Too Good Not to Share

Yes, we did make it home from Europe, but have fallen into a firestorm of emails and business arrangements that need my attention NOW! Almost takes all the joy out of coming home! Almost!

I leave for Orlando tomorrow, so things are a bit face-paced around here. But in the last week we’ve moved the movie production of THE SHACK a few more feet down the track and we are so excited at how that is shaping up. Kathie Lee Gifford on the TODAY show this morning gave it an exceptional summer-reading plug. TIME magazine has a blurb in their new issue, and we also have had interest for articles from Reuters, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, and PEOPLE. So the phenomena keeps unfurling. Who would have ever thought.

But here’s what I really wanted to share. I had a brief exchange with a lady named Vicky and I think it would be encouraging to others of you as well. This is what Father wants to do in our lives and he has a thousand ways to do it given our unique make up and circumstances.

Here’s the exchange:

I am a 49-year-old widow. Just a few months after his 44th birthday, my husband was diagnosed as being in the late stages of an insidious and deadly type of cancer. He died 49 days later. That was September 20, 2005. I spent two years utterly shattered by these events and am just now emerging from the shroud of this living death.

Last night I started reading So You Don’t Want to go to Church Anymore.

I am a performance-based believer (at least I think I’m a believer, plagued by doubts all the time), all my life trying to earn God’s love and attention. The idea of him as “Father” or “Dad” is totally foreign to me. I’ve always felt there that I’ve missed something, that something has failed to take root in my heart and I’ve just missed the point. Over the years I’ve alternated between being a good-Christian-Girl to being an outrageous party girl to getting into New Age stuff. I don’t want to live this way any longer. I want it to be real, and to know that I know that I know.

My biggest question is HOW? How do I just stop and let God love me? Last night I prayed that he will show me how to let him love me. How do I open up and let him be a Father to me?

My response: First let me say I’m sorry for the deep pain you’ve experienced. Unfortunately, it is not as uncommon in our day as people might think. Life is filled with pain, it’s just that lots of people have learned to hide it.

Secondly, I’d say to simply ask God to see his reality. You don’t let him love you. He already does. It’s just that you don’t see it yet. When you ask him to show you, he does the work to untangle you from the inside so that you can see that love. That process generally takes some time. So just wake up every day acknowledging his love for you. Ask him to show you a bit more every day….

A few things from the website that might help:

Listen to Transitions (free download).
Read HE LOVES ME (free download if you prefer).
You might also find some of our podcasts.
And if you haven’t yet, buy and read THE SHACK.

NONE of these will do it, of course. They will begin to help you carve out a mindset that will help you recognize Father’s working in you so that you can discover the unique way that Father wants to make himself known to you and in you.

And to that end, I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened to behold all that this God has done for you and al that he wants to do in you to let you freely live as his daughter in the earth. It’s great stuff. Isn’t it amazing how he has already begun to draw you back to his side? He understands your pain, the places you’ve wandered, and now wants to get you on the track that matches the hunger he’s planted in your heart. And he’ll do it! He’s pretty good at what he does.

This is how she responded. And I love that God didn’t use any of the things I gave her, but simply made himself know in the reality of Vicky’s life.

A few weeks after your reply, my boss asked me to accompany him to his friend’s house to notarize some end-of-life documents. The man, like my husband, was stricken with an aggressive, deadly cancer and had only days to live. When we arrived, the wife was extremely distraught and I sat there and held her hand as she poured out her grief and fear over this imminent loss.

She was on my mind the rest of the day and it weighed heavy on me all that she was going though and the grief that lay ahead…and that evening I was reliving in my mind and spirit the days leading up to my own husband’s death. How even though he had betrayed me, I loved him, I couldn’t HELP but love him, I couldn’t just all of a sudden stop loving him even if I tried; and in fact, I would have gotten up on that bed and died in his place. Absolutely. Without question.

And then That Voice…the Voice that I know to be Jesus Voice…whispered to my heart “that’s how I feel about you and that’s what I did for you”. And my heart opened up to Him.

Finally. After nearly 50 years of trying to get Him to love me, trying to get MYSELF to love Him. Finally, ALL HIM. 100%. Not 99% God + 1% me. Which always ended up equaling exactly ZERO. Finally. All Him.

Do I sound giddy? I am!

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16 Comments
  1. Scott July 4, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    This article was a blessing to me. I realize that this dear lady had a very harsh struggle because her husband died. But what touched me is I could absolutely identify with the struggles she has had. I’m constantly grieving over my salvation, did I get it? Does He rest in heart?Does He know about me?
    Then to find that the Lord came to her and opened her heart. That is an encouragement to know that even thought I have given up chasing Him, He’s still watching me and one day maybe I will find His love and comfort ,not to mention hopefully to find out I am truly His and don’t have to worry any longer. Bless you for this article Scott

  2. Scott July 4, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    This article was a blessing to me. I realize that this dear lady had a very harsh struggle because her husband died. But what touched me is I could absolutely identify with the struggles she has had. I’m constantly grieving over my salvation, did I get it? Does He rest in heart?Does He know about me?
    Then to find that the Lord came to her and opened her heart. That is an encouragement to know that even thought I have given up chasing Him, He’s still watching me and one day maybe I will find His love and comfort ,not to mention hopefully to find out I am truly His and don’t have to worry any longer. Bless you for this article Scott

  3. Kris July 7, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Re: The movie. Please don’t cast Oprah as Papa !

  4. Kris July 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Re: The movie. Please don’t cast Oprah as Papa !

  5. Ann July 8, 2008 at 4:24 am

    That was GREAT!!! I love how you said,
    “And I love that God didn’t use any of the things I gave her, but simply made himself know in the reality of Vicky’s life.”

    The “helps” you suggested were a real help and encouragement for me and my journey, and sometimes i’m quick to offer those to others as well. But i agree, that they are not “the fix”. And i love it when Father just says, “watch and see how I work to bring this person to Me.”

    This story was a great example of how great His Love is and how individualized His workings are with each one of us. It’s such a joy to sit back and watch Him work.

    Ann

  6. Ann July 8, 2008 at 7:24 am

    That was GREAT!!! I love how you said,
    “And I love that God didn’t use any of the things I gave her, but simply made himself know in the reality of Vicky’s life.”

    The “helps” you suggested were a real help and encouragement for me and my journey, and sometimes i’m quick to offer those to others as well. But i agree, that they are not “the fix”. And i love it when Father just says, “watch and see how I work to bring this person to Me.”

    This story was a great example of how great His Love is and how individualized His workings are with each one of us. It’s such a joy to sit back and watch Him work.

    Ann

  7. Tanya July 13, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Kris,

    Initially, I agreed with you and chuckled. But then I thought, you know, if it enables her to come to know Papa’s love for her…hmmm

    Tanya

  8. Tanya July 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Kris,

    Initially, I agreed with you and chuckled. But then I thought, you know, if it enables her to come to know Papa’s love for her…hmmm

    Tanya

  9. Rudolf Roos July 17, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Hey Wayne,

    I hope that the firestorm of emails and business arrangements doesn’t burn you down. God bless you with all that fire. 🙂

    Rudolf

  10. Rudolf Roos July 17, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Hey Wayne,

    I hope that the firestorm of emails and business arrangements doesn’t burn you down. God bless you with all that fire. 🙂

    Rudolf

  11. Tina Gasperson July 17, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I remember all the “hows” when I first started this part of my journey. I love the way you answered her. What a perfect way to put into words exactly what happens. (At least that’s how it happened for me.)

  12. Tina Gasperson July 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I remember all the “hows” when I first started this part of my journey. I love the way you answered her. What a perfect way to put into words exactly what happens. (At least that’s how it happened for me.)

  13. TJ July 21, 2008 at 9:42 am

    I find it interesting that you suggested lots of thoughts/ words to her from your website, ie.

    “A few things from the website that might help:

    Listen to Transitions (free download).
    Read HE LOVES ME (free download if you prefer).
    You might also find some of our podcasts.
    And if you haven’t yet, buy and read THE SHACK.”

    Yet didn’t point her toward the precious holy word of God that HE wrote for her, the words that have been comforting people for thousands of years. I personally would rather read HIS words at any given moment than yours or William Young’s.

    Just an interesting observation . . .

  14. Wayne July 21, 2008 at 9:57 am

    TJ,

    I always assume people have searched the Scriptures first. Perhaps that’s a bit naive in this day and age, but God’s revelation is always the best place to go to understand his love and all those resources point to it. When they are asking me for resources, I’m thinking they are wanting me to point them to some things I’ve done that might be helpful.

    But I also know that the Scriptures have been so twisted into false meanings by those who think religion is the answer that many people can’t read them just for what they say on their own. I don’t mind helping people shed some of that false overlay and get back to the heart of what God revealed to us in his Son.

    Wayne

  15. TJ July 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I find it interesting that you suggested lots of thoughts/ words to her from your website, ie.

    “A few things from the website that might help:

    Listen to Transitions (free download).
    Read HE LOVES ME (free download if you prefer).
    You might also find some of our podcasts.
    And if you haven’t yet, buy and read THE SHACK.”

    Yet didn’t point her toward the precious holy word of God that HE wrote for her, the words that have been comforting people for thousands of years. I personally would rather read HIS words at any given moment than yours or William Young’s.

    Just an interesting observation . . .

  16. Wayne July 21, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    TJ,

    I always assume people have searched the Scriptures first. Perhaps that’s a bit naive in this day and age, but God’s revelation is always the best place to go to understand his love and all those resources point to it. When they are asking me for resources, I’m thinking they are wanting me to point them to some things I’ve done that might be helpful.

    But I also know that the Scriptures have been so twisted into false meanings by those who think religion is the answer that many people can’t read them just for what they say on their own. I don’t mind helping people shed some of that false overlay and get back to the heart of what God revealed to us in his Son.

    Wayne

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