Jumping into the new year like…. BRING ON THE LOVE! Every year I decide on a new word that will be a key focus for the next year. Last year, my word was discipline and the Lord worked in my heart to help me to prioritize putting Him first daily. Honestly, this can sound easier than done you guys. It truly takes discipline in many areas to work out a physical routine and train your mind to take every thought captive to Him. It has been a stellar journey of practicing these things…. wowza have I ever learned a ton! BUT TODAY I come to you with the theme that I feel the Lord has impressed on my heart throughout 2017 to anchor and latch onto for 2018 which is: steadfast LOVE.
This month, I will be focusing on more self love, body love, and overall wellness posts as we start the year CLAIMING a deep and sensational love for ourselves and every ounce of WHO WE ARE. The thing about loving yourself is that we all tend to think that we do…. but when hardships, failures, rejections, and let downs come into the mix, we start to see the true strength of our love line. We start to actually realize how DEEPLY it is anchored into the depths of our being.The thing about loving yourself is that we all tend to think that we do.... but when hardships, failures, rejections, and let downs come into the mix, we start to see the true strength of our love line. Click To Tweet
SO… what is STEADFAST LOVE and how do we tap into have a deep, true LOVE for ourselves? To me, understanding steadfast love is like trying to picture an ever full bucket of water. No matter how much you spill it, it always remains full to the brim with water. The Lord’s love is like this for US! We can try to deplete ourselves of the contents of the bucket time after time, but His love miraculously never seems to deplete. It is never changing, ever lasting, and consistently present. Psalm 107 does a beautiful job of showcasing steadfast love at it’s finest.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1
TRIALS BRING TRUTH
The thing is friends, it is impossible to completely avoid troubles and trials. Our world is full of chaotic messes and complications that seem to find their way into our lives. We are not promised a life without trial, BUT we are promised a life in partnership with a God who will never leave us or foresake us. When picturing the dry, barren desert of a truly difficult season it can seem so bleak and discouraging. You might feel starved. You might feel lost. You might feel lonely. BUT even when you feel like you have no idea where you are going, even when you feel like NO one cares, even when you feel like you are all ALONE… there IS ONE who is there.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Psalm 107: 6-7You might feel starved. You might feel lost. You might feel lonely. BUT even when you feel like you have no idea where you are going, even when you feel like NO one cares, even when you feel like you are all ALONE... there IS ONE who is… Click To Tweet
This is the ultimate truth, and sometimes it takes having to hit the bottom to actually realize that God’s love is sufficient for you. And moreover, your mess is NOT too much for him. You are accepted and loved just as you are. That is fully and completely, the TRUTH of the matter.God's love is sufficient for you. And moreover, your mess is NOT too much for him. You are accepted and loved just as you are. That is fully and completely, the TRUTH of the matter. Click To Tweet
TRIALS BREAK FALSE ANCHORS
Throughout my life I have been through seasons of wild wilderness or dry and barren desert. These seasons have been hard and trying on my soul. Ay yi yiiii. One of the most trying circumstances in my life came 5 years ago after a veryyyyyy destructive relationship. I am just telling ya, when we feel like we have NO where else to go we are forced to face the weakness of our feasible false anchors. One by one in that season of desolation they all finally break until we are left with nothing…. nothing but Him that is!
You see, when this broken relationship ended, I was left with little to zero love for myself. He had been talking to so many girls throughout our relationship I could barely keep up. Each and every time I found out about another girl he was talking to behind my back, I could feel my sense of worth being put to the test. “Am I really not good enough for him to want just me? Am I not enough for him?“. He had lied to me so many times I didn’t know what was truth anymore. “Am I going crazy, or are these things really happening?”
All the while through these trying times, he told me I was crazy. dramatic. exaggerating. delusional. Over and over he used his manipulative words to get me to question what I knew about myself and confuse my heart until I was so dizzy I didn’t know which way to look. Time after time, over 3 years I pleaded with him to tell me the truth for once. I remember begging him to just tell me I was enough for him.
NOW, the fact is WHERE were my anchors tied in this relationship? Mmmmm that’s right, my “false” anchors were certainly not tied to anything truly stable. I put farrrrr too much of my identity into that relationship by anchoring myself to what this man thought of me, how much I thought he loved me, and what other people thought of our relationship. I spent so much time trying to prove myself and get him to see my worth, that when it didn’t happen I ended up believing the lie that I, myself, was actually not worthy of being loved.
TRIALS REVEAL STEADFAST LOVE
So you see, friends, sometimes it does take pretty painful situations to pull out our false anchors and FORCE us to turn to really the only source of stability, affirmation, direction, and steadfast love. Maybe seasons of wilderness are actually God’s way of using a circumstance to test our character and ROOT out our false anchors. Maybe God just doesn’t want you to be a slave to your unhealthy mindsets, weak self love, and constant self doubt.Maybe seasons of wilderness are actually God's way of using a circumstance to test our character and ROOT out our false anchors. Maybe God just doesn't want you to be a slave to your unhealthy mindsets, weak self love, and constant self… Click To Tweet
I recently read this amazing book by the lovely Lauren Chandler which is actually called STEADFAST LOVE! I think it is so cool that I discovered this lovely piece of literature just days before 2018 when the Lord had already impressed the word Steadfast Love on my heart. Lauren does a beautiful job at articulating the Lord’s amazing, steadfast love for us.
“There are times when worship overflows easily and effortlessly from a heart full of gratitude and praise. Yet there are other times when God seems far, and we feel we have nothing left to offer. We are TIRED, or THIRSY, or IMPRISONED in our own chains through our own devices, or caught in the waves of a tumultuous sea. This is when God shows us his steadfast love. He wraps his eternally powerful, ultimately creative, nail-scarred hands around our hearts and squeezes with appropriate might – yielding an honest plea for him to save us and deliver us from our circumstances, fears, and self-control. And he does. He initiates with his steadfast love and responds with the same.“- Lauren Chandler
Though the Lord doesn’t promise a life free from trials and tribulations. BUT, what He does promise us is that He will be WITH us through it. When I was at my lowest during my destructive relationship 5 years ago, I realized quite clearly that God was with me the whole time. He was showing me signs and giving me ways out, and I wasn’t taking the bait. My false anchors were holding on for dear life as I clung onto this lifeless relationship hoping with my every being to gain just an ounce of love from this man I cared for. When the relationship was over, I felt like I lay helpless in the middle of the wilderness. Lost, and starved with no where to go and no one to talk to. But THEN, He swooped in. He soared in like an eagle and wrapped me in His feathers. He nursed my wounds with LOVE and GRACE and showed me what it meant to have a love greater than anything on this earth. He revealed His steadfast love.Though the Lord doesn't promise a life free from trials and tribulations. BUT, what He does promise us is that He will be WITH us through it Click To Tweet
Friends, the MORAL of this story is that YOU are so intimately loved. Your brokenness is not too much for him. Your past is considered redeemed and made new. Nothing you can say or do will ever break His love for you.This is why this verse below TRULY and COMPLETELY is my prayer for you as we step into what it means to embrace His steadfast love, own our own stories, and face forward showered in worth!
“And I PRAY THAT YOU, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ”
Outfit by Crane & Lion
Photos by Stefanie Marie