I can’t keep the tears from coming. I’m trying to focus on the church bulletin in my hands, my pen in the other, the chair in front of me, ANYTHING to keep my mind off the insecurity I feel.
It’s a room full of cheerful voices, smiling faces, and laughter as we wait for the service to start, but my fear is the loudest noise I hear.
I squeeze my husband’s hand willing some of his courage to transfer to me. I quickly glance his way revealing my glassy eyes and he knows without me even having to say a word.
I miss home. I miss my family and friends. I miss being known.
I hug my Bible to my chest. It has become a habit of mine when I want to draw close to God. It’s pages, like a dear friend, has brought healing and life so many times before. And yet, it has only taken a few minutes in this new place to rip off the band aid and reveal my deepest doubt.
“Am I lovable?”
This is THE question that keeps me on my knees. If I left the answer up to me, it would always be a NO. I have learned along the way as I spend time with God that His word tells me differently. But believing Him at His word is where the gap lies.
Everything in me wants to work to earn love.
From a young age I learned that “to be noticed” I needed to be good. I observed that where others got noticed more easily, I had to work hard at getting a second glance. I accepted the idea that I didn’t look like most girls on the outside but I could get attention by standing out with what was on the inside.
Thus began years of striving to be accepted and loved. Thus began years of making assumptions and ideas of “what others are thinking.” Thus began years of self righteousness masked by selflessness.
When you live like this for so long, deep pathways are made in your way of thinking that seem impossible at times to change…apart from God.
This question is what led me to Jesus sixteen years ago. God’s love, through Jesus, has given me the grace to accept His work on my behalf. To believe He is my goodness. Jesus is the answer.
How quickly I forget this.
Three weeks ago, I attended a Christian conference called Declare. I almost did not go because we were in the throes of moving to Houston. But since I had signed up in January and I needed some major help with blogging, I went.
I am so glad I did. I learned much, laughed much, and was drawn outside of my comfort zone much. I call it my “briefing” because it inspired me to trust the Lord and walk in obedience, two reminders I have clung to since moving.
But the sweetest moment for me was a prayer led by the darling, Francie Winslow.
Francie had a message of freedom. “It’s not how we behave for God, but what we believe about God,” she declared. She reminded us that God’s desire for us is to be whole (Matthew 5:48).
She invited us to look full into the beautiful face of Jesus, receive His love, and let His perfect love cast out all fear.
I had already pulled out the tissues because God was stirring my heart and the tears were coming.
But then Francie led us to pray quietly, imagine God pulling up a chair, and think of this question–
What does God want to reveal to you about Himself?
I scarcely go there.
I’m usually tempted to go through a list of sins and what I should be doing for Him. But God had a gift for me. A beautiful picture in my mind.
He wrapped His hands around mine, looked me straight in the face, and said “I love you.”
I was getting uncomfortable. “I know, God, but…”
“I love you.”
“Yes, I know you do, but…” I kept wanting to look away from His eyes.
“I love you.”
He kept saying it over and over inviting me to believe.
“I love you. I love you. I love you.”
It was becoming a “Good Will Hunting” moment.
I let His words sink into my heart, and I let go of all my “should’s” and “have to’s,” and just let Jesus love me.
I was a mess. Here’s the evidence:
Even though I accepted his grace and love for me when I trusted in Jesus for my salvation, I easily go back into familiar patterns and habits….working to earn favor and love.
Moving, the unfamiliar, the unknown has resurfaced this insecurity all over again.
We all have an area in our lives where we struggle. Where we can’t seem to overcome. But God, in His kindness and mercy, does not leave us abandoned but says, “You, child, are worth the risk.”
I’m believing for the both of us that God can and will reveal to us more of Himself so we can be whole.
I’m believing for the both of us that healing is a process and God is patient to walk alongside us all the way.
I’m believing for the both of us in His love for us and that He is enough.
I’m believing for the both of us that each small step of faith is actually a BIG leap into the strength of His arms.
I stand up as the church service begins, choosing to believe I am lovable because He “is wild for me.” I smile and say hello to my neighbor because I am free to take the risk to love another. The music begins to play…
And I have a reason to worship.