That I could personally be the focus of God’s love, and that He desires the same kind of intimate relationship with me that He has with His Son Jesus – this baffles me and overwhelms my mind! I really can’t take it in or grasp it. This is something I have struggled with all my life – to believe God loves me and is personally intimately with me, that He is not scary/fearful or distant from me.

Jesus came to show us God's tender heart for us so that we wouldn't be afraid.  He came so we would be at ease with Him, comfortable enough to call Him 'Daddy.'  His love pushes out fear. This is my hope, because I have a lot of fear buildup from the past, from lies and hurts. I have always struggled with being so afraid of God. My image of Him has been so warped by religion, lies and my own thoughts and feelings. It has been so hard to see Him as loving and safe.  Many times when I tried to picture or think of God, I would get an image in my mind of a face darkened or hidden, of someone withdrawing from me or aloof from me, and I would feel this person to be distant, disappointed, a little cold, even demanding.  I would say God loved me and I would sometimes feel such love and grace, would sometimes feel that He was smiling and kind, yet at other times have the fearful and dark image come to mind. So I have lived in fear of God, struggling with being able to approach Him without hesitation, struggling with feeling comfortable and safe in His presence.

One night I asked God to give me a dream of heaven. That night I did dream of heaven, dreamed I was standing with Jesus behind my own little house – a sort of English cottage, complete with a little hedged in garden. We were planning the garden together, and He was telling me I could have anything I wanted in this garden. It was so happy and peaceful with Him right there beside me in this beautiful place. And the main feeling I remember having was one of complete safety – that there was nothing to fear, nothing could get to me or harm me! It is interesting to me that the main thing I felt in heaven was safety and freedom from fear!
Perfect Love casts out fear. I feel that is what He is doing in my life right now. Through this class and other readings and such, He is healing my image of Him. More and more I am able to picture Him as loving, inviting, smiling and brightly shining. I am able to picture Him in a way that is open, friendly, kind and – especially – safe!

God has brought us into the fellowship of Christ – the fellowship He has with the Son. He wants me to experience the same intimacy and belonging and security that Jesus Himself experiences in the presence of His Papa. He tells me that this same relationship of love and safety is also mine! Jesus is never afraid of His Father. He never feels a barrier between them. He never feels His Father is angry with Him or disappointed with Him. He never feels His Father is pulling away from Him or hiding His face from Him. There is never anything amiss in that relationship! There is never anything to fear in that relationship! Nothing can go wrong in or spoil that relationship! Nothing can get in between that love flow or stop it. In His relationship with the Father, there is complete safety and security – Jesus knows He is always loved, always delighted in, always approved of, always treated the best way possible, always SAFE! And that is the relationship I am a part of through Christ!

I really want to know and enjoy such a relationship with God as Jesus has, and God shows me I already have it, it is already mine! The old fears tug at me, yet the new freedom of love woos me forward into joy and happy fellowship with my Papa! Even though I have a lot of unlearning and healing that is needed to really see and experience this relationship of safety and love with my Papa, I am more hopeful now than I have been in a long while! He is convincing me steadily and surely that I have nothing to fear with Him, that He really does love and hold me, that I really have a perfect and intimate loving union with Him, that I really am safe in His arms! As Jesus is to the Father, so am I – valued, held, loved, enjoyed, SAFE! Oh, Lord, make me to see and experience this reality that is truly my reality!