Several years ago I remember my best friend telling me about an experience she had with God during a time of worship where she felt like she was the most beautiful woman in the world. I remember thinking that was nice but kind of arrogant. I mean, if she was the most beautiful woman in the world what did that make the rest of us? But something curious began to happen in the months and years that followed. I remember coming home to my apartment one afternoon and found that she had drawn a giant crayon mural on the wall behind my bed. It was lovely, the words drawn like vines and flowers in bloom, and read, “You’re Beautiful.” And I remember being in her kitchen one summer listening to Phil Wickham and her saying, “I just feel like telling everyone how beautiful they are.” It was as if, by God showing her how beautiful she was to Him, it liberated her to see the beauty in everyone else.
This is, basically, what our classes this week with Sergio Canales were about. And, for that matter, a common thread of this entire school. To know who we are, to understand our intrinsic value, to be healed and made holy, in order to be used by God to impart that same wholeness and holiness to others. Which is rather splendid, really.
Sergio talks a lot about how we have been crowned with glory and honor, which is what the Bible tells us in Hebrews 2:7. How God has bestowed on us glory and honor, how He wants to bless us, Love us. And that we are destined to bless and honor others. We can also see this truth in Genesis, when God creates people. I recently read a really fabulous book by Donald Miller called Searching for God Knows What, and I’m going to quote something that reflects a lot of what I’ve also been learning from this Counseling School.
“Here is what I think Moses was saying: man is wired so he gets his glory (his security, his understanding of value, his feeling of purpose, his feeling of rightness with his Maker, his security for eternity) from God, and this relationship is so strong, and God’s love is so pure, that Adam and Eve felt no insecurity at all, so much so that they walked around naked and didn’t even realize they were naked. But when that relationship was broken, they knew it instantly. All of their glory, the glory that came from God, was gone. It wouldn’t be unlike being in love and having somebody love you and then all of a sudden that person is gone, like a kid lost in a store. All of the insecurity rises the minute you realize you are alone. No insecurity was felt the moment the person who loved you was around, but in his absence, it instantly comes to the surface. In this way, Adam and Eve were naked and weren’t ashamed when God was around, but the second that relationship was broken, they realized it and were ashamed. And that is just the beginning.
If man was wired so that something outside of himself told him who he was, and if God’s presence was giving him a feeling of fulfillment, then when that relationship was broken, man would be pining for other people to tell him that he was good, right, okay with the world, and eternally secure. As I wrote earlier, we all compare ourselves to others, and none of our emotions – like jealousy and envy and lust—could exist unless man was wired so that somebody else told him who he was, and that somebody else was gone.”
God is what we need. All of us have issues when we don’t have intimacy with Him, because we were created for Him. “I was made to love, and be loved by you” as TobyMac would say. And it is that intimacy that will heal us.
Many times in this school God has shown me things I struggle with, and the roots of those issues, but He doesn’t leave it at that, an open wound. He heals it, He fills those things. God showed me that I often feel like I’m not smart enough, and how that comes from times when I was told I was stupid. A wound I received, a lie a believed, and the issue I have because of it. But He also healed it, because He told me that in order for me to realize my intelligence He brought me to a place where I needed to learn a new language. I know several people who started speaking Spanish miraculously, but it wasn’t like that for me. It was really hard, and frustrating, and it’s taken several years. But I speak Spanish. I speak Spanish. It’s quite marvelous, really. This is how God heals, He opens up our wounds in order to clean them, in order to enter in with His truth, with His love, with His words of affirmation for us.
For about a year I’ve been asking God, “What do you call me? I want you to tell me my real true name.” I knew there was something else besides Brittany Ann, and I wanted Him to tell me what it was. Yesterday one of the staff for my school was praying for me, but it was the kind of praying where the words weren’t coming from her own mind, but that God was pouring out His words on me through her. And one of the things He told me was that He calls me Amada. He calls me Beloved. He loves me, actually He told me He’s in love with me. Maybe that sounds nice but kind of arrogant, that the Creator of the world is in love with me. But actually, all I really want to do now is tell everyone else something that I also know is true for the rest of the world: God is in love with you.
And that, more than any psychology that I’m learning, more than any counseling I can offer, is the truth that will heal and restore all that is broken. He loves you.