Growing in Awkwardness, Growing in Love (or: Quoting Elvis to God)


When I first surrendered my life over to Christ, I found myself feeling through some very new emotions. The strangest of these, I realized after a few weeks, was that I’d really begun to love God. This may sound like something that would be very obvious to feel, but it took me completely by surprise. All my life, I’d heard about people loving God. And I did love God before I gave my life to Him. But I’d imagined it more formal, more stately. Like you’re on one end of the room, and God’s on the other. Like being around Him should give you the same joy as meeting the president or a king, and you should have great respect for Him.

Those feelings of respect never left me, but something much stronger surmounted them. I found growing in my heart a burning love for God, that was tangible and entirely human. Though there’s not a perfect way to describe it, it definitely did not feel like respecting someone from across the room – in fact it felt almost like dating someone. I can remember various short-term romances in high school, the excited feeling I’d get sitting alone with someone, the daydreamy way I’d write their names on the back of notebooks.  And that was really the way I’d begun to feel about God. I’d fall asleep thinking about Him; I’d be reminded of Him by different love songs on the radio. Always in my mind I was reminded of how close He was to me, how when I was in a room alone, I was really in a room alone with Him.

These feelings were so shocking to me that I worried I might have misunderstood the Gospel and crossed some kind of line somewhere. I thought that it was inappropriate that I feel so close and so connected with God. After all, He was an almighty God, and I was just a person. I apologized frequently, thinking I must be very disrespectful to feel like His friend or His spouse, putting aside the shock of His omniscience and omnipotence for more human emotions. I was convinced that these sort of romantic feelings were just something twisted in me, that God and Humankind were meant to be in their respective places, not mixed together, not experiencing all the strange, messy, confusing emotions that come from being in love with someone. Surely, a God so powerful and important and above me was not meant to be experienced like that.

And boy was I wrong. The more I apologized to Him for thinking I was breaking a rule, the more I realized that He gets to make the rules, without any higher authority above Him dictating His etiquette. I realized with reading the scriptures that it is very much a romantic love, and just as messy and real  as any relationship we have on Earth.

When I think back to that time and the struggle of worrying that there was a “right” way to love Him that I was missing, I think of the words from Elvis: “Shall I stay? Would it be a sin? For I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Scriptures:
Rev. 3:20, John 3:29, Mark 2:19, Rev 21:2-3; Zechariah 16 is also excellent but you may want to use a study guide as it is parter of a longer, more complicated story.

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