I love when songs come alive to me. When I am singing and get such a personal vision I know it is God inspired to take me deeper. There is a song that has been playing in my head lately, Extravagant by Amanda Cook, Bethel Music, and Steffany Gretzinger, the lyrics are:
It’s extravagant, it doesn’t make sense
We’ll never comprehend, the way You love us
It’s unthinkable, only heaven knows
Just how far You’d go, to say You love us
To say You love us
Here is all my love
It’s Yours, no conditions
When You pull me close
No I won’t resist
As I repeated those words, my mind immediately went back to working with children who experienced trauma. Many of the children that I worked with were diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder. In its simplest form, reactive attachment is a disorder with problems developing healthy relationships. This disorder usually stems from early childhood trauma.
Some of these children would come into foster care; well meaning foster parents would think that they could quickly help the child form an attachment. Time and again I would see the child push away the foster parent’s best attempts. At times, these children would do everything they could to sabotage their placements. Sometimes the attempts were unintentional. Other times they could be down right vicious with an intentional sabotage.
Even when the child was able to let the walls come down and start to truly develop a relationship, they often have a hard time comprehending how someone could love them. They start out giving love on their own terms. How it looks, when and how often is all in the child’s control. It is such a big deal when the child starts to receive the love. When they don’t push away when embraced, it is a magical moment.
I realized that I have been the same way with God. Much of my life, I intentionally sabotaged my relationship with Him. I didn’t feel worthy of His sacrifice, and so I would act out just to give Him a reason to reject me. I figured if I messed up enough I wouldn’t have to worry about attachment to One who would ultimately realize I wasn’t worth the relationship.
Most of those feeling are tied to early childhood trauma, deep seeded feelings of rejection. I had formed an attachment, but my father was removed from our home when I was in 1st grade. My mother was not a comforting person. I was left with so many unanswered questions. As a young child my perception of God was shaped by those early memories. My relationship with Him was insecure, because I was insecure.
I knew my parent’s loved me, just as I knew that God loved me. My parents didn’t know how to show me love in the way I needed it. Much like the children I would one day work with, I just didn’t know how to receive love.
Although I am learning to receive His love, I am not sure that it will ever make sense to me. God’s love is so extravagant. Little glimpses of it, take my breath away; even after thirty-four years. His extravagant show of love overwhelm me, often. I think of how far He has brought me, and I can see how far He was willing to go to show me His love and to try to help me learn to receive it, even conditionally.
I just felt that nudging, of Him wanting to draw me closer. The feeling that He is longing for the time when I won’t pull away when I feel like I have had all of His love I could possibly deserve, and still then some. That He is waiting for that time when I won’t resist, but will instead allow His love to surround me, not just in head knowledge of His love, but without buffer.