I was 17, driving around my town’s midnight streets with three friends. We had wild plans and no good intentions. As I screamed and took a turn with my head out the window euphoria ran through me and I got a taste of something wild and hallowed-freedom.
A thing that God called valuable years later as I told Him my social life felt more fun and easy back then…
I believe his words were, “I celebrated you as you broke away and went wild. That was the only freedom you knew of. I saw you, you fought for the taste of the real thing! I was celebrating your liberation in that car!”
This was the night we trespassed endlessly. The night of my first sips of vodka, of whiskey cookies and slip and slides.
Yeah, I was born to wildness. That part of me has always been in there. That wasn’t an unholy part of me. It was made to be loved by Him. These days it takes on different forms.
He sees the desires in our hearts before we can even put them on our lips. I would guarantee you that every big bad ugly mistake you’ve made has it’s roots in something valuable that your heart really needed.
He’s good enough to see past the mistake to celebrate the desire.
My heart desperately required both freedom and family.
It’s time to wonder what we’ve been missing all this time about the nights we don’t like thinking about. Maybe that hook-up really just felt a lot like intimacy. Maybe that hit was your only way to peace at the time.
Maybe God isn’t horrified that you tried to meet a valuable need but instead saw your beautiful need and intention. I think a normal parent’s heart will break a little when they see the desire gone wrong, but a perfect father is capable of experiencing that AND seeing the aim, the intention, and encouraging you through a big ugly mistake.
I would ask him what you were aiming at in your biggest moments of regret and see what happens.
I used to look back on this night and cringe, but now I grin. It was a coming of age for me. Rebellion was the only tool I had to get to freedom. God’s not ashamed of the ways we’ve tried to meet our needs before we knew better. He actually took me to a moment and validated me in the middle of an experience I thought He was put off by.
I dare you to welcome Him into shame. I think you’d be shocked to hear what He celebrates. He probably doesn’t remember it the way you do 😉
Our relationship with God is a lot like a kid taking their first shots at a shooting range. When you’re first learning to shoot at a target it’s terribly hard to hit anywhere near the mark. Learning is vulnerable, but He’s like a bulletproof dad, popping up behind the bullet you just shot with a target. He celebrates the whiff, and he celebrates the intention. He is pure goodness.
Ask Him, I dare you ❤