This email arrived in my inbox this morning and I wanted to share it here, not for the kudos it offers to me, but for the encouragement it might offer others who live where this woman has lived. I hope we all know by know that only God can win someone to his love and affection. Don’t get me wrong. That some of the things I’ve been involved in provided a conduit for him to be revealed in her is wonderful and encouraging to be sure. But the larger story is of how God makes his love known to people who have not known a lot of love in their lives. I want to share her story because I know there are hundreds if not thousands like her out there.
They were raised in the demands of a religion devoid of love. They didn’t find it from their overly-religious parents, and never found it whatever kind of “faith community” they were raised in. But God never gives up. He pursues us with a love that can overwhelm all of our failures and hurts.
If you’ve never known God’s love for you, don’t give up. Just keep asking him to make it real to you. And if you know God’s love be aware that some person like this one may cross your path today and perhaps God can give them a glimpse of himself through you. Perhaps a smile or a gracious word from you might open a door that will allow God to find someone he has been looking for, for a long time.
Words will not come close to expressing my thanks to you for your book He Loves Me. I was born into a pastor’s home. There was no real love but lots of condemnation. I didn’t hear God’s love preached from the pulpit. My childhood was an extremely sad place. When I was six I went forward to accept Jesus as my Savior six nights in a row at children’s camp. When my father asked me why, I replied, “Because I’m not too good saved yet”.
That has been my journey. No love at home so I couldn’t believe that God loved me. To say I have struggled with God would be a huge understatement. I have walked away for years at a time, come back when I was hurting from my choices of looking for the love and approval I so sought.
Last June after a particularly hard time I heard about the book The Shack. Oh my goodness! It tore apart all the false beliefs and showed me a Papa I had longed for. I’ve shared that book with my friends and talked about it to anyone who will listen! Over the next months I read So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore. That book knocked my socks off. Then came along He Loves Me. “WOW!” is all I can say. Papa will have to bring to your heart the understanding of how powerful your book has been in my heart and my life. It has changed everything. Even that is a big understatement.
Wayne, one day we will meet in heaven and I just to warn you, I am going to be the one who jumps up and down telling you about how Papa used you in my life. We are now studying your book in our Bible Study and the women are loving it. Thank you for the remarkable work he doing in my life because of finally understanding HIS LOVE.
I think God did let me in on what happened in her heart. I teared up reading this. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone who has never known love to find for it full and free inside God himself. Isn’t that what the gospel is all about? We all have a Father that loves us more than anyone on this planet ever has or ever will.