God · Personal

LOVE

Max Lucado’s book “You Are Special” highlights a boy named Punchinello who comes to learn that he is special because he is a masterpiece created by a man named Eli.  It’s a simple and masterfully presented message, but it is so hard to accept the fact that you are valuable and special.

If you asked me if God loved me, I would have told you, “Of course He does.”  As a Christian, my faith is built on the fact that God loved me enough to create me and then die for me so that I could live forever with Him.  However, if you had asked me if I loved myself, I don’t think the answer would have been yes.

You may ask me why is that such a big deal.  Most people have insecurities and are often over critical of themselves.  I will tell you why.

I am one of those people who will give 110% to anything that I put my mind to.  However, I often forget other things besides the one thing that I am giving that 110% to such as family, friends, and myself.  This is what happened during my first year of college.  I threw myself into the experience taking on a full course load.  I barely gave any time to keeping myself healthy and rested, and spent more time studying than I would with my family and friends.  My room, which had never been neat, turned into a disaster zone, and I was always forgetting to do chores and clean up after myself.

About half-way through the first semester, I began to notice all the things I was neglecting in my life, but I was so caught up in school I didn’t know how to make changes.  I finished that semester with a commendable 3.88 GPA, but the rest of my life was not in such good shape.  I wanted very badly to change it, but willpower alone seemed to get me nowhere.

Having no other option, I began to take a closer look inside myself.  I turned to God, whom I’d also neglected, and began to ask Him to show me what was going wrong in my life.

Slowly, the answer began to emerge after much searching and a tearful conversation or two with my mom.  I began to realize that the problem lay much deeper than what I could see on the outside of my life.

I had also knew God loved me.  That was a given, but over the years, I had struggled like most girls do at one point, with self image issues.  I had thought I had gotten over those issues, but I found out that I hadn’t.  I had come to constantly berate myself and look down on myself for any little thing that I had done wrong.  Without realizing it, I began to believe that I had began to believe that God would only love me if I was a “good girl” and did all the things that He told me to.  I didn’t love myself.  I was constantly working for God’s love and acceptance.

In the Bible, God commands us to love others as we love ourselves.  Do you see the problem?  I didn’t really love myself, so how could I show love and caring to others.  I was neglecting myself and others and constantly working for God’s love.

Once I realized that, it was like a light bulb went on in my head and a weight was lifted off of me.  I relaxed and collapsed back into the loving arms of God.  I began to let my identity be made real in Him.  I slowly began to believe truly in His love for me.  I am loved by Him and because of that I am now free to show His love towards others.

My focus began to shift back towards my family and friends.  I spent more time with them and less time studying.  I found balance in my life.  I began to exercise and take care of myself.  My room seemed to become less and less messy.  Even though I didn’t always feel like I was giving enough attention to college, I ended the second semester even better than the first.  When I did my best for God out of love, He blessed my efforts.

It’s so interesting how your life mirrors what’s in your heart and your relationship with God.  I warn you not to think that you can hide struggles of the heart you are having.  How you act everyday, reveals what is in your heart.  Tell close person you can trust about your problems.  Even talking it through with them can make a difference.  Lastly, don’t stop talking to God.  Tell Him what’s on your heart.  I was just listening to this song by Blanca called “Who Am I.”  I love the lyrics:

Another voice, another choice
To listen to words somebody said
Another day, I replay, one too many doubts inside my head
Am I strong, beautiful, am I good enough
Do I belong after all, that I’ve said and done
Is it real when I feel I don’t measure up
Am I loved

I’m runnin’ to the One who knows me
Who made every part of me in His hands
I’m holdin’ to the One who holds me
‘Cause I know, ’cause I am 
I know who I am
I am sure, I am Yours

Turnin’ down, tunin’ out
Every single word that caused me pain
Unashamed and unafraid
‘Cause I believe You mean it when You say
I am strong, beautiful
I am good enough
And I belong after all, ’cause of what You’ve done
This is real what I feel
No one made it up
I am loved

I’m runnin’ to the One who knows me
Who made every part of me in His hands
I’m holdin’ to the One who holds me
‘Cause I know, ’cause I am 
I know who I am
I am sure, I am Yours

Fearfully, wonderfully, perfectly
You had made me

I’m runnin’ to the One who knows me
Ya-a-ay
I’m holdin’ to the One who holds me
Holds me holds me-e-e-yay 

I’m runnin’ to the One who knows me
Who made every part of me in His hands
I’m holdin’ to the One who holds me
‘Cause I know, ’cause I am 
I know who I am
I am sure, I am Yours
Oh, I am Yours
I am sure, I am Yours
And I know who I am
http://www.songlyrics.com/blanca/who-i-am-lyrics/

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