This weekend I was speaking and leading worship at a church I was a part of in the early 90s. It was wonderful to reconnect with so many. As I spoke to the Sunday School classes, God had prompted me to talk about fear vs. love in the context of my own journey. As their own congregation looks ahead to the future, I challenged them to be a church that makes decisions out of Love, not fear. "Lean in and let the Perfect Love of God cast out all the fear you have..."
Afterwards several people came up and said, "We're not used to people talking so honestly - you don't talk about God in the same way as others."
I can only surmise this, perhaps, is because He is gifting me with His embrace that is setting me free from legalism and old wineskin tradition. His love is casting out my fears little by little.
I was most saddened, however, when a woman came up to me afterwards. Her face was deeply concerned - her eyes inquisitive, anxious and searching. Her face expressed the deep ache and longing of her heart: "Paula, when you spoke about what fear does, it resounded within me that I am a fearful person. I want God's love to cast out the fear - but how do I let God love me? I've never really even heard anyone talk about letting God love me."
Even now my soul aches for her - there is rich beauty in the longing expressed in her question. There is deep sadness to me that she, a lifetime church goer has NEVER heard anyone talk about letting God love her.
So - the question goes out to all of you - how do you let God love you?