It's a love that serves and sacrifices. It's a love that gave all and gives all.

Thankful for that open door,
Joy

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said... Reply to comment

Oh Julie---your writing makes me cry almost every time...but it is a good cry. Thank you for sharing the beauty god places on your heart.

Greg C said... Reply to comment

Julie This is my first visit here. I found you through Debbie's blog. This was a lovely post. I expressed how I felt when I went back to church after being away for so long. I was so relieved to find out that no matter what I had done, He still loves me. Great writing.

His Girl said... Reply to comment

just beautiful. can't even say anything else.

LisaShaw said... Reply to comment

Julie, all I can say is how in the world did I miss this message???!!!

Powerful!

Praise our LORD!!

Lisa T. said... Reply to comment

Hey, Julie, thanks for visiting my blog! It is nice to see that you're blessing so many people here in your corner of cyberspace. Keep on writing!

Angie said... Reply to comment

Oh my goodness Julie. That was such an incredible post! My heart raced right along with your writing.

I have messed up so many times---I wonder too why He bothers with me. Such a mess. But He does.

This is such a "hope-filled" post. I loved it and have been encouraged tonight!

Now, when are we meeting??? Call me on cell. I am HERE! Yipee!!!!!

KelliGirl said... Reply to comment

This is a beautiful story. It remimds me of Max Lucado's children's story, Just the Way You Are. While understanding that we are accepted and loved by Jesus just the way we are may be important to teach our children, it is a message I have had a hard time believing.

Your wonderful post...and the encouraging comments...let me know once again, I'm not the only one who struggles.

Blessings,
Kelli

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

thanks for your comments just pray i learn how this all works. I am glad i got to meet you hope to get to meet your husband some time.

Jeff Knight,

Laura said... Reply to comment

I stopped by to see you, precious Jewel! Praying all is well in your world and life is filled with His blessings.

Love you,
laura

Miss G said... Reply to comment

wonderfully written! Thank you so much for writing what God gives you. Thank you for taking the time and in turn encouraging so many of us and serving. Kelly

Andrea said... Reply to comment

I just came over from Tea With Tiffany. You have a beautiful blog. Blessings, andrea

Terra said... Reply to comment

I read your words on Tea with Tiffany and came over to say hi.
I decided to follow your blog.