Friday, July 7, 2017

My heart is so full!

I made it up to camp for 18 hours. Within 26(ish) hours, Mom and I drove up there, surprised a bunch of people including my Dad and sister Elizabeth, sat in a wonderful meeting, ate camp food, celebrated the 4th of July, and drove home. But it is amazing what 18 hours on those grounds can do.

Panoramic view of the lake from Watch Rock
Brant Lake, NY
I was reminded of how much God loves me. Insignificant, full of doubts, usually stressed, freaking out, loud and sometimes obnoxious, small me. 

Let me share some context here... I try to only show the "good stuff" about me. I try to always be positive. I try to always put other people first. I try to always be praying and encouraging other people. I try to stay happy and upbeat, sharing smiley faces and Bible verses. 

But that's not me probably 70% of the time if I'm being really honest.

Sometimes, I am mean and selfish. Sometimes, I ignore people. Sometimes, I say terrible things. Sometimes, I am impatient and nasty. Sometimes, I am jealous and inconsiderate. Sometimes, I am lazy and stubborn. Sometimes, I am thoughtless and gullible.

I doubt myself. I doubt other people. I stress over things I cannot change. I stress over things I can change. I am overemotional. I am critical, mostly of myself. I am often negative. I am often discouraged. I am often angry. I am often feeling lost or abandoned. I often let the bad thoughts take over.

But God loves me.

In spite of all of those awful things about myself, God loves me. God loves me because of who He is. God loves me because He wants me. 

The Maker of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Mighty Savior of the entire world, the Alpha and Omega, the Sovereign King, the Living Truth, the Three-In-One, the gracious Provider, the Holy Comforter, the eternal, loving, just, glorious, merciful, patient, righteous, forgiving, amazing, powerful, understanding, good, wise, faithful, infinite, unchanging, Lord of all, 
loves me. 


I can doubt it. I can question it. I can wrestle with it. I can fight it. It's not going to change. No matter my reaction, He is not going to change and He is going to love little me.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:16 & 17

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent
His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent
His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 
1 John 4:9 & 10

Many Christians already know this and have already come to understand how wonderful this is and I don't want people to think that I didn't know God loves me or that I have not accepted Him into my heart and life, but for me... this was a moment. Adonai, Elohim, Jehovah loves me and I cannot ignore it. He stands there with wide-open arms, waiting for me to accept this gift of love. 

So now I have three choices: I can walk away from all of this completely; I can accept it and go on with my life like nothing has changed; or... I can allow this knowledge to change me.

Walking away is not an option. Leaving my Christian walk, no matter how hard it gets, it not a choice. Accepting God's love and not allowing it to change me doesn't seem to make much sense. But that third option? Do I want my life to be changed? Absolutely. I want this undeniable, unchanging fact of God's love to permeate my heart and completely transform me, mind, body, and soul.

Will it solve all my problems? Will it make all my decisions easy? Will it make me happy and positive all the time? Nope. 

But it will make me different because I cannot ignore the unwavering fact that He loves me. My Father sees a woman seeking after Him and His will no matter what the cost. I'm not perfect, but I know He is making me into His perfection. I'm a work in progress. I'm getting there and by His grace, mercy, and love, I will continue to reach for that in my life.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; 
but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which 
Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Philippians 3:12

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

My challenge to you is this: accept God's love for you. He sent His Son to die because of little you. Don't ignore that gift because you're scared or you don't understand it.