I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately.
I know, I know - now that it’s February and we’re surrounded by hearts, pink and red decor, and all things cupid, it may seem a little cliché but truthfully, love is something I think about quite often. Hopefully that doesn't make me a walking Hallmark movie. (Oh, who am I kidding, I love a good cheesy Hallmark movie, so that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world!) No, really, in all seriousness, there’s something in particular I’ve been trying to suss out these past few months and I’m going to do my best to put it into words.
Have you ever noticed it’s much easier for us to give love than to accept it? It’s also far easier to believe the voices that call us worthless and unlovable. When we believe these voices, success and popularity become solutions that woo us. But what grabs us and pulls us all the way under is self-rejection. The greatest enemy in our walk with God is self-rejection because it contradicts his voice - the voice that calls us not just lovable, but deeply and wholly loved. Being his beloved is the very truth of who we are.
But simply knowing we’re the beloved isn’t enough. Take an honest inventory of the people in your lives and ask yourself, “how many people are living like they are the beloved?” Then, bravely take an honest inventory of your own self and your own beautiful heart and ask yourself, “am I living like I am the beloved?” For many of us, the answer is no. We discover that something keeps this truth of our truest identity from sinking into our innermost being. These past few months I’ve found myself pondering what makes it so hard for us to fully believe we’re the beloved?
Perhaps it’s this: when we realize we’re lovable not in spite of who we are, but because of who we are, it shakes up life as we know it. Things get turned upside down. When the status quo gets shifted in such a way that the foundation of our existence comes crumbling down, suddenly everything we thought we knew doesn’t hold up in the light of day anymore. And it takes real humility to be okay with the fact that everything we thought we knew about ourselves has been wrong.
Oh, but friends...knee deep in this kind of sacred heart work we could all rejoice and celebrate how wrong we have been because this is where we come face to face with freedom. Realizing we were wrong all along and that we are actually lovable, deeply loved, and cherished so much that God calls us his daughters, his prizes, his ambassadors? That can be life changing, if we'll let it all the way in.
Yes, it’s true letting love all the way in feels ridiculously scary and terrifyingly vulnerable, so we can convince ourselves to simply be the one who pours love into others, but that’s not fair. Letting love all the way in is an act of love in and of itself. Maybe one of the most tender and loving things we can do for those who we love is to let their love in. Letting the love of others in is a way we get to love them. It’s turns out it’s all a beautiful, cyclical wheel of love.
And that includes letting the love of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - all the way into the deepest, most hidden parts of who we are. It’s a way we get to show him how much we love him.
Girls - we’re lovable just as we are. We’re loved wholly and completely in this moment. We’re the beloved not in spite of who we are, but because of who we are. No matter who we are, what we’ve done, or what we haven’t done...we’re deeply, and incandescently loved. Come what may, this will never change.
My prayer for us this February is that we’ll let his truth and his never ending love all the way in.