Song Lyrics: How He Loves Us, by John Mark McMillan

He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

I discovered the depths of God’s love during the darkest time in my life.

I had found myself in a place with two roads before me. One road led towards prescriptions and possibly hospitalization.

The second road led towards freedom.

Both roads were equally challenging, difficult, and held life long consequences. But either way, I knew I would never be the same.

So I chose the second road.

And God used that road, the scariest time in my life, as a catalyst to set me free from my biggest stronghold. Fear.

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me.

It began with a series of panic attacks on the road. I had just started a new job, finally working again after being home for several months. I had finished orientation and was on the road, headed home.

When I got to I-40, I went east heading out of town, when I should have went west. When I realized my mistake, panic set in.

I quickly got off at the nearest exit, then stopped at a gas station to compose myself. I hadn’t been that far away from home in months, and on the north side of town in years.

After calming down, I got back on I-40, heading in the right direction. But this time a fearful thought entered my mind, and claustrophobia hit my heart with such overwhelming force that I almost got into an accident.

I barely made it home without losing control. 

After I got home, sitting in my apartment, the floodgates were opened. I experienced such an assault of toxic, fearful thoughts in my mind, that I began to lose my grip on reality.

I was suddenly convinced that the world around me was unstable. I couldn’t find secure grounding and my whole environment became surreal.

And oh, how He loves us oh, oh how He loves us, how He loves us all.

I could no longer drive around my neighborhood or to the grocery store without my heart pounding and adrenaline running through my body. I couldn’t shake the fear that the earth would tilt and I would fall backward into oblivion…

I avoided I-40 at all costs, doubling the time it took to get to work and back, trying to keep myself from losing it.

The only peace I had was at work when my mind was busy. 

But while everyone else was happily making plans for the evening, I was silently wondering how I was going to make it home. My world had turned upside down.

And even at home I had no peace.

I couldn’t shake the fear and uneasiness surrounding me, spending every evening just trying to make it through without panic and fear.

Pretty soon I was spent. Days went by, and my body became so very tired. All that adrenaline left me weak and my chest hurt from constant fear and panic. At night I couldn’t sleep due to terrors and spiritual attacks.

I needed to get free.

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.

As a believer, when you find yourself at your lowest point, you begin to lose hope. Those around you love you dearly, but don’t quite understand what you’re going through.

You’ve battled, prayed and cried, questioned and wondered. All the while watching hope slip through your fingers.

What do you do when you’ve done all you can?

I had to learn to get still and quiet before the Lord.

I spent my mornings in the Word, watching sermons during the day, and soaking in His Presence at night.

Sermon after sermon on YouTube about freedom & deliverance, including the Free Indeed series with Robert Morris, taking notes and studying scripture. I needed answers to some big questions.

But mostly I spent time in His presence, humbling myself in worship and praise, prayer and fasting.

This became my focus over the next few weeks.

Renewing my mind and learning how to take authority over fear. The authority found in Jesus Christ.

God began to bring people into my life to pray with me and encourage me, helping me to find the community I desperately needed.

Also, I’m a worshiper. And the Holy Spirit brough songs to my head to minister to my heart. During that time, so many songs were flooding my soul. The Blessing with Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes would pop into my head so strongly anytime I began to feel fear, which was near constant during that time.

During my nights of surrender, Withholding Nothing by William McDowell was running through my head on repeat.

And now, after deliverance, this line from God of Revival by Bethel Worship:

“why should my heart fear, what you’ve defeated….I will trust in You alone.”

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me.

On the night I fully surrendered, God’s Shalom Peace hit my heart like a ton of bricks, and I was crushed under the weight of His love and glory.

I was sitting in my living room, searching my heart for things to give to the Lord. Withholding Nothing was still on repeat in my head, but I had exhausted everything I could think of.

I remember saying in near frustration: “Lord, what else is it? You’re still calling me to surrender, but I’ve given up everything I can think of.”

What else do I need to let go of?”

Then a thought came to my mind. I realized I had been holding on to an identity that wasn’t mine to keep.

I was reminded of what I never actually surrendered to God: my attraction to the same sex.

Not only was I was holding on to the shame of pornography in my past, but I had become comfortable with my sexual attraction. I was OK with being attracted to women, too. I was proud of it. It was a part of my identity, and it made me feel interesting and unique.

But it never kept Him from loving me.

And we are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, if His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

God never withheld His presence from me. I had not sinned against Him in that area, but I had never given it over to Him, allowing Him to transform my heart.

So that night, He gently and lovingly called me to give that to Him too, reminding me that:

My identity is not found in my sexuality, but in Him.

You see, in order to make it through that season, I had to lay everything at the feet of Jesus. I had to let God shine His penetrating light into the deepest, darkest places of my heart and my mind. Exposing things I had held onto for years. Things I was unaware of and also things I was ashamed of.

Everything laid out in the open. At the feet of Jesus.

The enemy had used the shame of my past to lie to me everyday. Telling me I was still that person and accusing me of sinning against God.

I had to experience the truth for myself, that Jesus set me free the moment I became His and He became mine.

Forever free from the guilt, shame and condemnation of my past.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

The night I gave it all to Him, Peace hit my heart so strong it grounded me back into reality. It settled into my chest and the darkness fled. It’s difficult to explain, but it was like, I could see my living room again. As if the fear had distorted my vision. The atmosphere was clear and things just felt right again.

When getting ready for bed that night, I felt a question in my heart: “why don’t you leave the bathroom light off this time?”

And I did, sleeping in the pitch black dark for the first time ever in my life.

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

John 8:36 NLT

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about, the way.

Note: Please don’t misunderstand. God did not bring this trial. This was an attack to make me feel like I was losing my mind. But what the enemy meant for evil, God turned to good. And looking back, I would not change a thing because of where it has brought me now.

God has revealed His great love for me in so many ways. I’m closer to Him now more than ever. And the closer I get the more I see that His love is infinite, and I can never exhaust His goodness and mercy.

I sought His face and found it.

And it’s beautiful. It’s the most beautiful thing ever. Everything else pales in comparison, and He is all you want and need.

When he beckons you to let things go, with no condemnation, only love, you do it. And He fills you up with more of Himself.

Oh how he loves…

Choose today to lay down your life and pursue his beautiful presence. Seek His face. In doing so, you will discover life’s greatest treasure: God’s overwhelming love for you. And it will change you forever.

Your past life will have nothing left to offer you. Condemnation will have no power over you.

Your heart’s desire will be to please the father and say “Here daddy, let me give this to you. I don’t want it any more.”

“I just want you.”

You are wooed.

That He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves.

God is calling you to Himself.

Let Him woo you into His presence. A place so beautiful, nothing can compare.

Let these words come alive in your heart and seek to experience God’s goodness for yourself.

You’ll find that no amount of money, status, or material possessions will ever compare to the love of God. His love fills you up and overflows, spilling into the atmosphere, touching everyone around you.

Soak in the goodness of God. He is our great treasure, and our hearts long for Him.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good…”

Psalm 34:8

He created the heavens and the earth just for you.  He knew you and called you before time began.  He chose you as His very own, longing for you to come to Him and fellowship with Him.

God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross just for you.  He has shown his great love for you by taking your place on the cross for your sins.  A perfect, eternal, forever sacrifice.  He did what you could never do in your own body, living His life perfectly and dying the death you should have died. Now He is raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God.

Which means you are free.  Free to live, free to love, free to give, free to rejoice.  Free to dance. Sin and death and fear have no hold on you.  You’re free.  Jesus has set you free.

Run to God. Just run, with reckless abandon and arms wide open. When you do, He’ll scoop you up, twirl you around, and squeeze you tight. He’s your dad. You belong to Him and he belongs to you. Never to leave you and never to part.

Yeah, He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves.

“There is at the heart of the universe a love too great to be limited to what we deserve. There is in the deepest regions of the being of God a determination not to settle the score with us but to free us from everything that condemns us and binds us. God knows how to love. His purpose is to love.”
David Crowder Band, Lyrics by John Mark McMillan

Restful Faith is my journey to a life trusting God with my most precious goals, hopes and dreams instead of living in fear, worry, anxiety and depression.

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