Ollo! This is blog #3 of a very prolonged series. 😀
I know I haven’t written in a while, but I’m back for yet another round. I’m hoping not to make this one too long. It’s already November and I haven’t even finished my story about my summer. Haha… -_-V
I left off talking about stopping and being still, facing yourself, facing some hard things, and finally being able to find peace. And that the things that you face in your heart are the very places that God is speaking and present to reveal Himself… only to be even closer than you imagined possible.
Today, I think I just want to make it very to the point. I want to talk about a truth that was the major heart changer for me this summer. Something that just really hit me deeper. This is where my Summer Love touches REAL love and something of substance, something that can withstand time, weather, any circumstance of life, rather than it just being fleeting emotions, and brief infatuation.
It basically has to do with who God is. Here it is:
Understanding that God loves me right where I am, as I am.
I think there are times in our lives when we get to a point where we examine what we’ve done, how much we’ve done, gain a sense of accomplishment, or lack thereof, gauge what it means to be in the present, and how to get to the future we desire. We think we have it all figured out. We think we can GET it all figured out. That’s where I was. That’s what I started doing. Reflecting isn’t always bad, but I was I starting to feel crappy about myself because I was measuring the worth of my present by looking at the past, and wondering how to get from here to where I felt I REALLY needed to be. And I only felt I needed to be there so that I could feel some sense of worth and accomplishment with all that has happened in my life. I felt it wasn’t very much. My dreams felt worthless. So I strived for a bit. Panicked. Got discouraged. Lost focus. Did things for the wrong reasons. Etc.
Very often we hear sermons, hear stories and testimonies… we see people doing spectacular things. We get encouraged to do something wonderful for God, to go after your dreams, to make a difference in the world. And while those are very good things, I needed a very different message. I needed to hear that God loved me regardless of whether or not I was doing anything awesome.
God loves you…
You can hear that a thousand times and still have it mean not a single thing to you. And that’s what happened. I felt that way. I’ve heard it. Blah Blah.
But my heart cried out.
I didn’t want to hear it from someone else. I wanted to hear HIM say it to me. “I love you, Vicki.”
Oh, how I need to hear that a millions times a day.
One day, as I was going through my usual day deep in my thoughts and feeling discouraged and worthless, my roommate and I decided to meet for lunch. As we were eating and conversing, I started to complain about some things and question things and expressed how I felt about my life and things that have happened and how I felt about my future. It was the talk of a hopeless person. After listening quite intently, and me feeling a little agitated, conversation died down and she pulled out her iPad. She had an app called procreate (a painting and sketching app) on it and she began to doodle. I watched a picture come to life. A real simple picture.
It turned out to be something like this. Real simple. But I wept.
I didn’t ball my eyes out in the middle of the restaurant or anything, but my tears came from a deep place. It was like a spring welling up out of a dry place because of rain. It was healing and soothing. The truth hit me. I didn’t realize that I had been striving and comparing myself to the lives of other people, or even to my own standards and expectations of where I felt I needed to be on my journey. Even if I did realize it at points, I didn’t know how to stop it. I had been feeling like a failure. And felt like I was continuing to fail because my attempts at doing something or figuring something out wasn’t getting me anywhere. But Leann gave me a simple visual representation of myself as I had been in recent days, and made me realize that there is nothing ugly or shameful about my life. Every moment of my life is beautiful because He gave it to me… including today.
Now that was huge! Radical! Mind-blowing!
We usually have a lot of feelings and thoughts about our past, but what I was wrestling with the now. I felt like I was wasting the present. I felt I needed to be doing something. Not sure what. Just doing something to get somewhere. I kinda felt as if I had missed the mark and was STILL missing it. Somehow in my mind, nothing but hitting the mark gave value to my life and actions. That’s called… performance. Which is not really a loving relationship.
So God was speaking to my heart, “I really love you, here… like this, too.”
Through a simple stick figure drawing He decided to point out what I considered to be the least significant and worthless thing that I was doing with my time and was telling me that He loved me there. A LOT. And what I was doing at the time was… relaxing at home and playing/snuggling with my cats. It meant a lot because I was REALLY enjoying the simple things in life. My cats. Music. The sun. Books. Smiles.
So I guess I will wrap it up now.
There’s an ebb and flow to everything we do in life. We need to learn to trust God in all times and seasons. One isn’t greater than the other, one isn’t more meaningful than the other, one doesn’t give more worth to your life and self than the other. He won’t love us more in one or the other. He never measures to the standard that the world measures, and He never measures to even OUR standard.
I decided a few things from that.
1. I will not change what I know about Him and who I’ve know Him to be, based on what my life looks like at the time.
2. I will not change my heart toward Him based on my fluctuating feelings about myself and shifting perspectives of my life.
3. I will not let any other voice tell me who I am and what I am to do or why I did or should do something.
He loves me. Endlessly. Limitlessly. It will never change.
I want to know this more. I want to live from that place more. So that whether I am hanging out with the homeless, worshipping on my face, eating a sandwich, or scooping out poop out of my cats’ litter box, I can be overtaken by His presence and love, knowing He doesn’t love me more or less than any other moment. Every moment of my life was worth it for Jesus to come and die for me. My value and worth comes from the fact that a great price was paid for me to have breath in my lungs and a fire in my heart, so that I may enter into His presence every moment of my life.
Oh what a glorious kind of love.
Today, He calls you LOVED.
Today, He gives you peace.
Today, He says your life is beautiful.