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The Purest Kind of Love

The greatest love you will ever experience is the love you have for yourself. This life is full of so many experiences that can bring your value and worthiness into question. We are often weighed down by the trials and traumas that catch us by surprise. Life is hard. It is hard to invest all you have in a cause or situation and not get anything in return. It is hard to compromise and bend to the will of others, just to wake up one day and realize that your dream turned into your worst nightmare. It is devastating to receive the biggest slap of reality from the thing that you believed would bring you joy. And most of all, it is crushing to hold onto hope; to believe that the situation would turn for the good just to learn you were the only one fighting.

One of the lessons I learned recently is that real love is personal and seasoned. Our love grows depth and breadth when we receive affirmation from the object/people we love. That’s not to say everything will go right, but seeing the object/person flourish under our love gives us hope that with consistency the outcome will be as sweet as the giving. Seasoned love weathers the hard, endures the harsh, and evolves. It shape shifts and becomes agile without losing its integrity. Weathered love is rooted in faith and hope, and anchored by the Giver of love. Love is reflective of the individual who gives it because we are incapable of giving love that is at war with our character. Simply put, our love is an extension of who we are as an individual.

Our love cannot be compromised by something that is not within our value system. Love is personal and exposes the most truthful intentions of our hearts. If you are faithful, your love is faithful. If someone puts their needs first or seeks instant gratification, they are completely incapable of offering a love that is sacrificial and long suffering.

If you are receiving love that causes you heartache, sadness, or to question your sanity and worth, look at the giver. Someone who is secure and grounded in themselves will offer stable love. A safe place. A refuge from your troubles and an ear that does not get heavy. If you are not thriving with those you are in community with, it may be time to build a new community.

As life beats us down, remember to not let it compromise your integrity. Love is a powerful gift that not everyone will get to experience. And more sadly, many will never know what it is like to love themselves wholeheartedly. We all know someone who would rather put their focus into something (or someone) else instead of confronting the hard truths about themselves. And the longer they avoid, the more they become void. Love is so powerful that it changes with the individual. If you do the soul work, love will work. If you heal, your love will become healing. If you develop patience, your love will be patient. And if you work to live in truth, your love will be truth giving.

Here is your gentle reminder that your value is not predicated on someone seeing it. Someone who is lost cannot find (and cherish) you. Someone who is not brave enough to sit with themselves cannot (and is not worthy) to stand in your truth. Someone who cannot acknowledge that they have hurt you, has not taken the time to heal themselves. Someone seeking the comfort and validation of others cannot support you when you need it most. You are worthy of unrestrained; peaceful; forgiving; un-compromised; grounded; safe and secure love that is whole and intentional. And before you try to give that to anyone else, take the time to give it to yourself first.

I Decided to Believe Again

I Decided to Believe Again

While at church for a meeting, the Lord visited us and spoke to our hearts. The words were simple but powerful – I decided to believe again. These five words summed up 2015 for me. I have had a lot of wonderful things happen this year, but I have also experienced heartache and loss. I had some exciting days and some exhausting days. I’ve smiled some days and I cried on others.

It amazes me how strong and overpowering some negative experiences can be. These soul-shattering events cause us to forget about all of the other great things that have happened. The bad days take you on a journey and plant you somewhere on a desert island and if you’re not careful, you’ll stop hoping for a search and rescue and will just adapt to your surroundings. You watch life pass you by and even though you yearn to be a part of it, you can’t. It’s like an invisible chain anchored in the earth that keeps you from moving.

If you have felt this way at any point this year – I understand. I have been there. And what I can tell you is that regardless of what you’re experiencing (or have experienced), it will get better. And your recovery is not going to start with an apology. It’s not going to start with the wrong being righted. It’s not going to happen with retaliation. No, it’s going to start when you realize you are better than that. It starts with you realizing you are deserving of great things; you are stronger than you appear in the turmoil. And you are destined for greatness, despite of it.

Heartache and loss often cause us to erect walls around our hearts and our emotions. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re doing it, other times we do. These walls hold in forgiveness, bitterness, resentment and eventually hate. If you’re not careful, the vortex of misery with suck you in and pull you to places you did not want to go and make you do things you do not want to do. You may find yourself in situations that are out of character, all because you decided to avoid, rather than deal, with the situation at hand.

So, my friend, it is my prayer that today will be your day! Today is the day you let go of him, her and it. You can do this. Is it going to magically happen? No, it’s not. But it’s going to start with you deciding to believe again. It starts with you wiping the fears and doubts away. It starts with you squaring your shoulders and declaring you refuse to be an outcast in your own life. It starts with you finding your voice and letting it be heard. And, it’s going to start with you, trusting that God will work everything out.

What do you need to start believing in? What have you lost faith in? Regardless of how big or small the circumstance is, it all starts in you believing in yourself. You have to make the decision to believe you can and will be better.

Lord,

Thank you for my friend who reads this message. You said we’ll find rest for our souls when we cast our cares on You for Your yoke is easy and Your burdens light. We are so thankful for Your promise and your care for us. We pray that as we enter into 2016, you will make room in our hearts for You to dwell. We pray that Your peace will cover all of our worries, doubts and fears. You said that You’re able to do exceedingly and abundantly, above all we could ever ask or think. We take You at Your word and we receive the healing that You so freely give. Show us how to release all things that are contrary to Your will for our lives. We ask all these things in your son Jesus’ name, amen.

 I love you with the love of Christ!