Most of the time I make my relationship with God complicated. I assess my spiritual growth and obsess over my shortcomings. On any given day it’s easier for me to list out all the things I did wrong and how I want to change. Then I sit and wonder what God thinks about all my issues and fears and where He stands in all the mess. My journals are filled with pages of my desires to be different, my lofty goals on how I will change the world, and desperate pleas for the Lord to continue His work in me.
In all my humble admittance of my humanity and my honest heart cries, it can feel like I’ve become a sort of scientist- dissecting, measuring, and comparing myself- my life placed in a holiness lab. And God then is like a spiritual doctor always waiting to diagnosis, inspect my heart, and suggest the proper treatment.
But friends, can I share with you a revelation that I’ve been giving space and time to settle on the inside of me?
Our life is not meant to be a constant series of examinations. God isn’t interested in scrutinizing every inch of your soul or monitoring your behavior under a microscope. He calls us into a life with Him that resembles a love letter.
In a world where we’ve forgotten how to write with pen and paper and send our words slowly through the mail instead of high speed internet, I wonder if we’ve also forgotten how to interact with God at a pace that isn’t focused on productivity and efficiency. Might I be losing the art of not just writing letters, but living a love letter?
I remember over the course of our rocky four-year dating relationship, littered with potholes and lengthy breakups, my husband would win me back every time with his love letters. His boyish handwriting etched over the pages, I couldn’t help but be drawn into parts of his heart I hadn’t known about before. His desire bled from the pages, mending my broken heart, building my trust again. It wasn’t that his words were perfectly presented, they weren’t. Like any love letter, his words were raw and simple, they were their own kind of poetry.
The scripting of his love in black and white uncomplicated the chaos we had woven between the two of us. Love letters do that though- they are more than words, they are a pure and beautiful offering of a person’s heart to yours.
Letters are an invitation to ponder, to think, and be thoughtful in not just what we write or how we respond, but in the way we live.
Imagine if we experienced our everyday interactions with God a bit more like a constant exchange of love letters between two intertwined souls?
As this revelation works itself into my bones, I find I am more interested in inclining my ear to the whispers, instead of waking up with the heaviness of yesterday’s suffering and mistakes and preparing to analyze them to the nth degree. I am opening God’s letters of His love with expectation to meet new sides of Him I’ve never seen, to see depths of His love I’ve only dreamed about. Some days I am hesitant to receive. What will He say, is He still that good, does He still want me? Rejection wants to wield its nasty roots right into my relationship with God, making things complicated again.
But a love letter from Him, folded and tucked inside the envelope of our day, is waiting for us to read. It’s more than words He is sending, it is Himself. The secrets of His heart, the emotions He is experiencing, the workings of His wonders, yes, God spends time crafting a poetic piece just for you to encounter more of Him. There is no rejection or condemnation, no critical undertones we need to try and decipher. These love letters are only proof of His pure and simple devotion to you.
How can we not respond to His wooing? Read them. Read them again. And again. There’s no limit to the amount of pondering we can do over His pursuit of us.
And then realize that what you hold in your hands, these letters He delivers, and that you discover in your days, are an invitation to come, to trust, to build intimacy, to live in such a way that your life is a constant conversation, a sharing of secret and thoughtful love letters between you and Him. Give your heart the space it needs to unfold slowly in the safety of His uncomplicated love.
Over in the Art of Adventure Shop you will find a sweet gift to encourage you to cultivate this practice of living more like a love letter…My Beloved: 30 Days of Love Letters.