When All I Am Capable Of Is Being Unloved

Beautiful sunny sea view, Blue sea and sky with clouds

I was recently making a playlist to add to my collection. I was searching for certain songs to help get me back after a couple of days of wandering off. I struggle so much this way! I think I can manage things on my own and do things my own way. I do this way too much. It’s inevitable that I will stumble and begin a downward spiral into a very dangerous place. A place of doubt.

So I gathered all the songs I thought would calm my restless soul and help lead me back to still waters. I labeled the list “doubt” and set it up in my phone. It was then that I realized I had already made a playlist a few months ago with several other songs and also labeled it “doubt.” Hmm. I guess I am a creature of habit.

There are a few meanings of the word ‘doubt’, but the one I struggle with is listed as an inclination not to believe or accept. This pretty much describes my inward daily battle.  I doubt God’s provision and wisdom. I doubt the truth. There are times when I doubt that God is good enough or that He is here. But what I struggle with the most and also think is the most dangerous of all for me to doubt is to doubt that I am loved.

If I feel unloved I can’t love others. If I can’t love others, the kingdom cannot grow.

I had a great childhood. I grew up with two  great brothers and both of my great parents. I am married to a godly man who sharpens me and praises me daily. I’ve never been abused or neglected and I have no  reason to doubt my worth.

Ah, but I do! Because I am a sinner. A really good one. And Satan knows this. He knows what has made me stumble and he just loves to throw it back up in my face in an attempt to counter me worthless. He’s really very good at whispering lies to me that the things I have done make me unlovable. He knows I am a doubter and he uses it to fight the battle for my soul. He would love nothing more if I believed his lies that I am worthless, ugly, useless, a fraud. Unlovable. He would love it if he could cripple me that way and leave me wallowing in my own pit of self-destruction. He knows that if he’s crafty enough, I’ll believe him. And I have so many times. But he doesn’t love me, so why believe him?

I wrote a few days ago from 1 John 4:16 that God is love. He’s the very definition of it. Which to me means that he can’t not love. I’ve been trying to remember this truth over the last several days, but again, I doubt. So it was during a quiet moment with me and my savior as I listened to Hawk Nelson’s newest release, “Drops in the Ocean” that He gave me a beautiful vision to help me remember how much he loves me. I’m pretty sure He won’t mind if I share it with you.

The vast ocean is spread beneath our feet. My sin has been cast into the depths never to be retrieved. My Savior holds me close and leads me in a dance across the surface of the water. Because He’s capable of doing that. If I just allow him to lead me in the dance, we’ll move in harmony together. I’ll never have to doubt again. And in His arms is where I feel the most loved.


If you wanna know how far my love can go

Just how deep. Just how wide.

If you wanna see how much you mean to me

Look at my hands. Look at my side.

If you could count the times I say you are forgiven

It’s more than the drops in the ocean.

Hawk Nelson




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If Jesus Could Comment on Facebook

BlueLike Hand

Hot topics. I usually try to avoid them because I don’t gravitate towards controversy. Usually. Unless it directly affects my life I have other things to worry about.

I respect those who can debate. I respect those people who have the drive to stand up for what they believe in, can articulate what they have to say, and wisely express themselves. Politics aside, everyone has an opinion. And everyone is entitled to it. I welcome an educated discussion because I know what my feelings are, what my beliefs are based on, and it will have to be anything resembling a rapture to change them.

But this is where things get messy. Because I hate coffee. I don’t like the smell of it. The taste of it is nasty. And it’s just really gross when my husband leaves the grounds in the sink. Yuck! I have a hard time understanding why there is a whole culture devoted to coffee.

Did I just lose you, coffee lover? Are you about to share this post with all of your friends on social media, swear me off as incredible, and vow never to associate with me because I don’t love the same thing you love? Surely you aren’t outraged by my lack of coffee affections simply because you love it so?

But don’t we do that all the time? Our world has become so ridiculously dogmatic that I think we are letting the second greatest commandment slip through our fingers and the end result will be tragic.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 12:31

Sometimes I wonder what Jesus would say if He could comment on Facebook. If someone posts something against Him would He “unfriend” them? Would He say, “Well, I’m never listening to them again! They don’t agree with me!”

No! Jesus did not come into this world to condemn it. We do a really great job of that ourselves. He came into this world to save it. And that is not something we as humans can do.

My opinion of your habits, lifestyle, comments, friends, job, parenting skills, where you live, whether or not you go to church, your beliefs, your political affiliation or anything else DOES NOT MATTER. Opinions are not love. I don’t love my neighbor based solely on agreeing with the same things.

I love my neighbor by being a helping hand. Even if they are gay. I love my neighbor by taking them a meal. Even if they are unwed and pregnant. I love my neighbor by watching their children for the afternoon. Even if they are living on welfare. I love my neighbor by buying them lunch. Even if they can’t speak English.

This is really hard to do. I know it is. I struggle with this every day. And I fail at it every day.

The truth is that not a one of us doesn’t need to change something about ourselves. Not a one of us can cast the first stone.

So can we please, for the love of God, stop with the attitude that if you are not on my bandwagon you don’t deserve a wagon of your own?


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Everything I Need To Know Comes From Hollywood

cheering woman open arms to sunriseOne of the saddest things I think people are afraid of when it comes to surrendering yourself to someone or anything would be that they might feel trapped, tied down, or a loss of independence.

I ditched the Super Bowl last night and watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I don’t remember ever seeing the whole movie before. However, I do remember singing “Moon River” over and over again when I was younger. It’s a sweet and quirky movie with Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.   Basically, it’s the story of a young woman who is afraid to love and be loved. She sees herself as a free-spirit and doesn’t want to be captured.

I loved it. I saw a lot of myself in Holly Golightly. I’m a free spirit. I don’t like to have people tell me I can or cannot do something. I like my space and only allow certain people or things to occupy it with me. I don’t like restrictions when I want things my way.

The end of the movie was Hollywood cliché, but I was surprised by the dialogue when Holly’s long-time friend and neighbor tells her again that he loves her. Her reaction is typical of anyone who wants to live a free and unattached life.

Paul Varjak: I love you.

Holly Golightly: So what.

Paul Varjak: So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!

Holly Golightly: [tearfully] No. People don’t belong to people.

Paul Varjak: Of course they do!

Holly Golightly: I’ll never let ANYBODY put me in a cage.

Paul Varjak: I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

Ok. Big deal. It’s a Hollywood love scene with all the drama included. But it struck me. I could have had this very conversation with a man who wants to love me just for who I am. I used to think that if I allowed him to love me it would mean giving up the life I wanted. I used to think that surrendering to him meant being someone I didn’t want to be. I used to think that letting him love me would leave me feeling trapped and caged with legalism.

To make my point I’ll change the names to protect the innocent and let’s read the dialogue again.

Jesus: I love you.

Me: So what.

Jesus: So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!

Me: No. People don’t belong to people.

Jesus: Of course they do!

Me: I’ll never let ANYBODY put me in a cage.

Jesus: I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

The fact is that Jesus loved me first and I do belong to Him. I love Him because He first loved me. And his love is exactly what sets me free. Because with his love comes grace to be free from my sins and mercy to be forgiven. With grace and mercy comes freedom. With freedom comes the ability to roam and grow. Roaming and growing causes dreams to be born and if you love someone, you trust each other with your dreams. Jesus loves me enough to dream for me. And He’s got God-sized dreams for me!

That’s a love worth my eternal devotion.

Jesus doesn’t require rituals. He’s not looking for strict Bible reading schedules and memorization for me to be loved. He knows I’m gonna screw up! That’s the whole reason He died for me. My lack of deity does not make him love me any less. Could there be any more freedom in the fact that no matter what I do I cannot be loved any less?

It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

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