Saturday, March 22, 2008

oh how he loves us so...

If one thing i have learned here at YWAM, it's that God does in fact know what He's doing. However crazy-assed it may seem, I believe that He is still working all things together for good.

This post has come from the deepest places of my heart and my thoughts with and toward God, mainly having to do with my relationship with Josh and his death. I can only begin with words of praise; God is faithful. He is good to me when I don't even know it.

When I met him, I was a freshman at Baylor, thirsty for everything that was to come from 'becoming an adult.' And of course, I fell in love. Josh only had one tattoo then (ha) and loved to wear that Abercrombie shirt and those Diesel shoes that he used to share with Peugh. We were simpler, it seems. A good while into our relationship, I began to walk with God in an intimacy that I had never known before. I was always a Christian, but a Christian who sang worship songs blatantly aware that I would not sing "I love you." I knew Him to be a Creator, the God of the universe. I respected Him. I honored Him. I revered Him. But loved?

But then, I fell in love with God. I fell for Him deeply and fast. He cherished me. And it was then that I began to hear His voice as clear as I've ever heard any audible voice around me. "Come out from among them and be separate..." this verse haunted me for months as I wrestled with the knowledge that He was calling me out of this relationship with a boy I loved. I wrestled with knowing that both Josh and I were Christians, so how could He be saying that we were "unequally yoked"? I wrestled with knowing that He was asking me to be obedient no matter what my heart or mind said.

So I did. And to this day, and to my deep regret, Josh's last blogs speak scornfully of a girl who scoffed at his 'godliness.' His words in that blog haunt me, especially because we never got to talk about what he had written. To him, I had played the indubitable "God card." There was no way to explain to Josh then that I loved him, but God really was calling me away. Away to where, I had no clue. But away from Josh for the present.

So, I went. And Josh went. We walked miles away from each other, but managed to swing back around and throw blows every so often. It wasn't until the week before his death that we came to a point of total honesty about our feelings toward one another, despite years and tattoos and addictions that had passed between us. I almost believed that God had called me out to be separate, but was going to restore something there.

And then, Josh passed away.

Obviously, his death has changed me. And the Lord knows how I have struggled and wrestled and fought and cried over the plain unfairness of it all. And one day, I remember writing in my journal, asking God why. Not asking why had Josh passed away, but why had I heard His voice so clearly call me out of that with Josh. Was it because He knew Josh would die young?

For some reason, I went and re-read Josh's last blogs "Thoughts on God" a few days ago. I just had this strange desire to read every word and hurt all over again. So I did. But this time, instead of reading it in a place of pain and frustration, I really read his words. He talked about his life as a little no-nothing worship leader who found himself struggling with doubt, getting the "God card" from a girlfriend, falling into deep drug addiction, and finding hope - and finding God. He wrote about intimacy. He wrote about beauty. He wrote about a God that was beyond the church, beyond a religion. He wrote about a God he knew.

So as I sat with God under that big tree at the base of the hill here in Hawaii, I feel like He sweetly brought closure to a hurt that was so deep and so costly in my understanding of My Almighty. Josh knew God at his death in a way that I don't believe he did in the years that looked more like he was following God. I believe that out of a place of painful obedience and unknowing, God brought Josh to a point of knowing Him deeper. And I have never felt so strongly that now Josh knows now.

He knows.

And so, I am filled with praise to my Father. His works are mightier and sweeter than any I could contrive. He has taken my heart with his kindness.

"...and by this we will come to know that we know Him...."

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