This post is one of a series devoted to The Respect Dare. I joined with several other bloggers in using Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband as a guide. I share my journey here with you.
Here I am, back to having an emotional response based on my past. (I’m really not surprised. Yesterday was a good hiccup, but I knew it would be a while before the hiccup becomes a pattern.)
I read the story and thought of some of my own OB/GYN experiences. I’ve had painful biopsies, scary diagnoses, extreme preterm labor, a hysterectomy . . . I could feel for that woman.
Then I went through the questions and journaled about them. No problem. I understand, in my mind, that God heals and helps us through pain. I’ve experienced that myself.
But the Dare hurt, somewhere deep inside me that I haven’t thought about in a long, long time. We are challenged to sit and listen to God’s voice for a time. I can do that. And then we are to imagine God sitting in a chair in a corner; we are to climb onto his lap and feel safe while He holds us. We are to call Him “Daddy” while He calls us “Daughter.”
Oh, how I crave that. Because I don’t remember ever, ever having that. I was not a cuddly child. My mom tells me that I never wanted to snuggle and be held. I didn’t like feeling trapped or enclosed, even as an infant. So did my parents stop trying to hold and comfort me? Or am I simply unable to remember those times because I was so focused on my feelings of being confined?
I have no memories of being comforted as a child. I suppose I was, but I just don’t remember it. I have physical memories of being afraid, being excited, being adventurous, being confused, being proud—but I have no physical memories of being loved or comforted as a child. Even though I didn’t want to be held, I wanted to know that I was welcome to be held, that I was wanted. And I don’t remember ever feeling this way. I felt unlovable for years—and this shaped my faith in God, my inability to identify and hold firm to values, my sexual promiscuity as a young adult, and my marriage. It has affected my mothering of my own children, as so many of my actions and decisions with them are based on whether they will feel loved or unloved as a result.
So I imagine myself in the room where God is in His chair, just waiting for me. I stand, on the other side of the room, chin down, eyes full of tears, watching Him, yearning to know that I am loved. I want to be sitting on His lap–but I just don’t know how to climbinto God’s lap and accept comfort. I just don’t know how.
Later in the day after I published this post, everything came together for me:
After lunch most days, I leave the dining room at school and take an outside route to return to my office. I’ve come to use this time for short mid-day praying. Today, with this Dare in my heart, I stood on the sidewalk and suddenly saw God sitting in the chair, still waiting for me. While I stood and yearned for Him, Jesus appeared at my side. He picked me up, carried me, and gently placed me on God’s lap. I couldn’t climb myself, so Jesus did it for me.
Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:
The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)