That voice has always been here. It was here before I was “saved,” before I knew who God was, before everything I have memories of.
Make your judgments and move on, stay if you are willing to hear me out.
The Voice of Truth.
The one that compelled me to ask the Catechism teacher why we had to confess to a priest in a box when we had Jesus.
The one that rose up with indignation when told that if my husband left me and I married again, I’d forever be an adulteress and God doesn’t hear the prayers of adulteresses.
The one that questioned the sanity of a man who said dreaming was not Biblical and if I was dreaming, I wasn’t following Christ.
The one that laughed when I pulled my shirt down a little lower at the SBC convention in Nashville to show off my Mickey Mouse tattoo when the patriarchy was voting on whether or not to boycott Disney.
The one that asks: Did Jesus come to die and be resurrected for every person or just for a few who follow certain rules?
The one that calls me Beloved and comes to me at the deepest and darkest moments, the one that whispers, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
The one that says, “You were never alone, we were never apart.”
This voice pushes me to always find the truth. To pick out the lies: you are dirty, you are filthy, you cannot ever be enough, you are not loved unless you do this thing, you are not accepted into the fold unless you say these words, you are not special enough to be invited in because you don’t think like we do, you cannot be who you are and also be who God created you to be, you must change in order to be loved.
If God loved me enough to create me, to give me a purpose, then he loves me enough to see past the things of this world that have clouded my vision. He takes delight in my eagerness to learn, to always seek, to ask the hard questions. He cheers me on when I show that I understand the path that leads to Truth. Many tears have been cried by Jesus over my hidden and calloused heart. Men and women in this world chose to treat my spirit as an object for their warped sexual gratification, as a punching bag for their anger, as a piece of disgusting trash because I had the audacity to question misguided spiritual leaders. Because not a single person on this earth showed me the kind of love that flows from a heart belonging fully to Jesus, I closed up shop and figured it was best to avoid any kind of interaction because they were all pretty ugly.
Even then, Jesus didn’t think I was worthless. He continued to speak Truth into my life. He strategically placed tools in my hand that helped to unravel the messy ball of yarn I had become. He held on to the only strand that matters–the Truth–and He helped me disentangle and extricate myself from that mess.
I sit here now, cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by long strands of every color yarn you can possibly imagine. I know the basics of crochet. I don’t know how to knit or weave. But I’m pretty sure I can learn to do this. Deconstructing a knotted mess doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It means that the task is simpler if everything is in order before the real work starts.
People tell me all the time that Jesus only loves me if I do or say certain things. What I know is that those people are missing the mark (sinning) in their belief that His love has conditions. He cannot knit me in my mother’s womb and despise me at the same time. He has always known the true me, he created me to be her. He has never hidden from me, it has been me, hiding from him in a bunch of strings I strangled myself with, strings that other people wrapped around me, trying to force me into their ways. We’ve successfully removed those rogue strands and are now ready to create something spectacular.
Silly metaphor? Maybe. But I can breathe again and that’s a really big deal to me.
The voice has always led me to Truth. I wish I could’ve learned to listen to Him from the beginning, instead of listening to the garbage others want to wrap me in.
This is the lesson I long to teach people.