This post is by Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, as she begins An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.
[There is a] kind of knowing that afterward you can never not know. The kind that, no matter what anyone says, you know what you know, and that deep foundational knowledge is unshakeable. You can stand on it. It is a rock.
—Margaret Silf in The Other Side of Chaos
Every time I read this quote, it reminds me of what it felt like to come to understand God’s love for me. Once I awakened to God’s love for me, something shifted. My life’s foundation went from what felt like shifting sand to solid rock that has only continued to strengthen over time. Knowing that I am deeply loved by God is something I cannot un-know, even when I try to forget it.
I came to understand God’s love for me slowly, just as I came to fully grasp the love my husband had for me and I had for my husband. Both grew over time, nurtured through the gift of spending time together. Coming to know God’s love for me happened through the time we spent together and by immersing myself in God’s words. Over time, I trained my ear to God’s voice, and the words I read from the Bible were not just words on the page. They became words that God was speaking to me and about me:
- “You have searched me and known me” —Psalm 139:1
- “The LORD is my shepherd” —Psalm 23
- “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” —John 10:10
- “You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.” —Isaiah 43:4
Even as my love for my husband developed, I awakened to the fact that even our relationship was not the firmest foundation in my life. God’s love was the unshakeable foundation, and it was upon this rock that our marriage was built. It was out of God’s love for us that we could love each other. As Psalm 62 reminds me, “My soul finds rest in God; / my salvation comes from him. / Truly he is my rock and my salvation; / he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (NIV)
Of course, I sometimes forget the depth with which I’m loved by God, and instead try to measure my worth by a project completed or a certain gift I have or even compared to a person in my life. Thankfully, the deep knowing of God’s love for me draws me back and reminds me my foundation is still there, solid as a rock, even if I forget I’m standing on it. It is often the restlessness I feel when I do temporarily forget God’s love for me that serves as a reminder of God’s gift of love, because it is then that the Holy Spirit reminds me to look down and remember that God is the rock on which I stand.
When I first had this realisation I too could not find words for it…but still fumbled and wrote or tried to write the experience of knowing without knowing…and I realised I could not share this intimacy other than keep staying in that knowing….and yes…I too seem to forget..but not for too long…
It most certainly changes everything….work that seemed endless takes on another meaning…
It is a great thing to know that God loves mankind above all his creation. That is why he sent his ONLY BEGOTTEN son to come and die for us. He is ever ready to help us.
As I read and reflect on this again, we are once reminded, that nothing shall separate us from the Love of God, we see this demonstrated in our Savior Jesus, His Life , Death and Resurrection; I love the scripture in John 13:1“having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
We have this confidence that He will also love us throughout Eternity.
St. Augustine wrote that we could not seek God if we had not already found Him. I believe, too, that we could not seek Him if He had not already found US–(not to try to do better than St. Augustine). Sometimes when we feel lost and uncertain of the journey, we just have to be still and allow God to find us where we are. That’s not just poetry. At the end of these Exercises that’s all I want: to be found by Him, in Him.
Thanks Sister, that’s very well put. Being still and allowing…is hard for me. It seems to take a lot of preparation!
Day after day the depth of God’s love keeps me going. Praised be God.
I think I’ve had somewhat of a breakthrough! After posting I’ve spent my time studying thinking and praying. I think I’ve missed seeing all the trees, instead looking at the forest! I hope that makes sense. Too focused on the big picture in other words.
Jennifer, how did you shift from seeing the forest to seeing all the trees? Was there something specific you read, a specific revelation/thought/feeling that switched on the light-bulb so to speak?
Oh my goodness! I think I’ve had something of a breakthrough!!!! After I posted I have been reading and studying and thinking. I can’t see the trees for the forest!!! I’m spending way too much time and energy looking at the forest instead of the myriad of trees!!!
This knowledge is something that I still struggle with. My intellect tells me it is so, but somehow I’m not sure that has ever reached into my heart and soul. I continue to try to find it. That assurance, I’ve been missing my entire life it seems. I’ve always been a searcher, not always sure what exactly I was searching for. Now I know what I’m searching for, and although I know that, I do not have that ‘feeling’ that others always talk about. My search continues.
Very well spoken!
There is one great truth once admitted it will change our life for good: God lives me.
To be loved is one of the greatest gifts in the world – and there is no greater gift than knowing that we are loved by the Creator of the universe! Thank you for this reflection.
Acknowledging and experiencing the love of God dramatically and beautifully changes everything about my life. Thank you for this lovely reminder that He is indeed the rock upon which I stand.