In this episode, we interview Pastor Miriam Callahan about how we can overcome the doubts we have about God’s love. She teaches us how to take down the barriers we put up as a defense mechanism and shows us how we can choose to trust God to heal our pain. She reminds us of God’s character and helps us recognize what we need to do to have lasting healing and not just temporary relief. We encourage you to listen!
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I’m going to be real with you ladies, this episode was really hard for me. My journey back to God has been challenging and painful and it all began when I started to doubt God’s love for me. I’ve spent the last four years working hard to rewire my perception of Him. When we have an expectation and that expectation doesn’t turn out the way we want it, we feel hurt, and we question why. Sometimes horrible things happen, like losing a job, or getting diagnosed with an incurable disease or losing a child and there’s no rhyme or reason for why it happened. In those moments I think to myself, why would God let this happen? He’s a good God, He loves me, but why would he allow this pain into my life? I’ve never been sure on how to answer that question, but Pastor Miriam has a beautiful perspective on how we can face that question in all of our pain and end up finding healing.
“When a person has been subjected to things that are painful, difficult, life altering, we can easily fall into a place where we are prevented from finding the healing we need because we were told, that God’s all powerful, God loves us, God could do anything but why did God allow that to happen to me?”
When we’re hurt, our response is to protect ourselves. That defense often ends up being barriers we build around hearts to prevent further damage. When we doubt God’s love, we take matters into our own hands and attempt to self-medicate. Our futile attempts may work for a little while but it’s only temporary. As much as I wish we could, we can’t fix our own brokenness. To become whole again, we have to go to the Creator because He’s the one who made us and knows us better than we know ourselves. What I loved about Miriam is her understanding of God’s character. She has spent decades walking with God and allowing him to work in her heart. Her obedience and trust in Him have given her wisdom about what we can do when we start to doubt His love for us. “I see God’s love as the number one healing force, way above everything else.”
She explains that we cannot move into healing because of the barriers we put between us and God. She reminded us that the things that prevent us from feeling intimacy with God are specific to us, customized to who we are. It could be intellectualism, being the victim of extreme pain or the schemes of the enemy to neutralize our effectiveness as a believer. “How do you get into God’s pure love so it can heal you if you have barriers around your own heart.” She describes removing those barriers as an overwhelming flood of God’s love going to the painful place and totally purifying and washing it clean.
Sometimes God’s timing and our timing don’t align. Miriam waited 23 years for an answered prayer. We may have to wait but our waiting isn’t wasted. God is working and moving in our season of waiting. Other times, God may answer our prayers with a no, or there may be some instances where we may not get an answer at all. Whatever the reason, God gives us the choice to trust Him or to walk away.
“I had to say, God, I believe you are going to, but if it never happens, I’m still going to love you, I’m still going to follow you, I’m still going to not shut my heart off to you.”
Miriam reminds us of God’s character. We can be disappointed in God, but it doesn’t change His love for us or His desire to help us. God never forces us to do anything. “God could control us, but he refuses to. He even allows us to spit in His face.” “When we talk about doubt, it’s sometimes not a one issue thing. Sometimes it is the entire foundation of our life, our belief system is warped.” We need to renew our minds in what is true and remember who God really is. God is not willing to settle for just good enough or to make you feel better temporarily.” God wants to heal you completely, but he is just waiting for us to give him permission. When we acknowledge that there is a barrier between us and God and admit that we need help, we’ve done the hardest part. “God, I give you permission to do whatever it takes to remove the thing in me that’s been a barrier to your love.” Once we’ve done that, God can start binding our wounds and healing our hearts. Overcoming our doubt about God’s love means that we have to break down our barriers and choose to trust in who God is. “From now on God, I’m going to say yes to you. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, if I fail, I fail, if I look like an idiot, I look like an idiot.” When Miriam decided to do this, she was able to hear God’s voice so much more.
“We can’t grow as a believer if we don’t grow as a human.”
Healing is definitely hard work. We play a part in our journey in working through our pain and we have to allow God to do His part. We have to work on discovering what specific barriers we have in place that prevent us from growing and finding healing for our souls. I’m not going to lie, this decision is hard, but His love is the only thing that will make us whole again, not just temporarily but indefinitely. “God knows so much, the details of what it’ll take, he just wants us to give Him permission to go to the areas he knows need to be dealt with.” Let God be God and relinquish your control to fix your own brokenness. You will see God’s undeniable, unending, and unrelenting love for you.
As always, thank you for reading and we’re glad you showed up!
God’s love is the number one healing force.
God is not interested in giving you temporary relief, He wants you to experience full and complete healing.
If you’re not feeling connected with God, it’s an indication that there are barriers between you and Him.
Creating barriers as a result of pain prevents us from experiencing healing.
Things that prevent us from experiencing intimacy with God are specific to us and customized for each person.
God is not a forceful God; He will always give us a choice.
Acknowledging there are barriers is the first step. Once you acknowledge you need help, the second part is God’s part. Give Him permission to work in your life.
Ask yourself, “Am I feeling connected to God, or is there a barrier that’s keeping me from experiencing intimacy with God? If there are barriers, write them down and reflect on how you want to remove them.
Memorize or write down some of your favorite scriptures about God’s love. Remember these scriptures when you feel doubt creeping in.
To grow in intimacy with God, write down or think about some of your favorite qualities about Him. What about his character makes you feel protected, loved, and secure?
Ask the Lord if there are any areas in your life that he wants to increase your awareness of his love?
How could becoming increasingly aware of God’s love for you help as you go about your day to day life?
If you like workbooks, feel free to check out Pastor Miriam’s “The H20 Workbook: A Biblical Path to Hope, Heal and Overcome for the Thirsty Soul” for some additional guidance.
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Mark 11:22-24 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Ephesians 3:17-19 “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
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