Pain Like Never Before…


I was not expecting this or was I ready. But, God the Father already had this figured out. He knew this season was going to be a time of pruning and pain. He also knew it would be the point where I finally learned how to let Him love me.

Going to ministry school was something that I felt God had been speaking to me for about 2 years. Unfortunately my idea of ministry was only a small piece of what it has actually been. Yes, there has been theology and Bible study and my knowledge in those areas is already expanding and I look forward to even more growth there.

The other side of ministry school was something that took me by surprise. It involved LOVE. More specifically the LOVE of the Father. Even as I write this, I am beginning to cry yet again. I cried, no wept, for 2 hours today. Why? All because of the amazing love of the Father. In this time with Him today, He pruned me… deeply. It hurt… deeply. I felt love in this pain… and even though it was one of the hardest moments in my life, I can honestly say it was probably one of the moments where I felt the most love I have ever felt. Yes, in a moment of my worst pain, I felt the most love ever!

As the tears began to fall, it was the beginning of worship. I don’t even remember what song we were singing, but I couldn’t even sing, I just stood there, arms by my side, head down, tears rolling down my face falling to the floor. I began to ask Papa why I was crying, and all I heard was, let it go Irene. Stop trying to be strong, it’s ok to be weak. In your weakness I am strong… let me be strong for you.

Then He proceeded to bring me through moments in my life, moments of pain and regret and loss, and as we remembered together, and I cried, He asked me for each memory… and He took it from me. His patience and tenderness for me made me cry more because I felt like I didn’t deserve it. He told me I did and reminded me of His love for me no matter what. I cried more…

I wondered if the tears would ever stop…

Worship continued and I fell to  my seat and then to the floor and the tears fell as abundantly as the memories floated through my thoughts. The Father remained by my side, holding me, loving me… because He chose to.

Worship ended and my tears finally subsided, though I was wrecked, physically and spiritually… I had nothing left in me, or so that’s what I thought.

I got home, and called my husband, and the floodgates opened up again. As I cried and shared with him, the Father showed me His love for me yet again…

He showed me that I was to see the beauty in myself so I could call out the beauty in others…

I wept again…

In my weakness and my lack, my Daddy strengthened me and breathed life into my spirit. His life-giving breath filled me and refreshed me giving me hope.

At this point, the sobbing stopped  and as I quietly cried I realized I had a new hope for who I was in Christ. In that moment, with my tear-streaked face, puffy eyes and snotty nose… I began to see myself as beautiful and as the Father’s beloved… even as tears continued to flow, He was there catching every single tear and loving me.

I know my process is not complete, I will always be in process with the Father. This day has been a defining moment for me though. I will walk from a place of renewed strength, filled with hope and life in a new direction looking for beauty which is born out of pain… a beauty that the Lord has found in me and is teaching me how to find in those around me.

Love Chose Me


Love is a funny thing. It sneaks up on you and it runs away. You know what I mean? Sometimes you don’t even realize it is there until it completely knocks you over with this all-consuming weight of euphoria! Then, there’s the times when you are searching for it and missing it and it is nowhere to be found! Why?

My thought is that love is something we choose… it doesn’t choose us. Not, the true, lasting love. We decide to choose love. And in this decision, we do it no matter what. Right? No matter how mad, how hurt, how frustrated, how tired we get… we choose love. Yes! In return, love chooses us!

God the Father is love. He chooses to love us… but He doesn’t force us to love Him. We run from Him and we run to Him, and yet He always chooses to love. The Father loves us in our darkest, ugliest times.. He chooses to love us, even when we don’t love Him back.


I have always loved God and there have even been some times where I have felt His love. Until, I came to this revelation of true love, His love, being a choice, I didn’t really know His love…

I am beginning to understand…

The all-consuming love of the Father is beyond describable. It is warm and heavy. It is crippling and wonderful. It is random and spot on. It is LOUD and a whisper all at once!

Our human bodies cannot fully comprehend the Papa’s beautiful love. We cannot explain it, or control it or recreate it… we just wait like a child and ask our Daddy for more, more MORE!!! Then we wait for it to fall down on us. When it falls, I have learned to let go and let whatever is going to happen, happen. I just bask in the glory of Father God and thank Him for coming.

Learning to be loved by God, who is love, has already been one of the most amazing breakthroughs for me in the last 3 months. In that embrace of the Father’s love, I am finally learning how to love myself by letting Him love me! What a truly amazing feeling, like the coziest, warmest, biggest blanket wrapped around me perfectly! I am finally safe!

I only can hope that He will continue to give me more and more… which I know He will, because that is what He promises, we just have to ask. My human mind has difficulty processing all of this. And, how in the world can this be so amazing and feel so wonderful? Because it is not of this world, but rather from Heaven. And the Creator, my Father, is bringing it to me, all because He chooses to love me!