One of my friends has been on this journey with me this month, and. I am excited to get to share some of her reflections with you today!
What February taught me: His Love is Enough.
I remember 2014 pretty vividly.
It was one of my toughest years of life so far. I made big, scary choices and really ached for some solidarity and consistency. Thus, it was a year when I was constantly and ravenously searching for beauty. For hope. For light.
I don’t remember when I met Susanna, but I remember her light.
In the spring of that tough year, during a walk across our college campus, I remember seeing Susanna in front of McCormick Hall. We stopped for a short conversation, swapped “How are you?”s, and experienced that shy exchange of early friendship.
I remember feeling rest as I encountered her gentle spirit and kind smile. There was a joy in her that I saw and that I admired.
These were the beginnings of a friendship that has continued to bring me hope, light, laughter and joy from day one.
And the coolest part?
Susanna and I didn’t get to know each other all that much in person. We have gotten to know each other through handwritten letters.
She’s my pen pal.
When I asked Susanna if she would join me on my search for God’s love during the month of February, she was quick to encourage me and come alongside me. She sent me many emails, texts, Snapchats and notes of encouragement throughout the journey.
I’m so excited that you guys get to meet her here today…
This month has been so wonderful. It has been so refreshing and life giving to turn my attention from the things of this world and focus on God’s amazing love for his children.
At the beginning of February I heard a quote that really impacted me:
“God doesn’t love the future perfect version of me, he loves me right here in the mess.”
I think that I’m always trying to become better, more loving, skinnier, more outgoing, more devoted to the Lord, more of a servant, have more devotions. I never feel satisfied with where I am. I’m always working towards something better. I have that future perfect me in my head and think that when I get there everything will be better – I’ll be able to receive God’s love then.
When I heard that quote, I realized that I had been believing that lie. I had let that lie seep into my life.
When God looks at me, He doesn’t see me as a work in progress. He doesn’t see my imperfect, messy, sinful life, but He sees the righteousness and perfection of Christ.
I do not deserve God’s love at all. I am not enough on my own.
Instead of focusing on my worthiness or unworthiness, I need to turn my attention to God alone. Instead of trying to accept myself, I need to accept Christ’s sacrifice and love. Instead of feeling like enough and desiring recognition, I should give all of the praise and glory and recognition and honor to the Only One who is worthy to be praised.
He alone is righteous and perfect. He alone is holy and mighty. His works are marvelous and beyond compare. He is truth and life and love. His grace is greater than we can imagine.
Instead of standing entitled before the Lord, I want to bow humbled before the King of the Universe.
I am nothing without Him. He makes me new. He lifts me up. He gives me a new name. He calls me his beloved daughter. This life is not about me at all, but about Him. All of my significance and worth is found in Jesus Christ and Him alone.
Thinking on the gospel in a fresh way this month was so impactful. Some days I forget the wonderful gift that God has given to us, so it was such a life-giving experience. As I reflected on all of the truths in the gospel, I felt God moving in my heart. He was whispering to me…
“Hey, I love you just as you are. Your brokenness and mess don’t make me love you any less, and they don’t define you. I sacrificed my life for you. I am redeeming you. I created you and formed you beautifully – don’t ever doubt that. Accept my love. Let it pour into your heart and life. You are so worth loving because you are mine. You are my beloved daughter. Come to me, just as you are.”
How marvelous is His love for us. I cannot fathom it!
Isn’t that beautiful?
Susanna, thanks for sharing in this journey with me, and for reminding me of how truly miraculous and holy our Father’s love is.
Friends: thanks for joining with us in this. It’s humbling and so sweet to see God at work.
Here’s to the continuous discovery of His love in the months to come, and throughout this life together!