Feeling WITH God

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." - 1 John 4:16 NIV

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them." - 1 John 4:16 ESV

God’s love is so hard to try and comprehend. It is so deep and wide and endless and full of everything good that when I try and talk about it, it gets overwhelming. This past year, I have felt God take me through a small fraction of his love: that He is a feeler.

Love comes with so many emotions. And this past year(being as wild as it was) has been full of them. Happy, sad, confused, ashamed, disappointed, lonely, excited, anxious, surprised, fear, anger, hope. A whole range! I found myself feeling so overwhelmed with feelings that I convinced myself they separated me from God. That I had to “figure them out before I could feel close to him” or “why are you all over the map, why don’t you just chill and trust him and feel peaceful?” I soon realized that I was missing it.
 
Sometimes I understand things better through stories or metaphors, so I’m gonna read you a little part of Narnia that I feel explains a part of God’s love as a feeler in a powerful way.

**For context: In Narnia, Aslan is a representation of God. Digory’s mom is very sick with a disease. Digory has just met Aslan, who is giving him instructions, when he interrupts him to ask him this:**

“But please, please - won't you - can't you give me something that will cure Mother?'

Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.
 
'My son, my son,' said Aslan. 'I know. Grief is great.” -
The Magician's Nephew, C.S. Lewis

Aslan felt the boy’s sorrow greater than he did. God feels your sorrow (and emotions and feelings) greater than you do. God feels for you. He feels with you. It feels so loving to feel understood in your emotions. God’s emotions are so great and vast, just like his love. Emotions are a holy experience WITH God. They do not separate you from him. They are an opportunity to feel understood by the Creator. By the Father who loves his child and feels deeply with his child.

I feel like things started to shift in this for me when I started to believe that I was created in the image of God. The creator of everything made you to be like him. He feels deeply, so us, being like him, feel deeply. It’s not a bad thing. It is a very good thing.

I think something that is important to note from the verse in 1 John is that it says we have “come to know and BELIEVE the love that God has for us”. It is easy to know something in your mind without receiving it in your heart. It’s a whole different world when you don’t just know of His love but you believe it and live from it.
 
And not just believe it for others, but believe for yourself that you were created by God, in his image, and are deeply loved by him.

When we open ourselves up to this truth, it allows us to receive the image we were given and CHOSEN to receive. It creates room to receive his love. We can clear out the shame and confusion of why we are a certain way, and just love ourselves as the creation God made us to be. The messy and all.

As God’s creations, we were created to “know and rely on His love”. He created us to recognize it and be a part of it. He is in you! You are already who you are supposed to be. Let’s appreciate and love ourselves more and begin to live in His love, WITH him.
 
If we are made in his image and the verse says, “God is love”; therefore, “you are love” too.

Author | Julia Baughn

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