You are not far from the Kingdom of God…

“We accept the love that we think we deserve.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

It is twenty-two days into Lent and the desert feels hot. As things get more difficult, emotions get more raw, God becomes more real. He is straining me, pressing me like Gethsemane. He wants to get things out. He wants to retain the good. It is painful…

But what makes it more painful is to know the truth. The truth that for so long, I have believed that I had to perform for God in order to get Him to love me. And although I know better, my human family has set these wheels in motion.

I am only as good as my last assignment

So yesterday, He made me look introspectively at this. Why I toil and then lie in pain over and over again. Why I never think that I am enough… for Him. This is what has filled my head for so long, the God that wants more from me. The successful God. The friends that have left me because there love was conditional. The people that have conditioned my success on how much I do for them. The inability to take the day off, or scream or just sit in silence. It is an interior war, not an exterior one. It is me against myself…

What a great struggle it is to realize deep and cutting truths. Having an idea of love that is shaped by those around you rather than the one above you. We befriend the same kind of people, work for the same kind of people, attract the same kind of crowd over and over and over again. This is nothing short of an internal pulse, a signal that we put out that we are unaware of. We believe that we do not deserve better, that we do not deserve more. When we believe that love is conditional, others who believe that seem closer to us rather than farther. We try and surround ourselves with people who love us regardless, but end up pushing those people away. It is too much to know that someone would love me for who I am, not what I can do for them. This thought to me is overwhelming…

And yet, God tells me I deserve better, I deserve more. Not things, or tangibles or praise but love. I deserve to be loved in its most purest form, in its most innocent form. I deserve to be loved the way He loves me.

In seeking Him first, my Father tells me that I am not accepting of this great love. I cry in His arms because He understands. My heart is heavy, but swallowed in the divine love He has for me. 

There are so many of us out there like this. Dancing with exhaustion to gain the approval of others. People leaving our lives because we disappointed them. Trying to be enough when it will never be enough… for them.

We can’t rest, we can’t stop until they love us. And we are exhausted. I needed to be visited by God. I needed to know that He wanted better for me, more for me. I was afraid to go on an adventure. I was scared to follow my dreams…

There are no disappointments in the love of God

So if today you hear HIS voice, harden not your hearts. You are not far…from Him.


Published by

Melissa Zelniker-Presser

I am a Catholic convert from Judaism. I am a writer by the grace of God. I am a devotee to Our Blessed Mother. I am a sexual abuse survivor. I am showing up to see what happens next.

8 thoughts on “You are not far from the Kingdom of God…”

  1. I was starting to miss you again and was glad to see your post this morning. I agree that this Lent thing – the repentance- the time spent with God is highly necessary. We do it not to impress God but show our love and gratitude for what has so lovingly been bestowed on us. The fact that we don’t deserve any of it is the beauty of redemption. Soon it will be time to get out of the desert, to ponder on that passion and finally to join in our alleluias once more. Have a great weekend my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I have had my keyboard held back until I more fully understood and immersed myself. I am on the other side of it and we are more than halfway done with Lent!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa, what a beautiful way to put it. We do exhaust ourselves, in pursuit of love and approval. I met up with an old friend who departed on me, such calm wisdom. Everything I seem to have done, I did it for my benefit. Was it Godly to tried to have win their love, and felt like such a failure that it was rejected? But God’s love is always there. It’s never going anywhere. Why did I ever think I had to earn such love. God’s love is perfect. Human’s best person on earth cannot be as perfect as God’s love. I hope and pray that He will continue to keep my eyes on Him. Because as long as my approval weighs on His creations, not Him, the creator, I will exhaust myself until there is no Bo left.

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  3. I believe that growing up under the old testament God may have something to do with your thoughts and feelings. It’s hard to imagine a God so loving, devoid of the good works. But you know the gospels and are more aware of His love for us than many others. Rest easy knowing that His love is relentless, and you will be blessed. I love you, oh complicated creature. For this is how He made you.

    Liked by 1 person

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