“My heart's crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing,
You cut me open and I
Keep, keep bleeding love…” (Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love)
Leona Lewis’ chart topping song Bleeding Love zeros in on a truth we know from personal experience: sometimes relationships hurt. It’s a reality of this fallen world we live in. Until Jesus returns or takes us home to be with Him, there will be times when we get hurt by others.
Arriving at healthy emotional boundaries with those who repeatedly inflict emotional pain on others can be a long and messy process. Sometimes we flounder around trying to find those healthy boundaries. And, in the meantime, the resulting hurt can feel overwhelming. Dysfunction, divorce, drama…whatever shape or size the hurt comes in, it can lead us down the road to distress and despair.
Coping with the hurt from relational distress sometimes pulls us into a bad place – cutting, addiction, withdrawal, rage, or any number of other destructive behaviors. And the hurt that started as a reaction to another human can sometimes begin to act as a wedge in one’s relationship with God – either as a wedge that pushes someone toward God or pushes them away from Him. But often it’s during the tough times that our friends are open to hearing about God’s love for them and His promises to come alongside and walk through the tough stuff with them.
Whether the hurt is our own or we find ourselves walking beside friends as they go through tough relational patches, sometimes we need to be reminded (or told for the first time) of God’s love. So when you or your friends are hurting from relational drama, hold on to the hope of God’s promises as found in His love letter to us, the Bible. Because God really does bleed His love for us.
Below is a letter* that might help you or a hurting friend connect with God’s love for us.
The words you are about to experience are true. They will change your life forever if you let them. For they come from the heart of God.
You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31). For you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me, you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:27-28). For you are my child (Acts 17:28).
I am the Father who comes alongside you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When your heart is broken, you will find me right there close to you (Psalm 34:18). As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have gathered you into my arms (Isaiah 40:11). One day in the perfection of heaven, I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4).
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my Son, Jesus (John 17:23). For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) and to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10). I put everything on the line for you when I sent my Son Jesus, that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you receive the gift of My Son Jesus, you receive Me (1 John 2:23). And then nothing will ever separate you from My love again (Romans 8:39-40). Come home, and I’ll throw a huge party in heaven to celebrate (Luke 15:7).
I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is…..Will you be My child? (John 1:12-13). I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-24).
Love, Your Dad
Talk to your friends about God’s extravagant love and explain how to receive His free gift of salvation. Don’t miss the chance to reassure your own heart and give your hurting friends the hope they need.
* Adapted from fathersloveletter.com
Jane Dratz serves as Editor for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.