Monday, August 31, 2009

The Ache of Love

I spent the better part of my life living as a religious woman. I did what I was told a good Christian should do. Performance and striving were a way of life for me. Guilt, condemnation and shame were frequent visitors. The more they visited, the busier I became.

In all honesty, I believed that my religious acts would somehow bring me the closeness I desired with God. If I followed all the rules maybe it would be enough to draw near to me. I could believe God would fellowship with me when I was doing religious stuff. But would He be with me in the mundane? I wasn’t so sure. I was afraid to slow down long enough to find out.

That’s when the invitation arrived.

“Jewel, come to the wilderness with Me.” “I want to teach you how to see me as husband, instead of Master.”

His isolation is the opposite of our isolation. He pulls us away in order to reveal. We, on the other hand, isolate in order to hide.

There’s something magical about the land of isolation with God. Pretense and performance are removed. It’s just you and Him. It’s in that place that you begin to discover what you are made of, what’s really inside of you.

One of my favorite movies is “Hildalgo”. It’s the story about a man named Frank Hopkins. He’s half Indian, half white man. Tormented by a painful childhood memory he loses sight of his heritage. He’s forgotten who he is.

He’s known for his endurance horse racing. A representative of an Arabian nation sees him in a wild west show. He invites him to come to his country and compete in a race against a royally bred Stallion. The race will be held smack dab in the middle of the desert. He will face elements he’s never experienced before while all alone in a foreign country. He accepts.

The ride in the desert was laden with obstacles and challenges. It was a long, hard, arduous ride. Frank’s determination and will kept him from giving up, though at times he wanted to. As he fought against each obstacle, the man inside began to break out. Little by little he reengaged with who he was. By the end of the race he knew what was in him.

One of the reasons I love that movie is because it speaks to me of my own story. God had allured me to His isolation. Alone with my kids, my husband and God, unable to serve in any capacity, I began to see the many masks I had worn. What I had relied on for value was what I could do. I had allowed my ability to fulfill religious requirements to define who I was.

In the wilderness, His words began to pierce into a deep place in my soul. He told me He had no requirements. There was nothing I “should” do. He ached for me to need to be loved by Him. That was all. He began to reveal to me who He was and who I was to Him. Life turned a corner for me. I will never be the same.

Aches within me began to rise up to the surface. I was made aware of longings that almost took my breath away. It was then I realized. That’s His heart beating in me, inviting me to join Him where He is.

In the yearnings of my heart I realize that those things I long for, are the things He longs for too. Made in His image, His fingerprints are all over my life. Coming to terms with who I am has unleashed Him in me.

Sometimes the desires unfulfilled bring a pain all their own. It’s in those times that I identify with Him the most. He longs for intimacy with mankind in a way that most will likely never fully understand.

His heart has been misrepresented and misunderstood. It’s not our fulfilled requirements He’s after. It us. God aches for us. It’s that simple.

"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. Hosea 2:14

©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd


ruth at comfort cafe said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie,

So appreciate your comments on being in a living, vital relationship with the Lord, one with a focus on love rather than on duty. You just glow with the beauty of this discovery! Thanks so much for posting on my blog at Really appreciate the visit!

Oceans of blessings...

Karen said... Reply to comment

So beautiful...what a picture...and yes, I want His fingerprints all over my life...this blessed my heart, Julie!

Marsha said... Reply to comment

"His isolation is the opposite of our isolation. He pulls us away in order to reveal. We, on the other hand, isolate in order to hide."

And thus the beauty of of brokenness, surrender and holiness.

Inspiring post. Makes me desire to listen for Him calling my name, to allure me to a desert place with Him.


Proverbs 27:19 said... Reply to comment

Hi! Thank you for the invite and thanks for visiting "My Heart Speaks" as well.

I'm gonna stick around for awhile.


christy rose said... Reply to comment

"It’s not our fulfilled requirements He’s after. It us. God aches for us. It’s that simple."

Why do we then make it so hard?

He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Yet, we can not accept that. So, we continue to try to add to the righteousness that Jesus provided for us just to make God a little more pleased. Instead, it saddens Him that we will not just accept His gift of love.

"Love aches for us. It is that simple"

Thanks for this today, Julie

Amy said... Reply to comment


Wow! I love the way God has given you the gift to put His heart into words.

It's so awesome to have a friend who has found the same treasures in Jesus that I have found.

You are truly my sister in Christ. We are so blessed to have such an AWESOME DADDY!

Sisters forever,

Daveda said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie, I can so relate to this. And, I so agree. Letting go of all we "should, or have to" and hanging onto relationship alone, empowers us to live in all that is necessary, through pure overflow of his life living in and through us.

When the Lord pulled me into isolation He whispered to my heart "I am going to teach you to rest" I have not been the same since...and I love it!

Great Post!

2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

I love your devotion to the Lord.

Pat said... Reply to comment

This post is beautiful and so full of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your freedom and the path to REAL relationship!

Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said... Reply to comment

Sweet Julie, how I'd love to come for coffee!

I too, know all about isolation with just my kids, my beloved husband and God - unable to serve in ways I wish I could. He is with me...He is preparing my heart for something grand. I worship while I wait. This post touched my heart and I found my cheeks were wet as I read - this is my story as well.

Blessings to you dear friend,
from Canada, Laurel

Gretchen said... Reply to comment


LisaShaw said... Reply to comment

Beautiful words of wisdom and truth shared with compassion from a woman who has walked with the LORD.

I leave encouraged...

Love you.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

You write so beautifully and honestly. Yes, His fingerprints are all over this blog and I love it! (:

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

He's after us. Yep, it's that simple. I wish the world could taste His love. He's pouring it out day and night, aching to reveal Himself.

Oh, how I loved this. As always, you write from His heart in you.

Hugs and love.