Someone asked me how I got started with this most recent emotional healing journey so I thought my readers might like some of the back story.
I have always been a cat lover and have always had a cat here in the States. When I returned from China I got a cat. When he died I got another. My last kitty was an animal shelter rescue – it was a kill shelter. The cat had some strange ways and one day I noticed that he had a notched ear – he was a TNR – trap, neuter, return – from some large city. My town is quite rural and far from any city having such a program. The cat had the typical health issues of a feral cat so I cared for him as best I could but after three years of medicating him every four hours, he died of kidney failure. I grieved for him more than I should have because he plugged a huge hole in my loneliness as a single, retired missionary.
When I started looking for another cat more than a year later I heard a tiny voice suggesting that I needed to spend more time with the Lover of my soul. But I didn’t want to be without a cat so I delayed. Finally I gave in and requested my pet deposit. The check came in August of 2016 and I began to have serious longings for love in my loneliness. I laid in bed at night and begged Jesus to come and love me. Then one night He came! I ran to meet Him and He pressed me to His heart. He didn’t let me go after a short polite hug but held me, and I melted into Him.
I gave up something that occupied my time and attention. Then He came with something He knew I hungered for more than a pet could ever give. So, the first requirement for emotional healing is a desperate, sustained hunger. Few people come to the foot of the cross unless they are desperate for an answer to the deep longing within.
The second step is desperate, sustained hunger. No, this isn’t a typo. After a taste of the supernatural, too many people say, “Thank You very much.” and go on their way, no longer desperate. Jesus’ love meant far more to me than the love of a sweet kitty. I couldn’t get enough of Him and pressed Him for every moment of intimacy. In that commitment to Him, my Bridegroom responded gently and with longsuffering, for I was like the feral cat – I didn’t know how to behave – but never did He make me feel inadequate or dirty.
All my life I have yearned for an intimate relationship with the Creator. I have printed on a slip of paper where only I can see it when I sit to have a devotion in the mornings: meditation brings revelation; revelation brings manifestation.
I have memorized several chapters in the Psalms, and possibly Psalm 27 is my favorite. I often pray it to Jesus before going to sleep at night and on waking in the mornings.
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in His temple.
My spirit groans with desire to see Jesus’ face and be able to talk to Him (as opposed to prayer).
Psalm 27:8-9 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, will I seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
If Jesus wanted me to seek His face, then He must show me His face! I remind Him of this, and He always comes when I cry. I remind Him that His commands and these promises are for NOW – not sometime in the distant future, in Heaven.
Psalm 27:13-14 I had fainted unless I had believed
to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage,
and He will strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the Lord.
There is another verse that I remind the King of kings of. In Matthew 11:12 we are told that the violent take the Kingdom by force. That’s me. I am violent in accessing God’s holy Kingdom. And by experience I have found that He likes that kind of violence! He loves it. And rewards me with His beautiful, majestic, humble and gentle presence.
After one exceptionally precious encounter with my pure and holy Bridegroom I asked Him if this was a one-time experience and He replied, “No, Joyce. You can come any time for an encounter with Me.” And He reminded me of Hebrews 4:16 where we are encouraged to come boldly to the Throne of Grace. My need is simply more of Him. To know Him is to hunger for more.