For years I lived for a place of love.
I longed to be loved for who I was and for what I did. I longed to be valued for being valuable.
I loved FOR God. I thought that since He did so much for me, I wanted to do things for Him as well. I was genuine in my desire to please Him and I truly had a connection with my Jesus.
As much as I loved God and had a connection with the Divine, I was quite certain there had to be more, but it seemed like such a mystery to me.
Last year, I had a dream about Jesus that set me on a search for truth. A search for who Jesus really is. Who God is. I’m still far from having all the answers, but I want to share with you one thing I am learning.
There’s a difference between living For Love and living From Love.
One of them is more performance based and the other is acceptance based.
When I lived For love, I lived for God. I took on duties and responsibilities that I thought would be a good way to bless other people For God. I tried to be constantly alert to any need that arose that would be something I could do FOR God.
I begged. I begged God to help me with loving others well when I felt impossibly unloving toward them. I begged for healing. I begged for answers. I begged for peace. I begged for things to change.
I always ended with words “according to your will” and I would envision myself as a contrite child on my knees before God, taking on whatever hardships were handed out to me….because whatever happened in life, God had to have a purpose for it. I lived from this posture of begging and trying hard to have faith.
Now I don’t want to get all technical on word play here. I’m also not a theologian. I am still learning, but I want to share my thoughts on what true Love is to me right now.
First, let’s talk about LIFE. Simply put, Life happens. Being human is hard. Horrible things occur every day and there is no good purpose for them that I can see. No good purpose for murder or rape or incest or abuse. No good purpose for babies suffering and mommies and daddies dying too soon. No good purpose for horrific things that we can’t even wrap our minds around. For trauma that rocks out world and turns it all upside down.
While I don’t see good in the actual experience, I see so much good in a Jesus who sits with us in the pain and weeps with us. I see a Jesus who doesn’t magically take us out of humanity but whose presence keeps us breathing and alive and infinitely loved.
What would it look like if we would view life through the lens of relationship versus the lens of controlling everything in life?
If we would stop begging God and instead start communicating with God. If we’d acknowledge the fact that life is not fair and that serving God will not be a guarantee that tragedy won’t strike us. That we are not immune to suffering and death and heartbreak. That just because something happens doesn’t really mean that it was meant to be.
That not everything has a purpose of good, but instead, the relationship with God is what causes the miracle to happen and goodness blooms from tragedy. That it’s more about what’s going on inside our hearts instead of the suffering. That graves do not normally disappear. But they can become gardens. (I love that song)
In every single hard thing, God is still good. Still listening. Still compassionate. Still caring. But He doesn’t always make it go away. He doesn’t always come through the way we think He should.
Here’s the promise we DO have. There is always a deeper level of love and awareness, companionship and peace He wants to bring us through the hard times.
I used to beg God for answers and change because that was all I knew to do. Beg and resign myself to whatever He chose to do. I didn’t know how to receive. How to live in the power of His resurrection.
I was so busy trying to find reasons for what was happening. Defending God in my thoughts. Focusing on what He could do instead of focusing on His presence right here. Right now.
I didn’t know how much He LOVED me. Because I was so busy trying to serve Him and make sense of what was happening.
But here’s the part that I have learned at a deeper level this last year.
I am LOVED.
Exactly where I am . The way I am. No proper words or correct thoughts needed. No perfect faith or wordy prayers. I am loved with my questions and fears and insecurities.
I’m loved exactly now. Exactly as I am.
It sounds incredibly simple but to get that message from my head into my heart took another whole level of belief, acceptance, and trust.
When the reality of Divine Love moved into the very core of my heart, it changed everything. I stopped trying to do it right for God.
I started from a different place. A place of rest. A place of acceptance. Of not trying to prove anything or argue my stance.
A place of unconditional, gentle, overwhelming, accepting, patient love.
I began loving From this Divine love. I began accepting the Words I heard Jesus speaking to me. I began accepting the truth spoken around me. I began accepting the smiles and words of blessing from others and when I began believing these things, my whole life began to shift and change.
Instead of begging, I began receiving. Instead of taking, I began asking. Asking Jesus what He thought of this . Asking the Holy Spirit’s presence into issues I was facing. And then I listened.
I am learning that Jesus actually delights in being with me. That instead of a helpless child begging at his feet, He is gently taking my fear and hesitation and asking me to dance with Him in freedom and love.
I learned something else. There is always a blessing waiting for me. I am not an unworthy beggar.
Because of LOVE-divine LOVE- when God looks at me, He sees Jesus . The angels rejoice over me because of that LOVE that I am resting in. Power is mine…because of abiding in love.
Because of this LOVE, I have access to a whole huge storehouse of blessings. It’s my choice if I accept them or not. I can chose to follow the gentle suggestions of the Holy Spirit. Even if I don’t, it doesn’t make me more or less loved. But it may keep that blessing tucked away on the shelf in the store house, waiting to be poured out over my life and the lives of those around me. It may keep me from experiencing a new view of who God is and what He has available for me in life.
It takes all the pressure off when living from a place of love. I don’t have to spend energy constantly searching my radar for things I should do and ways I must serve. I won’t blow it if I miss one opportunity or make one mistake.
I know now that Jesus will meet me wherever I’m at.That when I am in communication with Him, I can follow His gentle lead and listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit to show me how to love others best.
I can live in rest and know that my performance doesn’t change His opinion of me. With my heart turned toward him, I know that I will be told what to do and I can rest in that knowing.
I can rest my heart and mind on the knee of my Creator and ask questions, share my fears, and hear the sweet words of love and power.
There is no need to beg when I can simply rest and receive.
There is so much power. So much love. So much Hope available through this kind of living.
So many secrets and sweet thoughts and moments. So many many messages from nature. Birds flying overhead, butterflies flitting by, breezes suddenly springing up, the smile of a stranger, the wave of a child. All around me , life is filled with this rest and love when I simply open my eyes to it’s wonder.
We are not the victims in this life. We are not the ones who are powerless and fearful in the face of resistance to love and truth. We are incredibly equipped with power and peace from our Creator.
We are in touch with Heaven’s answers. With ideas and thoughts and words of life that may seem so insignificant in the moment, but can start a ripple effect of goodness and transformation.
Don’t be afraid to ask Jesus questions. Don’t be surprised when you hear an answer. It may just be different then what you imagined.
Dare to live truly divinely LOVED!!