I guess I should start by telling you about my feelings going into the summer. I was alone. And scared. And hungry. I knew that God was up there somewhere and that He said He loves me, but I wanted to feel it. I wanted to feel His love in my life. I wanted to have a personal experience and I was begging God for that. I saw a lot of the other summer staff at JH Ranch that had had encounters with God, and I could see it in them and on their faces and hear it in their voices. I have to admit that I was jealous and even angry about it sometimes. I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t just do something and show up.
That all began to change one night in the Big Top a few weeks into my time there. I sat in the back of the tent after listening to the dating talk and just broke down. I asked God to tell me that He loves me. I opened my Bible and the Lord immediately showed me Psalm 63. The verse (3) that says “because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” just really got to me. I sat there reading it over and over again. My heavenly Father spoke so clearly to my heart that I could not deny His voice. He also told me that it was OK to be hungry and thirsty and to need help from Him, and He promised me that He would show up.
I realized that the love toward other people that Bruce had talked about was impossible without the Love of God. I came to the realization that I couldn’t love others if I didn’t let God love me. Oh, but it gets better! As I walked back to my girls staff house that night, I was so overcome by emotion. I had only sobbed like this maybe once or twice in my life! Truth be told, I was actually quite glad that I was alone on that walk home. There is a wooden one-lane bridge that I had to cross to get home and it marks the end of the long driveway into the ranch. As I crossed over it, still sobbing, something made me look up at the night sky between the trees. I saw millions of glittering stars. I looked back down and walked a little ways. Again something made me look up at the stars and I saw the majestic ribbon of the Milky Way clearer than I had ever seen it before and I laughed a little. As I kept walking and looking, the Father of all creation in His infinite love spoke to my heart and told me that He loved me. He wrote me a love note in the stars and said, “See all of these stars? They may seem small and insignificant, but I want you to know that I love you. And even though I may not have spoken to you through visions and angels like some, I am going to reveal my love to you ways that are special for just you and me.”
Now, at this point I had reached the beginning of the driveway and was laughing and crying at the same time. I had heard Him! He was personal and gentle, yet His love was so powerful and strong. Eventually I went inside my house and began to read again and He showed me Psalm 45:11.
“The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” -Psalm 45:11
He was promising to show me His love in little ways that I would not expect, and even in big ways that would blow my expectations away.