I gotta tell you this story. A girl named Cecilia waited to talk to me one night after I finished speaking at a youth convention. She stood with arms crossed, sort of hugging herself like she was cold or afraid. I asked her if she wanted to talk.
“I can’t love God,” She blurted out, like it had been welling up in her for some time. Over the next half hour the flood gates of her life opened. She started by telling me about her father.
“My dad’s always told me he loves me.” Cecilia said. “But, I dunno, for the past couple years I’ve been confused by his love.”
What was happening was this: Several nights each week as Ceciley lay in bed she would hear the floor creak, and her dad would come down the hall and into her room. He would crawl into her bed and begin to slowly run his hand up her leg and touch places he shouldn’t.
She begin to cry as she talked.
“I thought that he loved me,” Ceciley stated. “But now he just uses me.”
she went on…
Cecilia had met a guy her age. They liked each other and this guy even told her he loved her.
“He told me he wanted to show me his love,” Ceciley said, “He said we needed to have sex and so that we could experience that love. I didn’t want to… but I didn’t want to lose him either. So we did.”
She was crying hard by now and gasped for air between her sentences. She just wanted to be loved in the right way, but was experiencing only the wrong. I asked if she had talked to her youth worker about this. that’s when she began to cry harder.
“Yeah, I went to the church one day and met with my youth worker, I told him about my dad and my boyfriend and what they did to me. He told me it was okay, and that God still loved me. He said he cared for me and hoped the best for my life. But then, right there in his office, my youth worker started to kiss me. He said he loved me and ran his hands all over me. He used me! Right there in the church!”
She had anger, fear, sorrow and hopelessness in her voice…
“Is God like that?” Cicely asked bitterly. “Does God just say he loves me, then spit me out like every other man in my life?”
I didn’t know if my words would mean anything, but I know God’s Word is powerful. I took Ceciley to Ephesians 3:18—a passage that shows God’s love is higher than the highest star, longer than the longest road, deeper then the deepest ocean, and wider than the widest sky.
“God’s love is true love,” I said. “He will never leave you, hurt you, or take advantage of you. Ever.”
Tonight maybe you are right there with Ceciley, questioning God’s love. but I want you to know that God’s love is so much more true and pure than human’s love. You too can dive into the deep end of God’s love. That passage in Ephesians that I read to Ceciley goes on to say in 3:19 that God’s love surpasses knowledge – it may seem crazy but his love is true.
with a dashed line, the bible goes on explaining that having His love is being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Just try and grasp that… God is love. God is peace. God is goodness. God is gentleness. And with the power of the holy spirit and salvation in Jesus, god is in you!