How my dog is teaching me about God's love

Ever since fleeing church back in January, there's been a slow, quiet movement of God happening in my heart. I am finding that God's love is not limited to any one place, moment or group.

What I mean is: I often think that if I just had some sort of logical, rational, reasonable, highly-orthodox understanding of God I would have a closer relationship with Him. But now I'm wondering: what if God created me to know Him in a different way?

Take my doggy, Darby, for example. I'm amazed at the purity of her love for our family. She is always eager and excited to see us. She's so happy and affectionate. Her love is not limited to any one place, moment or group. She isn't worried about loving us through impressive oratory skills or an ability to explain love from the original Greek. She was created as a dog and we have no expectations that she'll start demonstrating her love for us by morphing into a theologian. She loves us through her doggy-ness and we love her precisely FOR that!

Now, I realize I'm comparing myself to a dog. OK. Fine. All I'm saying is, Darby might inherently understand something about love that it's taken me all this time to realize.

And that is: maybe God is OK with me loving Him through the way He created me vis-a-vis as an ENFP, as a woman, as a feeler.

This all very revolutionary to me.

See, my understanding of God was shaped by a very masculine perspective--every approach to God was laid out in a very "How-Firm-A-Foundation-Ye-Saints-of-The-Lord" way. You know, like booming, authoritative, put aside ye cumbersome emotions and quit ye like men!

But I'm a woman. Aaaand I'm an emotional woman. I feel deeply. Yes, I can sing the rousing hymns of conquerage (I just made up a word--heh), but that approach doesn't open up my vulnerable, tender heart. I have to hope that I can love God with my emotions and not just my mind--because I am like 99% emotion and 1% whatever-else-there-is (see? i don't even know what else there IS beside emotion, ack!).

Maybe God is OK with me loving Him the way I am as a woman without needing to go around demonstrating my love for Him in a masculine way.

My point, here, is that I've sensed God turning that heart-pounding fear into a heart that is open and accepting--a heart that can allow others to have their thoughts, ideas and feelings without needing to correct, change or criticize them.

I'm finally becoming OK with loving God through my emotions--letting myself open, release and accept without trying to force, coerce and change myself or others.

Why has it taken me so long?