In August of 2008, I was graciously granted a leave of absence from my ministry responsibilities at the McDermott Road church in Plano, Texas, and given the opportunity to participate in an intensive counseling program at the Meier Clinic in Richardson.  I remain extremely grateful for that experience.  It greatly assisted me in coping with the depression that I was experiencing and also helped me come to terms with my emotionally unhealthy nature as a perfectionist and a people-pleaser.

One of the counselors at Meier began picking up on a tendency that I had to feel like I could never “measure up” or that somehow God would not be pleased with me unless I excelled in innumerable areas of my life and ministry.  So, he gave me an assignment: 1) Write a letter to God asking Him who He wants you to be, and 2) Write a letter from God back to you with His answer.  Was he serious?!?  He was serious!  As a person with a very high view of Scripture and a person who was extremely emotionally “stitched” at the time, I wasn’t sure that I could do it.  I wasn’t even sure that I should do it.  Write a letter for God?  It seemed to me that the Holy Spirit had always managed just fine in that department without my assistance and that He hadn’t seen the need to add to His letters in over 1,900 years.  But, it proved to be a very productive exercise.  It allowed me to take what I have always preached and taught about God’s unconditional love and personalize it.  I finally realized that this love wasn’t just for everyone else; it was how God loved me, too.  My two letters appear below.

_________________________

Dear God,

I praise You and adore You, Heavenly Father, my Creator, the One who wove me together in my mother’s womb, the One who saw all the days of my life before there was even one of them.  Father, I have a question for You and I need an answer.  I am struggling right now with emotions that are disconnected, self-created expectations that are often too high and unrealistic, and feelings of sadness, anxiety and frustration over a sense that I am failing.  I need You to clarify for me, Father, who it is that You want me to be.

Your loving son,

Tim                    

_________________________

My dear son Tim,

First of all, let Me reaffirm My unconditional love for you.  While I can be pleased or displeased, joyful or grieved, over your attitudes and actions, My love for you never fails.  I want what is best for you, both for now and for eternity.  That is why I allowed My Son Jesus, part of My Own Divine Nature, to come in flesh and lay down His life as a sacrifice for your sins; to redeem you and make you My son through adoption in Him.  I am your Father.  He is your Brother.

Tim, I want you to be a faithful child and disciple; not perfect, just faithful.  The blood of My Son will continue to cover your failings.

I want you to be a husband to Kim like My Son is a husband to His bride, the church.  Love her unselfishly and sacrificially.

I want you be a father to Hannah and Coleman who affirms and shows his unconditionally love for them as I have for you.

I want you to be a faithful messenger of My Son’s saving Gospel.  I have blessed you with the gift of speech so that you can lead the lost to Christ for salvation, and strengthen and build up the saved.  Don’t feel like you have to be the best preacher in the world.  Just be the best preacher that I have gifted you to be.  If you want to learn Spanish and Russian so that you can share the Message without translation in those places, fine.  I will help you and strengthen you.  But, if you don’t, I will love you and use you anyway.  The same goes for writing, Tim.  If you can find the time and energy to write, again, My Spirit will be with you to strengthen and supply.  But, if you never do, please don’t feel like you have failed Me or let Me down.

Go in My strength; abide in My love; stand firm in your faith!

See you soon!

Your Father, Always

Advertisements