But without love, I would not have been able to feel the pain that had numbed me. Without love, I would not have been able to see the lie that had pierced me. Without love, healing could not have commenced. Now abide faith, hope, and love...but the greatest of these is LOVE (1 Cor 13:13).
I have been tacitly told that in order to be loved, accepted, and worthy of encouragement in the family of God, I had to behave a certain way. I had to be exceedingly outgoing, unreserved, hop like a kangaroo, have a marsupial pouch, cry on cue, be available 24/7, never be down or depressed, take loveless criticism as an honor and privilege, change or work on my 'deficiencies' when compared to other believers, accept to be treated as a 'second-tier' child of God for not behaving a certain way....and on, and on it goes. Expectations I did not meet or did not exceed. But then, God happened.
Spending over six weeks and a concentrated weekend serving others with a group of beautiful and loving ladies and gents, all who loved UNCONDITIONALLY, who did not expect me or others to hop like a kangaroo - rather, just expected for God to work in and thru me - was such a soothing balm to my hurting soul. And I didn't even know I was hurting. Notice, the expectation was not for me to do something, but for GOD to do the work (can you hear the sound of impossible burdens roll down and hit the floor...and shattering?).
It took LOVE to allow me to identify the lies that had settled deep down within my heart. It took LOVE to allow me to feel the pain caused by the lies. It took LOVE for me to let the tears roll down my face, and not feel guilty for it.
I don't have to be anything God has not created me to be. I do not have to be anything God is not expecting of me. The only thing I have to be is an empty vessel, that way He can fill me with Himself. The only thing I have to do is obey Him, that way He can work in and thru me.
Oh how sweet the taste of FREEDOM. And how liberating the weight of TRUTH.
Praise the Lord for creating a group of ladies and gents who reminded me what UNCONDITIONAL LOVE truly is!!
Again, LOVE truly is the greatest of the three. Praise the Lord Jesus showed us what LOVE truly is, and for creating brethren who are vessels of His love for, not just the lost, but also for the followers of Jesus who are also hurting.
Praise the Lord for not expecting us to be something we are not. Praise the Lord for giving us the easy yoke, the light burden: faithfulness, obedience. We only need to obey Him, and Him alone. Not others, or even ourselves - especially ourselves.
May His lovingkindness be perceived by your heart today!
This next song, Just Be by Lindsay Taylor, has been such a great ministering song, that I wanted to share it with you in hopes your eyes are reinforced to be fixed on Jesus - the Author and Finisher of our faith.
P.S. I have no idea who Amanda Boutchía is; I just found this nice youtube video with the song set to a beautiful background. So, just FYI. :)