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God Loves Us Backwards

By November 7, 2015Encouragement

Dirty clothes, stinky diapers, and paperwork piling up left me feeling guilty. 

This was not the vision of “momhood” I had in mind when I was longing to have a family. A tight budget, caring for a newborn, chasing a 4 year old and learning to live with temporary house guest, left me balancing more than I could juggle at times. My world felt tilted in the wrong direction as things kept sliding just out of my reach.

I longed for that “normal” life – the one with the Hallmark movie kind of ending – not the current script that was unfolding before my eyes. I desired “me time” away from little ones who held my deepest affection while keeping my hands, arms and feet in constant motion. The bathroom became my haven – a few moments of peace – maybe, if my prayers were answered.

When a good friend of mine introduced me to the ladies bible study she was studying, I thought, “how will I find time for this when I’m already drowning in to-do’s.” Well, if she can do it, I can too, right?

The hunger for “more” kept knocking on the door of my frustrated heart; so I began to carve out tiny pockets of time. I dived in, not knowing what was ahead, as if I was blindfolded with my eyes wide open. In thin slivers of time I began to read, Believing God, by Beth Moore – my first women’s bible study. Soaking in the rays of sunlight through life giving words; this is what my soul had been starving for. As time passed I began to breathe and believe for “more”, chiseling out new faith and clearing out room to trust again.

As time passed I began to breathe and believe for “more”, chiseling out new faith and clearing out room to trust again.

Scripture in relevant translations, shared personal stories of deep pain, failure and unexplainable joy, with thought provoking insight – all interwoven together in such an intricate, faith building way. The blinders of religion & life itself, were slowing falling off my eyes; I was beginning to see through the muck of confusion. Scriptures read many times over were now jumping off the page in a fresh light of rich understanding. Sinking in deep, the Word of God found a new home in the crevices of my rocky soul.
Wrapped in truth and love, this was a gift – a beam of light shown across my path. Truth began to take root, writing a new chapter in my life story. I continued unwrapping this gift in the middle of my messy existence; the beauty of God-reality met me in my mess. “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” Psalm 119:105

Out of an author’s heartache, longings, and pursuit of freedom – from the unseen prisons of this life – came the gift of “more” poured out in print. Out of a friend’s willingness to share, I found new strength, purpose and a passion that has forever changed the course of my life.

There is always a “process” to having “more” and God has completed that process for you and I. In fact he loves you and I so much that he lived out his love for us, before offering it to us. In other words, God loves us backwards by human standards.

Humans make vows to one another and spend our lives trying to live out promises made, always falling short in one way or another. God sent his son to earth giving the ultimate sacrifice of love. Jesus lived, he ministered, he suffered, he died; he conquered death, hell and the grave once and for all. He rose again and He lives forevermore, giving us the opportunity for freedom everyday and for eternal life. God loves us backwards: he lived out his love for us, before offering it to us.

With layers of “life” stacked and then peeled back, truth poured in changing the fabric of who and what I was becoming. If there are days you cannot relate to the too-perfect-to-be-true selfies in your Instagram and Facebook feed, you are not alone.

Ten years ago God met me in the pages of a bible study, offering intimacy and fulfillment in Him alone – hoping to show himself strong in my life. After many past attempts, I finally was desperate enough to believe him, truly taking him up on his offering of new life each and every day. We can be living for God and not be living in God. 

Ten years later my messes have not disappeared, but who I use to be in the mess has been and is still being transformed; that is the real miracle. Today’s “me” is not perfect, she is dependent on a God who is. God is not afraid of our mess, he longs to be our “progress maker” in the mess. Another author says it this way, “The mess is part of the progress.” – Holley Gerth. Welcome the mess, the creator knows you are meant for “more”.

Walking it out with you,

Joelle Povolni

He brought me into a spacious place.

He brought me into a spacious place.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4

About Joelle Povolni

Faith Caffeine: Inspiration for faith and creativity. Building a creative life of faith and beauty in the heart and home. Inspiring and empowering others to do the same.

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