Saturday, April 16, 2011

For real.

Recently I've been having conversations with people who love Jesus yet, for whatever reasons, don't fully understand He loves them in return. Now, I know no one will ever fully understand the love of God, it's certainly a process, but I do believe we can know God's deep affections for us in a way that changes how we view everything.

Last night I was talking with a friend and as I listened to her talk, I was reminded of a time in my own life when God gently challenged me: "Kate, how much of what you think about yourself is the same as what I think about you?" I was astounded at this thought because, well, hardly anything I thought about myself at that time lined up with what God thought about me.

It dawned on me. My friend last night, my friend from earlier that night, people I spoke with all week, friends I know in Chicago and Alaska and India and Ecuador and Thailand and St.Paul all struggle to receive love from God because they themselves do not believe they are lovable by God. They do not see themselves as God sees them. They do not think the same thoughts about themselves as God does. I include myself in this category as well.

I have only changed a tiny fraction of my thoughts (thus my views, thus my feelings) about myself in the past couple years to line up with what God thinks about me. It's hard. It's alarming. It feels like I am lying to myself (because I don't believe the truth), BUT it is oh so sweet. It's amazing how easy it becomes to accept God's insane-all covering- ridicules -overflowing- FREE-abudant-lavish love for me when I believe I am lovable.

Why on earth would I even waste time thinking anything about myself that God does not think?! Sure, I have sin. Lots. Sure, I am flawed. Very. And sure, I need work. Mucho. However, as I slowly become undone and warmed before God, those changes and sin that need to be addressed, happen. Not out of force or obligation or even my own attempts, but because I want to become more and more the woman God sees and loves.

So I challenged my friend and I will challenge you and me and anyone I see: think only what God thinks about you. If it's in your head and it's not a thought God would think about you, change it. It takes time and effort and a lot of discipline, but man it's worth it. Feeling the love of God becomes real.

Don't know where to start? Try these on for size. I know for a fact, for real, that God thinks these things about you.

1. He does not cringe when you come to Him, no matter how many fails.
2. He is not frustrated with you.
3. Shame does not come from Him AT ALL.
4. He doesn't want you to TRY and love Him, He wants you to first RECEIVE love from Him.
5. He takes pleasure in your company.
6. You are His inheritance, what He wants and desires.
7. He is not mad He made you.
8. He sees all of you, and STILL rejoices any time you turn to Him.
9. He waits for you.
10. He doesn't think you're a failure. At all.

Here's to seeing ourselves, thus God, thus our world, well.