I stopped hard in my tracks when I came to this little place on my early morning run. I stopped and I stared and the more I focused on what I was looking at the more clearly I heard it.
The voice inside my spirit was asking, "What do you see?"
I had been going through a very difficult season in my life and it I was in this season I found myself questioning my value to God and to those who were the closest to me. I gauged their responses, actions, and expressions of affection toward me as the indicator of my personal worth and value to them and living FOR approval had reached it's destructive end. I was in an emotional hole with no visible means of escape. I functioned well outwardly, but internally I was fractured and in pain. I was staying in the home of some friends and had decided to go for an early morning run. It was dark when I left the house, and being gifted with a terrible sense of direction, I quickly became lost.
They say that the best way to get found is to realize you are lost and I could not agree more because it was in getting lost that I fully realized that I had been found.
I was pouring my heart out to God and asking if He was aware of me and my needs of affirmation, value, love, adequacy, and worth when He opened my eyes to what you are about to read.
"...for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." ~ Luke 11:8b
It was at this spot where God stopped me in my tracks and began to pour into my heart a glimpse of an understanding of His love for me. When I looked out on the still lake I saw heaven reflected on earth. God made us to see His love for us plainly and clearly and I sat down on the bench above and just wept while He began to flood my mind with verse after verse of scripture describing His love for me. He specifically directed my attention to The Song of Solomon.
I had grown up in church and had never read anything from this book because it was chocked full of confusing passages and story lines with verses that dealt with graphic depictions of things I was never allowed to ask about growing up.
I began to read and re-read the eight chapters of this book with an intense desire for God to show me why this book made it into the Bible out of all of the books that did not. What was it that He wanted us to know through this little eight chapter story of a king and a shepherd girl?
What He showed me was that this book was NOT about marriage nor was this book NOT about sex although it contains both. This book was about relationship. This book showed me that God was NOT interested in me living FOR Him, but rather He was interested in me living FROM Him.
I began to consume this book and found myself writing down wave after wave of thoughts. Every verse contained an incredible wealth of value in the establishing of my worth in Him.
You see most of us go to God asking Him to meet a need in our life and what we really want is for Him to meet that need through another source. We ask for a job because we are looking for security. We ask Him to magically transform the thinking of our spouse so we can feel loved and what we are really in need of is our source of value and love to be found in God. I went out to the beach with my spiral bound notebook, a pen, and my bible and began to write out page after page of the love, value, adequacy, and worth that God was showing me.
What would each verse sound like if you were to read it as an actual love letter from God? There were 90 verses and my notebook quickly turned into 90 individual love letters from God to me. The more I would mediate on those letters the stronger my understanding of my identity and value to God became. As this grew, the other relationships began to change because I began to see how unfair I had been in expecting those relationships to complete in me what only God could.
I typed up the notebook into a manuscript because if this changed my life in writing it, it would also change a life in reading it.
What had started as just a notepad of love notes for God developed into a 90 day Journey of God's expressed desire for our hearts. In 90 days, the God of the universe won my heart's understanding of His love for me.
It took God seven days to create the world and the life contained on it and 90 days for me to wrap my mind around His relentless and fanatically consistent love for me.
I suppose this is why the Apostle Paul tells the church in the 3rd chapter of Ephesians if they could truly understand one thing it should be just how much God truly loved them as individuals. I truly believe we could make it through ANYTHING if we could grasp how much God really loves us.
God took the manuscript and directed it to the attention of a publisher who has a passion for the Lord named Carla R. Cannon. God set that appointment into motion, provided her the ability to see the vision God had placed in my spirit for this book, and used her gifts to help bring this stack of love letters to the form of a beautiful 90 day devotional / journal.
The money needed to publish this book was provided through so many avenues that looking back it is absolutely astounding. I looked at what was needed to bring this to life and what I had to work with and literally, GOD DID IT!
Many of you readers sent money to put towards this project, and those closest to me took whatever steps they needed to take to support me in this.
The book takes you on a 90 day journey. This is key because the journey is not so much about you becoming anything. It is about un-becoming everything that isn't really who God made you to be so you can be who God meant for you to be in the first place.
During this 90 day journey He uses the powerful message of this simple song to reveal to your heart that every path you have taken in your life (Good or bad) has indeed led you to the level of awareness that you have of God's presence in your life right now.
He has always been about relationship with you.
The book will be available on August 28th from the brand new website: www.danielstombaugh.com & on Amazon
(The new website will offer this book, along with other resources to help strengthen, inspire, and encourage you on your climb)
I am beyond ecstatic to offer this labor of love to you and I know God is going to use this as a tool to help people fall in love with Jesus!
Thank you for every read, post share, word of encouragement, and dollar of support that you have given to partner with me in bringing this dream to life!
Climbing with you,