For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, [not itching or wheezing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
It was nearly a year ago when all of the seemingly unrelated symptoms began; I would awake nearly every morning wondering, “What’s wrong with me?” That was my first thought everyday, but after a couple of months, I realized this wasn’t really the best way to start my day, I decided I needed to know that God loved me in spite of how I was feeling emotionally and physically. He really did love me; feeling nasty and being awake most of the night didn’t mean his love for me stopped. So, I put the song “How He Love Us” as my wake up alarm and twice every morning I listened to this song, sometimes singing along, sometimes just trying to marinate in the fact that He loved me in spite of….. This continued daily (sometimes twice because I started getting so exhausted I set two alarms); I needed to know: He loves me, He loves me…..
On February 13th of this year, one of our students was killed in a car wreck — his father is one of our teachers. I was on the Crisis Team and had some late nights and early mornings and lots of emotions = lots of wheezing, nauseousness, itching, etc ensued. The memorial service was on Friday, and the next Monday was my appointment with Dr. S. I was still living undiagnosed and not medicated with many sleepless nights wondering ‘WHY?’ At the memorial service, the youth leader told how much this young man, a drummer on the youth worship team, requested the song “How He Loves Us.” Tenaciously, each week this young believer would come to youth group and ask, “Are we singing “How He Loves Us”?” Usually the answer was ‘no’, but on this Friday, as part of his memorial service, with the youth worship team, we proclaimed through song — “How He Loves Us.” At that moment I knew that He loved in spite of.
I kept that song as my alarm. I needed the reminder that He loved me, but I also used it as a reminder to pray for a grieving family.
This Friday I was feeling more blech than usual, and had a day full of meetings. I began planning how I could graciously leave a meeting if the symptoms burst out in full force, but I changed my thinking, because God is a great god who can do exceedingly more than I can imagine. My first two meetings of the day included the father whose son had died. After the first meeting we had a little wait time and I noticed he had some new tattoos, so I asked to see them. He pulled back his sleeve a little and I saw the words ‘Sloppy Wet Kiss‘ underneath a sunrise. And I cried. My colleague went on to say he had a play list with “How He Loves Us” by 12 different artists that lasted about an hour and a half. Then he said, “Ephesians 3:20,” and paused “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
He loves me: on a day when I’m feeling exceptionally blech, on a day that’s full of meetings, in the conference room of a public school, and in spite of myself.
Isn’t that like God — in unknown, unexpected ways He lets me know that He loves.