As we eagerly wait (checking my iPhone obsessively) for another update, something is on my heart…
Lately, I’ve run into several women (and a few men) feeling burdened from the religious tainted rules of others- some to the point of debilitating heaviness.
Legalism demands perfection as a measuring stick.
(But, we are not perfect.)
It’s hard enough standing against the pressures that come from media and culture.
But then, we add religious comparisons onto that battle.
THE BURDEN IS TOO MUCH.
Can I encourage you?
HE CAME TO SET US FREE.
He came to bring good news to the poor, proclaim that captives be set free, give sight to the blind and set the oppressed free. (Luke 4:18)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Legalism is rooted in fear and uses fear.
GOD IS LOVE
(1 john 4:8)
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Fear not. You are loved Perfectly by Him-
HE is the only perfection required.
LOVE DEFINES YOU.
This Creator of snowflakes does NOT purpose you to be like another.
He created you lovingly unique.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
His heart melts each time he hears your voice.
He DESIRES you.
You are not defined by human standards
What your husband, wife, partner, friend or parent thinks of you,
The length of your skirt,
How you feel in skinny jeans,
How often you read your bible,
How you pray,
The type of music you rock out to (or avoid),
The amount of cooking you do (or don’t do),
The types of foods you give or don’t give to your children,
Your children’s education,
Whether or not you work in or out of the home,
What your parents say,
The sacrifices you’ve made,
The number of children you have (or don’t have),
Whether or not you are married,
How you look,
Where you come from,
What rules you follow (or don’t follow),
(Add a million other standards here…)
You are defined by the greatest act of love imaginable.
He died for you.
He died to adopt you.
He died to cherish you.
If you were the only one on the planet,
Jesus would have died just for you.
YOU ARE LOVED.
as you are.
YOU ARE HIS CHOSEN ONE.
He’s not comparing you.
His eyes are fixed on you with adoring love.
Fix your eyes on the One who sees you as His Treasure.
Inside and out.
The one WHO adores you
and all your scars.
He keeps those in perfect peace whose eyes are fixed on Him.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Your designer died out of love for you AS YOU ARE.
He gave all to adopt you as HIS OWN beloved child!
You are NOT created to be like her.
Or anyone else.
Sadly, we all tend to compare ourselves to others
and that only weighs us down and steals life from our hearts.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.
When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves,
they are not wise.
Do not look to the right or to the left:
Do not compare yourself to that “perfect” other over there.
Fix your eyes on HIM who ADORES you.
Fix your eyes on HIM who loves you unconditionally and perfectly all the time.
(It takes practice to keep our eyes on Him.)
Your Designer, Who spoke the heavens into existence, is gently directing your steps where HE has planned for you as He holds you and your children close to His heart.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
He is not going to lead you on the same path as the one you may be comparing yourself to.
He’s got a special, path individually purposed for YOU-
a path you are lovingly designed for!
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.
I will guide you with my eye.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.
I will guide you with my eye.
Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Listen to Your loving Shepherd.
YOU ARE A TREASURE!!!
You are part of his incredibly diverse and multicolored GARDEN.
He did not create only one kind of flower…
Look at His creation-
FLOWERS, rainbows, sunsets, snowflakes, birds, insects…..
Does he want us to be all alike?
What an ineffective army that would be!
Your Designer LOVES you right this second
EXACTLY AS YOU ARE:
Long skirts or shorts with tank tops,
Tattoos or plain skin,
Hair up or hair wild and free,
Natural face or enjoyed with artistic color,
Earrings, nose rings, any kind of rings or NO rings,
Quiet or spicy
Hot tempered or gentle
Entrepreneurial or Simple
Mom’s of many or moms of one or mom’s with empty, deeply aching arms,
Gluten free, organic, non GMO mom’s or mom’s loudly praising God for fast food,
Homeschool moms or public school moms or something in between,
Single, married, blended or something else altogether,
and on and on and on…
YOU are ONE OF A KIND and PERFECTLY
And here are some thoughts on scars…
Have you seen His scarred Hands? His side? His heart?
Scars are His specialty
Scars heal best out in the open- Yet wounds fester when hidden.
Whether your wounds are from a cruel other
or self inflicted, or both– Bring your wounds to Him.
He turns scars into the most beautiful tattoos ever- bringing Hope into this suffering world.
He sees every “mistake” and loves you….
He sees every time we “blow it” and loves us…
He’s NEVER surprised by our moments of loosing it.
He’s there with open redeeming and LOVING arms.
He’s NEVER surprised by our awful thoughts. He’s there coaching and Loving.
LOVE IS GENTLE.
Your SHEPHERD is GENTLE.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…
He’s IN LOVE with you AS YOU ARE. RIGHT THIS MOMENT. And he’s gently leading you. He’s not hitting you.
He’s loving you.
His strength is perfected in our weakness! How beautiful is that?
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
THANK Him for those weaknesses.
He’s not threatening you. He’s LOVING YOU. He’s calling you close and HE is CRAZY over you- he shows You the greatest love possible
No greater love….
A WORLD CHANGING ARMY
With LOVE, we are better together.
Together with HIM we are an incredibly BEAUTIFUL army.
A garden of His POWER.
Let’s celebrate Him with our differences.
Let’s actively love Him by encouraging each other.
We’ve all cried alone into our pillow or in the bathroom.
Let’s join Him now in drying each other’s tears.
Let’s laugh together so hard we can’t breathe.
Together we can be an army that reaches the suffering world-
doing what HE has put onto each of our unique
Because HE loves us, we have the freedom to love
1 John 4:19
Uniquely receive His crazy love today.
Go uniquely love someone unique today.