LOVE HAS A NAME

Every one of us has a unique story of how they became the person they are today. Here is my story…

I didn’t know what love is until I met Jesus Christ.

For much of my childhood and early adult life, I lived with crippling fear and insecurity. I was brought up in a Catholic family, but I didn’t find what I was looking for in the strict religious church I attended. I fell out of church in my teens, and turned my back on God. 

Also during my teenage years, my father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and his health rapidly deteriorated, which impacted the whole family. I was becoming increasingly unhappy and rebellious, and my relationship with my mother was very strained. I left home at age 17 after a major argument. 

In my teens and twenties I looked for love in the wrong places, getting involved in dysfunctional relationships, dabbling in drug culture, restlessly moving from place to place, but always taking my inner turmoil with me. The love and freedom I craved was elusive.

On the surface I was functional, but secretly I was battling depression, anxiety, and nightmares, from which I would wake up screaming, making me afraid to go to sleep.

As I sought answers in reading books on psychology, self help and new age spirituality, I began a journey which took me through transcendental meditation, counselling, psychotherapy and art therapy. However, I wasn’t getting healed, or feeling that my life was going anywhere.

I sensed a spiritual dimension to life, and even had a hunger for spirituality. However, I knew one thing for sure: I wanted nothing to do with church or christians.

Despite my initial antagonism, there were a series of events, conversations and encounters that led me into seeking God for answers.

Finally, I picked up a book called “The Father Heart of God,” by Floyd McClung, which opened up a totally different world to me. It told of a loving Papa, who cared about me in such an intimate way. I learned about a God who wasn’t angry with me, who didn’t want to punish me for my failures and inadequacies, but just loved me unconditionally.

I figured I might take a look at a Bible, to see what else I could discover.

Flicking through the Bible one day, I started reading Psalm 51.

“A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

As I read these words, something happened inside me. The best way I can describe it is like a floodgate bursting open, and a river of revelation of God’s loving kindness overwhelming me.

My heart was, indeed, broken, my life was messy; I had made very little headway through my self reliance, rebelliousness and pride. Yet God did not despise me. On the contrary, he loved me with a powerful love, which was unlike anything I had experienced before, and He had sent Jesus to rescue me.

That was sometime in August 1996: the day I admitted I had nowhere left to run, except into the arms of Jesus; the day I knew I couldn’t go my own way any longer; the day I surrendered to grace and entrusted my future into God’s hands.

Jesus showed me the power of forgiveness and healed me from the effects of broken and abusive relationships, showing me what love is, and restoring my self worth. He gave me His peace and joy. I haven’t had a single nightmare since that day when I chose to follow Him, but I do get amazing prophetic dreams instead.

A few weeks after I gave my heart to Jesus, I had a dramatic encounter with the Holy Spirit, filling me with a supernatural love and compassion for others, which permanently changed the direction of my life. Now God uses me to bring the healing power of His love to others.

My testimony is that Jesus healed my life and set me free. Now I know what love is. Love is a Person and His name is Jesus.

– Jane

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