So often we want to jump in and fix everything that is wrong, then move on with our lives and forget about everything that took us to the places we've been to begin with. I get it! Even as I write this, I want that too. I want to jump right in and tell you all the reasons why you are doing what you are doing, fix what is wrong, and help you to live the life God has for you. Seems reasonable, right?! HA! As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked when I was writing my "How to Fix Everyone" manuscript and God stopped me to give me this revelation: I had gotten it backwards!!!
I was dumbfounded as God gently showed me that I had gotten it ALL WRONG. Jesus, through prayer, took me back to my own dark days of healing and took me to the very first moment I knew I needed help.
Far before my life hit rock bottom, He was calling to me, showing me one powerful word OVER AND OVER again. He showed me through my imperfect parents, he showed me in the quiet nights of my shame and guilt. Relentlessly he pursued me with one word. LOVE. I could never escape it.
There were so many times I didn't believe it, so many times I knew I didn't deserve it, and so many times I rejected it, but no matter what, there it was.
When I opened my eyes, when I went to sleep... Love. When I would reluctantly go to church, and even when I wanted to end it all... LOVE.
I never really thought about it until I took a step back and looked over my life. It was there, always comforting me, begging me to come to HIM. People judged me and society wrote me off. My parents were hurt and many times I put God's love for me through the grid created by the type of love I'd given and been given. I thought that God loved the way others love. I WAS WRONG. He loved me in my darkest moments and finally, after years of fighting and years of hopelessness, I decided to see if He really meant it.
Turning from my rebellious behavior, going to therapy, digging deep and really facing the truth about why I hurt and who had hurt me, forgiving all those who wronged me and forgiving myself for the ways I had wronged others were all part of my journey towards healing.
But I want to make something crystal clear: NONE of this would have happened if it were not for GOD'S unending love for me.
Something happens to us we we realize we are loved, especially when we know we don't deserve it. Love heals in ways nothing else can. Without love, we have nothing. When I realized God truly loved me, I was finally able to see myself through a grid of unconditional love instead of the flawed grid I had previously created for myself.
Resting in his love was a challenge. My self-destructive brain naturally veered back towards shame and judgment, but His love would not let me go there. It surrounded me. His love gave me a new identity. It gave me hope and purpose. Christ's pure love, over time, changed my name from defeated to overcomer.
I AM LOVED! And not only am I loved, I AM HIS!
ME! The girl who had made mistake after mistake, who was abandoned, and who brought shame upon her family and herself. LOVED. How could this be?
God does not love with human love. It's perfect, untainted by human junk. When I would feel like giving up, throwing in the towel, His love would scream to me...YOU ARE MINE. Don't believe the lies. Trust Me. I will set you FREE.
Why did I fight against this love for so long? Why did I not cry out to Him sooner? The hurt that I felt and the things that had happened to me caused me to believe that I was not worthy of this kind of love. I thought that I needed to get my life together in order to accept it. Boy, was I wrong. I wasted so many years believing God was like we often are, judgmental and harsh. I imagined he had a to-do list for me and that until all of those things were checked off the list, I couldn't be close to Him. Again, I was so wrong. I believed Jesus is who people said He is instead of who His word says He is.
How this must break His heart for us.
Jeremiah 31:3 says He loves us with and everlasting love. EVERLASTING. It never ends! It has no stipulations on it, it is just there, waiting to be received.
I hope that you will realize the power of this love and begin to trust that what Jesus says is true. Then and only then will your heart find the courage to start to change.
His love gives you a new identity. It causes you to be identified with someone perfect. You'll no longer be identified by the hurts of your past but with the King of Kings, the Creator of the universe. You are His most beloved and that understanding changes everything!
This won't mean that the struggle disappears, but knowing you are not alone in the fight will give you a new strength to press on through it, onto the other side of the pain. His love gives you courage to fight hard to be healed.
I remember many days when I felt that the fight to be healed was more than I could bare, but as I would literally cry out to God, He would pour out His love onto me. He would give me the courage to keep going, and remind me that healing was coming. It was His love for me that ministered to me. When you are identified by God's love, you are given a new name. A new identity starts to rise up within your soul and the things that controlled you before don't have the power they once had.
There is only one thing you have to do: Accept this gift.
It is waiting for you to receive it, and true, deep change can not happen until you choose to accept what Jesus has for you. To know you are loved, to feel His acceptance of you, and to walk in the confidence of this will be the beginning of a life forever changed.
Romans 8:37-39 - In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.