When you need confirmation of being loved

Friend, have you ever been in a season where you need confirmation and reassurance of being loved by God?

It’s where I sit these days, a deep well of sadness within and a heart aching to hear good things. Tears spring forth so easily.

I sense the soft whimpering voice of a hurting child deep inside. She is desperate to feel loved, if only she can push past her own defence barriers and let the love in.

Above all, it’s her Abba Father’s love she craves most and needs confirmation of.

What’s stopping the flow? What does she need to do to receive it? 

Because feeling loved is only a small part of the picture – believing and receiving it fully are stumbling blocks for her closed off heart.

And as tears and words stumble over one another in prayer, I sense God saying to let them flow because they are healing.

Only as we release our inner sorrow and pain can we gain a fresh perspective on them. Click To Tweet

Our heavenly Father’s arms are wide enough to circle the world, holding all its sin and shame, loss and pain. His love is what sets us free to live as He always intended us to.

I know this in my head, speak and write about its amazing truth, but the truth is I haven’t always accepted it in my heart as deep personal reality.

It’s in the living out of being the beloved that I falter.

I still need heart surgery. I’m still a walking-wounded woman. I require reminders of how to receive and live in the light of this love. I ache for grace.

Because when I was but a child I was pressed to join in with adult games with someone I loved and some I didn’t. It messed with my head.

It twisted me up on the inside.  Abuse will do that to you. Jesus has been gently loosening the knots and unravelling me ever since.

Without realising it, I’d closed off my wary, wounded heart, set a guard to love. I heard the words, received and returned the hugs and more besides, yet remained largely distant, bruised and battered by my past.

Nothing can fully penetrate a caged heart, only God can release us from the prison we are in.

caged - WoJ

Only God can set us free to live uncaged and become whole by His grace. Click To Tweet

Healing is a process and a journey, one we need to willingly choose to undertake in His company.

Despite some healing in this area, giving and receiving love is still so hard to do sometimes.

Yet hope is on the horizon, ready to anchor my uncertain soul in Truth.

Maybe we have to sink as low as we can go in whatever pit we’ve fallen into so that we marvel more at the Hand of grace ready to lift us out and set us on our feet again.

All I know for now is that Jesus is close to the broken-hearted.

He sits with us in the ashes as we rake over their embers, comforts us with words of reassurance, doesn’t despise our weakness, specialises in salvation, restoration and renewal.

Our shattered lives, hopes and dreams are safe in His hands.

Out of the rubble of our lives, God will rebuild a stronger foundation than before. Click To Tweet

Something new and beautiful to behold.

Our part is to lean on Him, share our pain and receive healing to come as we live with the lancing and binding up of our wounds.

Friend, as you and I turn to Jesus He will begin the process of setting us free from whatever ails us, and provide all the confirmation of His love that our hungry hearts need.

And that’s worth crying happy tears over, isn’t it?

caged prayer - WoJ

12 Comments

  1. “All I know for now is that Jesus is close to the broken-hearted.” Indeed He is, my friend. May you be as the phoenix, rising from the ashes. Praying prayers of comfort for your soul.

    1. June, you bring me renewed joy as I contemplate “rising from the ashes”. Your kind words and prayers are gratefully and humbly received. Thank you, dear friend.

  2. Oh Joy, my heart aches with you and for you and identifies with your words here. I am so, so sorry for the unspeakable pain you have gone through in your life. Please give that little girl in you a great big hug from me and tell her she is so very special and never, ever deserved to be treated like she did. May Jesus open our hearts more deeply to His healing love and grace! Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!

    1. Trudy, your beautiful comment here reduced me to tears. I sat with it and absorbed its implications over the last few days. I hate that we both suffer in this way but I love how God also lifts us up sufficiently to give soul solace and hope to the other when they are struggling. I am so thankful for your hugs, prayers and compassionate heart, my friend, as well as your company and support. Yes, please to this for you and me: “May Jesus open our hearts more deeply to His healing love and grace!” And while we’re being restored, we will walk beside other wounded souls and offer them the same grace and love, comfort and hope we are receiving. Blessings and hugs returned to you! Xx

  3. I agree it’s easy to know that God loves us but much harder to really let his love in to our deepest hurts and to really take hold of it. I relate to a lot of what you say. Praying that you know him close beside you today comforting you in your pain and showing you his love.

    1. Carly, even as I desperately wish things were different for you, in the sharing here you have helped me to feel less alone. It’s also good to know we can pray and support one another in our weakness and woundedness. I truly value your prayers and am praying for you too, my friend. May you experience a deeper measure of God’s tremendous love for you as you open your heart more to His healing and grace. Blessings of rest and peace to you. x

  4. There is beauty in your pain, dear friend. And that the closeness and love of our Friend who sticks closer than a brother or others, some of whom have hurt us deeply. My heart feels sad for where you are in your journey this moment, but I am certain God will keep walking you forward into your land flowing with milk and honey.

    If I was across the Pond today I would ask you if I could take you out for tea and give you a hug. With love and prayers…xxoo

    1. Dear Sheila, your words here (and in the lovely email you sent me) are truly heartening and helpful. Your prayers are so welcome, my friend. I actually wrote this post in draft a few months ago without editing or publishing it, but God directed my attention to it again because those wounds were reopening and causing further pain. And I have struggled for some time with seeing myself as His beloved. Thank you for your kindness. If only you were here, I’d love to take you up on the offer of going out to tea! But please be reassured your ‘tea and sympathy’ understanding and compassion has already helped enormously. Love, prayers and a virtual hug are winging their way to you too! Xox

  5. He is the lifter of our head, our shield, the healer of our broken places. Have you heard the song, Broken Vessels by Hillsong? It reminds me of your words. God is so faithful to bind our wounds when we give Him access and we realize that the process is wrought with grace. You have such a firm grasp on God’s truth, Joy. I pray it penetrates your heart and that as you claim it as your own, the enemies lies are covered by the promise that you belong to God. You are His prized possession, loved, chosen, and sought after. You comfort us with the comfort you’ve received, friend. xo

    1. Tiffany, you offer a wonderful reminder of God’s uplifting power in the opening words of your sweet comment. I hadn’t heard ‘Broken Vessel’ by Hillsong before so I went to check it out. It’s a lovely rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ and it made tears spring to my eyes. I think it’s a song I need to return to time and again and allow the words to really sink in. Bless you for also reminding me that “God is so faithful to bind our wounds when we give Him access and we realize the process is wrought with grace.” Thank you for seeing how far I have already come and reassuring me of how much God loves me. It’s hard for us to see the way we shine a light for others, isn’t it? I so often miss how God uses my mess to bring a message of comfort and hope to others, even though that is my deepest desire in writing here. I’m deeply touched by your kindness and awed at how God is using the wonderful community here to help lift me through this period of darkness. Love and gratitude to you, friend. Xx

  6. Beautiful! I am glad I waited to read these words because I needed them tonight. These words “Only as we release the inner sorrow and pain can we gain a fresh perspective on them”. No greater truth could be told to me right now. Thank you for blessing me with these words.

    1. Mary, I love how the Lord lead us to read the things we need to at just the right time. And I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to be a means of grace to you, dear friend. Blessings, hugs and prayers.

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