the battles are intense at times.
sometimes jesus asks her if she’s glad she came back from the dead the second time. the first time, she had no choice, but the second time offered the choice of going on to heaven or returning to earth to finish her assignments.
she answers his question each time, thoughtfully and honestly. he laughed at her response one day as she rolled her eyes and said, “maybe not so much today.”
other days, he didn’t have to ask, her joy was apparent. occasionally, her answer didn’t come in words, only tears.
in her innocence, she imagined smooth sailing after making the decision to return to earth and finish what father had given her to do. smooth sailing never came. it did, in fact, get worse. quickly.
the enemy knew where to strike, where she was vulnerable. 3 car crashes weren’t enough; there would be 2 more. the physical injuries were nothing compared to the emotional trauma.
the job layoff came. another house was lost. friends betrayed her. the list of ugly happenings grew.
she thought father was mad at her for a minute. he was not.
the enemy, however, was determined to make her believe father did not love her.
she was in the fire, her own prayers answered a little each day. it was not because father was doing things to her, but because of his work on her heart through the bad things.
it was suffering. in it, she was learning father’s character, faithfulness, love, goodness.
when the man she grew to love came into her life, all hell broke loose again. she paused, retracing her steps, wondering if she’d heard right. she had.
something deeper was at work here. it was that thing she’d asked jesus for years earlier.
she and jesus had been at the kitchen table discussing the book of john. the conversation was lively, playful, then serious.
she’d been reading about what he did and what he said about doing greater works than he did. love was the foundation from which he did everything.
she looked at him across the table and spoke.
“look, here’s the thing: if you want me to do what you did, and the greater works, then i want the same revelation of your love that john had – or greater, if there is such a thing. i can’t do this without that,” she said, waving her hand across the open book.
in asking, she really didn’t know what she would walk through in pursuit of the prize. she learned to let jesus be enough for her.
over time, father showed her she could be trusted with what was most precious to him: people.
when she stopped fighting the process, it got easier. the human ego is a beast.
she realized she had to lay down her life, all of it, so someone else could be free. even if that someone acted like an arch enemy most of the time. the price was high. she decided to pay it.
over time, the filters came off. the religion came off. the politics came off. the judgments came off. the false identity fell away.
one day, she saw it. it was a fraction of the suffering jesus endured.
she saw enough to get it. any remaining resistance melted away. it was the ‘ah ha’ moment. this was what it meant to lay down one life for another. sacrifice.
she saw the price of her own salvation, layer after layer, along with the sea of people who’d played a role in it, willing or not.
that thing she’d asked for? he gave it to her after all the mess was washed away.
he spoke. “your heart is now galvanized in my love.”
galvanization is the process of ‘adding a protective layer of coating to keep something from rusting.’
ask for it.
(copyright © 2017 jane doe)