God loves you. Jane Rubietta was surprised at how personally God met her need to hear him tell her just that. Read on, and maybe you'll hear him tell you as well?
By Jane Rubietta
The days closed around me like a collapsing snow fort. I needed to either go build my own igloo so my family wouldn't disown me or just ride off into the sunset.
Then my daughter called with her happy voice. "Mom! I'll be out of town. Want to use my apartment for a retreat?" My heart flip-flopped like a small, delighted child turning somersaults.
I cleared the new plan for my soul retreat leaving laptop at home to eliminate work temptation with Rich, my husband (did I detect relief?), and our at-home high-schooler.
Rich appeared, smiling, and bowed, "Your chariot awaits." En route to the train, I fretted about their schedule, the trickiness of raising a teenager. Rich hugged me. "I can handle everything."
Relief flooded me with enough adrenaline to hike through my exhaustion to the shoebox-sized apartment.
I lugged my baggage up four flights of stairs, opened multiple locks, and plopped into my daughter's home. My heart sighed enormously, as though saying, "Finally. You are taking care of me now."
I slept. I read. I journaled. I prayed. I walked. I slept some more. Only my heart's needs dictated the agenda: to connect with God in depth and breadth, in ways that the normal, crowded noise of daily life prohibited. To hear God's voice again.
More than anything, I wanted to know God loved me. Still. And loved me anyway, and in spite of . . .
In spite of my faults, my ear deaf to the Holy Spirit's wooing, my neglect of our love relationship. In spite of long work hours and the debris of failure that forms a wall of rubbish, separating me from God and others. In spite of distractions, and the if-only regrets so constant in my life as I face my family and the fallout of my own imperfection.
That last morning, I stretched out on the bed, reluctant to prepare for reentry. The longing in my heart for a significant encounter with God still whispered. I wanted to feel God's love for me, not just know or read or write or think about it.
The power light of the stereo stared across the room like a Cyclops's eye. Music might form a nice ending to this retreat. Pressing play started a laborious shuffling within the system, until at last the sorting mechanism landed on one of many discs within. Into the room crooned Bing Crosby: "Let me call you sweetheart; I'm in love . . . with . . . you."
The words poured over me in blessing. My heart leapt. I rarely play music and even more rarely in someone else's home. Why would Bing rest in my daughter's stereo? What were the odds that all that shuffling would lead to the one song that was a direct hit for my deepest longing?
My heart twirled like a ballerina, the tune and words floating over and in me. On that note, I could return home, loved, and ready to love again.
Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love.
Jane Rubietta speaks internationally and is the author of 19 books. Her most recent: Heartbeat of a Mother: Encouragement for the Lifelong Journey (Wesleyan Publishing House, 2016). For more information, see www.JaneRubietta.com.
Excerpt from Heartbeat of a Mother: Encouragement for the Lifelong Journey © 2016 Jane Rubietta (Wesleyan Publishing)