Wendy Hingson is a woman who you just want to be friends with. She is full of joyous energy and a delight for life that is contagious. She is passionate about teaching others what God says in His Word and showing them how to discover it for themselves. She is a wonderful wife, mom, grandma, and leader of leaders. I know Wendy’s words will speak to your heart. Be abundantly blessed as you let her words fill you with hope and truth today!
– Pastor Cindy Grasso
His Love Is…….
by Wendy Hingson
Over the past 6 weeks in the Becoming Beloved Bible Study, we have been digging deeper into understanding the depths of God’s love for us as His Beloved daughters. Often our minds understand and accept this incredible love from our heavenly Father but the heart has walls that we have created to protect ourselves from being hurt that has made it difficult for us to fully encompass such love like no other known.
It is here that my story begins……
I grew up in a Christian “environment” with my parents; but, growing up in a “God-loving Jesus serving home” was with my grandmother. She was the one who taught me the Bible, told me that Jesus loved me and took me to the little Baptist church on top of a hill to hear God’s word. At the age of 13, my mother rocked all of our worlds announcing we were moving to Cape Coral better known then as “the land of milk and honey” or so we were led to believe. Well, Cape Coral was anything but that for our family. Having come from being in a land of comfort in Pittsburgh where my grandfather and dad owned a cement block company to the complete opposite living down here, honestly, I felt a little bit like Naomi in the Book of Ruth. With Cape Coral came a lot of heartbreak watching my father be a seawall worker in the hot Florida sun from an office executive, living from a big house to a small 2-bedroom mobile home in a trailer park, riding a school bus instead of having one of dads workers drive us and on and on……. As my brother and I used to say, “Toto we aren’t in Pittsburgh anymore”. Our life had taken an unexpected turn for the WORSE!!
As a 13-year-old kid, I felt like my life was ruined. Hot weather and horrible humidity making us sweat, no swimming pool in the backyard, no friends, no cousins and worst of all no GRANDMA JACKSON!!! My parents forgot what church was and of course, I lived a very unpleasing life with God. BUT I always felt God tugging at my heart, however, my mind and circumstances didn’t want to accept God could love me or accept me back after all this rebellion against Him I had come to know.
Along with all the material changes we had to accept my mother had also changed mentally. She became an angry, bitter woman who took much of her anger out physically on me. I remember being verbally cussed at and accusations of not being a wholesome girl who she would beat it out of quite frequently. Through the tears, after my mom attacking me, I would always ask God why? How could I be such a good girl and be so bad? God didn’t make any junk? Even though my heart knew I wasn’t God’s junk my mind sure spent time telling me I was. All of this helped as I walked further away from God knowing I wasn’t worth a plug nickel to anyone, especially Him.
I am sure you are asking where was my dad? He as well as us kids often was on the end of her whipping tail and I watched him sink lower and lower with his self-esteem. He was always my hero, I mean he was my dad. Wasn’t that the way we are to see our dad? Even though he was a non-affectionate person who never showed me love, I knew he loved me the best that he could and was just in the same boat as me – miserable, abused and abandoned by God.
For several years I was His prodigal kid who wanted to come back home to the roots my Grandmother led me to. Eventually, I rededicated myself to the Lord. When I would hear how God loved me, my mind would conceive it but my heart wasn’t fully connecting with it. I was 33 the first time my dad actually said “I love you” so having a mind/heart connection to God’s love was difficult for me to comprehend.
One day while at work a patient invited me to a weekend Christian retreat. It was a life-changing event for me. It was here my mind and heart connected. Upon arriving at the retreat in the lunch area was a banner with a picture of Jesus with the caption, “I love you is that ok”? I stared at it each time I entered that lunchroom. I read it and kept saying, “I know that”. At that time my mind knew it and I thought my heart knew it as well.
Each time I saw this banner it tugged at my heart. My head knew God loved me, the Bible told me He loved me, even my grandmother who raised me to know Jesus and led me to salvation told me that God loved me. But there still was the disconnect I wasn’t aware of.
I have often heard that to get a visual of how much God loves you, think of how much your dad loves you. Aren’t most little girls “the apple of their daddy’s eye or his little princess?” God loves you even more than that. SAY WHAT?!!? I had a whole head full of “I KNOW God loves me and without a doubt know that when I die I will be with Him for eternity.” But for me, there was no connection to the way it was being talked about.
Two days into the retreat while having quiet time with the Lord, He spoke clearly to me. He said” Wendy, Wendy….I LOVE you..it is ok?” It was then that my mind connected to my heart and I let His love for me pour into my heart for the first time.
My dad wasn’t “Dad of the Year” but I know he did the best he could. What I realized that day was that my heavenly Father is better than the “Father of the Year”, He is MY “Father of the Year” EVERYDAY!!
My Father in heaven loves me. Yes, ME. He means it when He says we can come to Him with everything good, bad, indifferent, confused, anger, hurt, and so on. His love is unchanging, unfailing, unwavering, unconditional. From that day forward I knew my life as His daughter would be a love story that would be unfolding every day.
The more I get to know my Father in heaven, the deeper I see His love for me. Oh, how I love loving Him as the dad I never had. I know now that my past failures don’t define me.
As I spend time with Him I often cry as I think about how I am loved so deeply and how I look so beautiful to Him. Each day as I look in the mirror, I remind myself who my Father IS and the great sacrifice His son Jesus gave for me on a cross on a hill – all because of His love for me.
I serve Him not because I have to or need to earn His love. I serve Him because I am head over toes in love with my Heavenly Father. I am His little girl, ME…WENDY.
AND YOU ARE LOVED TOO….YOU ARE HIS BELOVED.
Yes, I am broken just like you. I have memory scars from my abusive mother. These days you have to look really close to see them because I know that I am the daughter of the King. I am His royalty. He protects me in the shadow of His wings and I am safe in Him everyday.
God sees you and looks at you with love beyond the imagination. He wants to be the merciful, kind, unfailing, faithful Father of love in your life. I still hear God’s gentle voice saying “Wendy, Wendy..I love you, is that okay?” And my heart responds, “Father I love You too.”
Take time today to stop and listen as God the Father whispers YOUR name and says, “My beloved daughter come with me and let me just love you.”
Thank you, Jesus, for the words you have written on the paper today. Lord, you know that there are some “Wendys” out there who need to connect the truth they know in their minds to their hearts. May they sit down today and let You fill them with the unspeakable love, joy, peace, happiness, and knowledge that they are your BELOVED.
Sister, God loves you. Is that okay?