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Thursday, December 02, 2004 AD
Reforming Valerie
I didn't expect Doug Wilson's Reforming Marriage to contain much that I could apply immediately. I was sort of reading it for possible future reference, but was surprised to find it so helpful now.

Mr. Wilson talks about all marriages being a picture of Christ and the Church, and describes how some are good, accurate pictures and others are lies. Since my personal history has not included a lot of close-up views of the good, accurate kind of pictures, the lies are pretty deeply ingrained. While I didn't intentionally read the rest of the book thinking, "This is how Jesus treats me as a member of His Bride, and this is how I'm supposed to respond to Him," I've found myself checking my thoughts about Him as well as my own attitudes against that standard for the past couple days. It's been helpful. I find I can believe, at least a little, that I have a strong but gentle, holy but kind Lord after all.

I've also had this bit from Stepping Heavenward on my mind:
Feb. 7 [1834] -- After writing that, I do not know what made me go to see Dr. Cabot. He received me in that cheerful way of his that seems to promise the taking one's burden right off one's back.

"I am very glad to see you, my dear child," he said.

I intended to be very dignified and cold. As if I was going to have any Dr. Cabot's undertaking to sympathize with me! But those few kind words just upset me, and I began to cry.

"You would not speak so kindly," I got out at last, "if you knew what a dreadful creature I am. I am angry with myself, and angry with everybody, and angry with God. I can't be good two minutes at a time. I do everything I do not want to do, and do nothing I try and pray to do. Everybody plagues me and tempts me. And God does not answer any of my prayers, and I am just desperate."

"Poor child!" he said, in a low voice, as if to himself. "Poor, heart-sick, tired child, that cannot see what I can see, that its Father's loving arms are all about it!"

I stopped crying, to strain my ears and listen. He went on.

"Katy, all that you say may be true. I dare say it is. But God loves you. He loves you."

"He loves me," I repeated to myself. "He loves me! Oh, Dr. Cabot, if I could believe that! If I could believe that, after all the promises I have broken, all the foolish, wrong things I have done and shall always be doing, God perhaps still loves me!"

"You may be sure of it," he said, solemnly. "I, minister, bring the gospel to you to-day. Go home and say over and over to yourself, 'I am a wayward, foolish child. But He loves me! I have disobeyed and grieved Him ten thousand times. But He loves me! I have lost faith in some of my dearest friends and am very desolate. But He loves me! I do not love Him, I am even angry with Him! But He loves me!'"

I came away, and all the way home I fought this battle with myself, saying, "He loves me!" I knelt down to pray, and all my wasted, childish, wicked life came and stared me in the face. I looked at it, and said with tears of joy, "But He loves me!" Never in my life did I feel so rested, so quieted, so sorrowful, and yet so satisfied.
Most of my favorite parts of that book, i.e., the ones with which I most strongly identify, are in the beginning, when Katherine is most immature, because I am still so immature. But He loves me. :-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 12/02/2004 07:28:00 PM • Permalink

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