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Ignite the Journey: Love of God

Join author Sarah Davis in the latest "Ignite the Journey" blog post series. Get ready to reflect on your own growth journey and gain insight on how to navigate obstacles, deepen your Love of God, and seize opportunities.


The Only Love That Satisfies


The Father’s love is the kind that breaks me AND heals me, at the same time.  When I reached the point of finally surrendering my life to Him, I was well into my late twenties. It wasn’t a graceful act of surrender either. My soul felt war-torn. Both bloodied and bruised as I fell at His feet. 


I was navigating one of the most painful seasons of my life. Begging for His mercy and grace, I was fully unaware that I need not beg at all. Turns out He was chasing me down, freely offering it the whole time.


From a young age, I was raised in church. My family attended a Southern Baptist church in a small town. Everyone knew everyone’s name, who baked the best desserts, and who was best at car repairs. 


I remember singing all the traditional church hymns in those red, fabric-covered pews. Recall vacation bible school during the summer, a sticky and sweet week full of crafts, popsicles and friendship. Those memories are ones of warm sentiment and comfort to this day.


Even still, I had a broken relationship with my earthly father. My parents divorced while I was still a toddler, and my relationship with my dad would remain fractured from that moment until decades later. I had no idea at the time how much my dad’s absence profoundly affected my ability to relate to God as a perfect and loving Father. 


That lack of parental attachment led me down a road of seeking love and validation in places that would only leave me emotionally bankrupt. I sought my fulfillment in shallow relationships with men. I thought my education and nursing career could give it to me. Believed it would happen by having the house with a perfectly manicured lawn, and the car that cost way more than my family could afford. 


Even more, I sought it by accumulating more stuff that I didn’t need. Waged battles with emotional eating. Longed for the approval of others by desiring to please people. As one could imagine, each of these only deepened the longing I felt, and widened the ache deep inside me.


Until one day, I fell at the feet of Jesus. I allowed His tender love to break open the places within me that I had tried to heal in my own way. Like a broken bone that healed incorrectly and needs a careful surgeon to break and reset it for proper healing, Jesus began to show me the root cause of my broken heart. A heart that only He could mend, and would only be fully satisfied in Him. 


Even now, years on the other side of healing and spiritual growth, I still battle the human tendency to seek my fulfillment in places other than Jesus. 


There is the pressure from social media to compare my life to others. There is the battle with FOMO (the fear of missing out) on the next big thing. Whether it’s the Stanley cup or a travel destination or whatever new trend is on the rise. There are insecurities I still fight against. Sometimes healing is instantaneous. Some of the healing is part of my lifelong journey that won’t be reached until the next life of eternity, made perfect in Jesus and His sacrifice.


When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 (NIV), He tells her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


It has taken a lot of time and heartache to live into my relationship with Jesus. I now know it is the only thing that will ever truly satisfy the longing of my heart.


FOR FURTHER THOUGHT

What are the ways have you been seeking other things or people to satisfy the longings of your heart? 


Perhaps for you, like me, it isn’t a conscious effort of seeking fulfillment in the wrong places. Rather it is a tendency we all have that when we stray from daily fellowship and connection to the Father, it just happens. Sometimes amid the busyness of life, even if it’s with ministry, good people and worthwhile things, we can still be distracted from being intentional in our time with God. 


While you may feel distant or off track with God, trust that He is never apart from you. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV) Remember, connection and fellowship to Him are as close as your next breath; as near as the next prayer. 


PRAYER

Father, I thank You that when my earthly parents fail me, You are a perfect and loving Father who never leaves. I thank You for the healing that only You can bring, and that You call me a beloved child, and a friend. I thank You for chasing me down with Your love, goodness and mercy all the days of my life. Help me to daily seek connection with You, because You are the only One who can truly satisfy this heart of mine.


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