Personal Challenge #14: Living as One who is Loved (Part 1)

“The weak made strong in the Saviour’s love.” 

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6

Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
Psalm 66:16-20

Journal Entry, Age 25
Come into the dark place in my heart that I have kept so carefully locked away: a small, round, black hole that I had protected so I would never ever be completely shattered.
I would weep behind closed doors but the dark place in my heart would remain empty, unfilled, and I would go into that place and feel fundamentally without value. Fundamentally lonely. Oh God, come into this place of absolute loneliness.

I know He is asking me to open my heart to Him. That’s what He wants; that’s what would please Him.
The door to my heart is partially ajar, but my hands are white-knuckled, with all my might only allowing the door to be just slightly opened. Controlling this area of me and allowing no one fully in.
But He is safe. He is good. He is love. He will never leave me nor forsake me. He will never disappoint me nor abandon me.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Knowing the love of God in all the places of longing in the human heart.

The desert is where I got desperate for Your love. I was unsatisfied with only knowing about Your love. My heart yearned for You… Every room, every crevice of my heart desperately needed Your love to fill it.

When longings come, when troubles come, standing firm on the foundation of knowing His love will enable us to resist a lie that other things will fill and fulfill us. An unsecured heart looks here and there for foundation, security, an anchor in the storm. Attention, flattery, distractions… these things make a heart swell and forget the emptiness.

Your love is alive, daily streams fill my heart. Every morning I sit at Your feet for more. Last month’s love will gradually be soaked up and evaporate. We need fresh, continuous love. 

Wake up knowing you’re loved. Whatever happens through the day, know you are loved and not alone. Go to sleep knowing you are loved, wanted, and cared for. Know this now, as a single, and bring that truth into whatever season may come. 

I am perfectly and completely loved, all the time. He is all I need. From Him, all my needs are met.

Once you truly know how loved you are… 

Some friends and I were talking about how you can tell when a woman is in a loving marriage and is being loved well. She carries herself in a way that exudes an at-rest contentment and assurance that she is loved. In the same way, you can tell a person who knows how loved they are by God. 

I used to feel like I was on the outside looking in, when I was around ‘super spiritual’ Christians. They shared about their experiences with God and I felt like, wow, they’re really loved by God, I wish I was loved to that extent by Him! Now I just know. He’s their Father, He’s my Father, each of us has a unique personal relationship with Him, but I am fully loved just as they are. We are all sitting at His table as His kids. No one is less qualified or less worthy or more inferior than another to be there. 

You do not need to pursue, strive for, or seek God’s love. You are already loved. I encourage you to pursue to KNOW how loved you are. 

A heart that doesn’t doubt His love is a heart that is secure. 

I used to try to find ways to fill my ‘love tank’. But when I learned HOW loved I am, my heart realized it was continually filled to 100%. Fully loved. Wholly loved. Always loved. 

I love love and I love relationships. But when I didn’t have a full heart, secure in His love, I’d tried to get that filled through my relationships, and felt it slowly empty if there were times without enough connection for too long a time Everything changed when I realized how God loves me. Now I am always at 100%, and the times of connection that I love so much just bring my heart to overflowing.. 150%, 200%. 

Personal Challenge:
Listen to your heart. Is it seeking to be filled?
Do you KNOW how loved you are?
If you don’t, be like Mary and put everything aside and sit at His feet until you know.