How He Loves Us Part 2
It is officially Day 5 of being 29. I have to say, it has been a great age so far. Having a four day weekend, two days unplanned, has contributed to this bliss. And this is my fifth blog. 360 more days to go until the big 3-0.
Last night Kevin and I finally checked our mail after a snowy few days, and I received this beautiful birthday card from my mom and dad. It is my inspiration for today's blog. My mom is a master at celebrating people. She raised me from birth to know and believe the very truths that are on this card. She and my dad together have been a beautiful voice through which God has communicated His great love for me. I am inspired by her to love other people in this way. She often shares with other women the importance of valuing themselves as deeply loved treasures that God adores. This card says three things, which are each accompanied by three verses. It is my prayer that every woman would hide God's word in her heart and acknowledge these things to be true about herself.
YOU ARE IRREPLACEABLE...
"God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special." 1 Thessalonians 1:4
Being an elementary school teacher consistently challenges the feelings I have about myself and my unique worth. Teaching 22 children well on a daily basis is a daunting task. Everyone has a different need, no one learns the same way. On top of that, the administration of it all might make a person crazy. Most hard working teachers at my school have a beautiful gift of organization. I do not. My way is a bit more chaotic than some could handle, and my desk is rarely perfectly clear. At the beginning of the year I used to criticize myself and feel constantly overwhelmed that I was failing because of my "organized mess." I knew where things were but it looked like I hadn't a clue. Finally I made peace with the fact that I love those kids with my whole heart. I am there to teach them to the best of my ability. I am working hard to do my best. Though I will never have the most orderly classroom in the school, I know who I am to those kids, and to me that's what matters most.
Isn't it true that so many times we feel little more than boring and ordinary? There are so many roles that we fill as women. Wife, mom, daughter, sister, some kind of in-law, friend, teacher, mentor, counselor, student, girlfriend, employee, cook, etc. Striving to fill all these roles well creates a huge pressure and burden for us to bear. Regardless of the role we are playing, at some point there is usually a feeling of inadequacy that goes along with it. When we are single it's, "Am I worthy of being loved the way I desire?" When we are married it's, "Am I a good enough wife to my husband?" When you're a mom it might be, "Am I raising my kids well?" When we're at our jobs it's, "Am I even capable of doing this job?" As if that weren't enough, it also seems like there is an abundance of unwarranted advice consistently available. In the end it all comes down to the fact that God loves you more than you can imagine and He has designed you to be especially you. He wants you to have no one's gifts but your own, and He wants you to live your own story. Which is probably why you don't see my blog filled with the most creative crafts you've ever seen. Would I love to be recognized and given accolades for coming up with some amazingly cool creations? Yes, absolutely. Is that my gift? No, absolutely not! I must become content to recognize I am special for who God made me to be, and my joy will come from knowing He loves that person so very much more than anyone I might pretend to be. And when I am content with pleasing God alone, I have so much more to give.
YOU ARE CHOSEN...
"...Even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own through what Christ would do...." Ephesians 1:4
There is a song by Kari Jobe that I used to listen to over and over in my car. Part of it goes, "I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hands. Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat. This love is so deep, it's more than I can bear, I melt to my knees, it's overwhelming." It is a beautiful song and I LOVE that image of sitting at the feet of the sweet, wonderful Jesus who died for us and has been so very faithful. It is powerful to realize that God knew us before we were born. He knew how we would succeed and fail, what choices we would make, how we would or would not love Him and receive His love. He knew all of this and yet he chose us. He sacrificed so that we could be free to delight in Him and enjoy eternity with Him. I can only imagine what it will be like to be embraced by the only one who will ever truly know me inside and out, better than I know myself...and love every bit.
YOU ARE TREASURED...
"...God, your God, chose you...as a cherished, personal treasure." Deuteronomy 7:6
If you get a chance today, look up Matthew 13:45-46. It is the parable of the treasured pearl. Often referred to as "the pearl of great price." It talks about the kingdom of heaven being like a merchant looking for fine pearls. It says when he found one of great value and worth, he sold everything he had just to buy it. This serves as an example of how so dearly loved we are by our heavenly Father. He would give anything...and essentially gave everything for each one of us. I have struggled many times throughout my life with the idea of feeling valued. I remember from the time I was a little girl always wanting to be beautiful with all of my heart. I always felt ugly and awkward. I have struggled with hating myself for my imperfections and trying to please others so that I might gain their approval and affirmation. I have struggled with finding my value in absolutely God alone, and making every choice of word or action from that belief. In the end, it is all of these struggles that have built and strengthened the deep love I have for Jesus. Often struggling to fully trust others, I have found that God is always trustworthy, and when I place my trust fully in Him, I have peace that passes all understanding. I have a crazy joy that does not make sense in the midst of life's circumstances. He has and will provide. He has and will heal. He has and will comfort, guide, forgive, listen, lead and love. Receive this love for yourself. Read about it in his word. Sit at his feet, let it wash over you and give you hope. No, you do not have to be perfect or approved of today. God created you. He knows you. He DELIGHTS in you. Please learn with me how to be okay being so much less than perfect. You are irreplaceable, You are chosen, and You are treasured.
YOU ARE LOVED.
And thank you mom and dad for introducing to me at a young age how very much God loves us...and for showing it to me still. I love you.