I remember being a child and hearing my parents answer "No" to some of my requests. I had the same rebuttal in my head (and sometimes out loud) that most children do--
Then you don't love me.
As a parent I now realize how untrue and frustrating that is!
As an adult, I still struggle with those thoughts. But not toward my parents.
The last couple months have been difficult for our family. Mainly Hubs and me. If you've been around this little space of the web very long you know our desire for church planting/revitalization ministry. You also know how we have been pursuing that for years while trying to live patiently and contentedly in the waiting.
About a month ago I would have told you that it was happening. We were on the brink. We even looked at houses for sale in a new area of our state! And we found was that was beyond perfect...complete with every want we have when it comes to a house (built-in book cases, hardwood floors, loads of natural light). While I wasn't totally convinced, I was becoming more excited for the possibility. Everything was falling into place.
With one email response, it was over.
It was unexpected.
It wasn't foreseen.
There was nothing anyone did to cause it to go wrong.
God just said "No".
And this wasn't the first time.
About a year ago, the same thing happened.
was my first thought.
This was not what we had planned.
The days that followed held hard words from those we love. Words that weren't meant to, but brought discouragement. They brought doubt. They brought fear along with loads of tears (mainly mine). They brought confusion.
We were under a spiritual attack unlike anything we had ever experienced. Holy Spirit was moving all around us, but so was the enemy. I simply cannot explain the heaviness and hope all at once. I can't put words around the sense of spiritual oppression we felt in those weeks.
I kept waiting for something big to happen.
Nothing really did.
Except that God has spoken so much truth to our hearts over the last few weeks that he would have never been able to speak if we had not been desperate to hear from him.
One of the voices he used for me was of a new author, long-time blogger Amber C. Haines.
I heard her on a podcast and then a friend let me borrow her new book
Wild in the Hollow
I cannot recommend it enough.
Just today, I finished it.
I wept through the last chapter as her words cut my heart and I knew Holy Spirit was using her words to bring healing to my soul.
God has said "No" to so many of my hopes and dreams and things that seem so right and so good.
The last few weeks have seemed full of "No"s from him.
My thoughts return to that of a child (because aren't we all still children when we come to Him?).
Then you don't love me.
Amber's words in the last paragraph of her book struck my heart right in that place where I believe he doesn't love me if he doesn't give me what I want or think I need.
"How he must love me to have said no to so many other things to bring me here."
He had brought me here. And he is taking me other places. I can't see it all yet and I won't see it all clearly...ever.
But I can know this.
His "No" does not mean he doesn't love me.
His "No" means he knows me.
His "No" means he knows best.
His "No" means he loves me so much that he is bringing me to the place where I am most satisfied in Him...not in my circumstances. Not in my dreams or desires. But in Him.
He knows what will satisfy me.
He knows what I need.
It is Him.
His "No" really means
I love you.