Of course its 11:30 and I'm still awake. And what do I do? I read my old blog. Not this blog but my old, old blog. It was the blog I started my freshmen year of college. I couldn't read through most of it (let's be honest here, I was dramatic back in the day) because I don't recognize that person anymore.
I cringed as I read some of the posts. I so badly wanted to be loved, to be seen; I still do, don't get me wrong. I think in every person there is a want and need to be loved. But I took it farther than that. It was so apparent in my writing that I wasn't happy with who I was. I didn't believe I was worthy of love so I tried to put myself in situations where people would need to prove it to me. And that was wrong. I realize that now. Because instead of people working harder to prove their love, they gave up. They walked away and I was left hurt. I look back on those times and wonder what it felt like to be the other person, trying so hard to get through to me.
I had so many walls around me. I placed hurdles, barriers, traps, anything to keep people from knowing who I was and what I truly believed. I didn't think anyone would like me if they truly knew me. So I put up a fight against anyone who tried to love me.
Alas, God broke those barriers in Germany. He started to show me what love and acceptance actually looked like. (And I know, deep down, that I had acceptance and love before I went to YWAM but it wasn't until then that I experienced HIS love and acceptance. (And I just used the word acceptance 5 times. Okay maybe 3))
God's love is like no other. It is all consuming, unbelievable, life changing, and absolutely glorious. I don't think I will ever truly understand how much He loves me but to get a glimpse of His love is amazing. There was one day in Thailand when I was angry at God. I didn't understand why I still had these doubts about His love and His plan for me. Just then, JM walks over and starts hugging me. I thought she was laughing but she was crying. She looked at me and said "He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. God loves you so much."
Every time I think of that day I want to cry (happy tears!). The concept of God using other people to talk to me was new when I started YWAM. But He grew my faith in trusting His voice.
He used JM again to say the same thing. I was doubting God in my life a couple months after I was home and I was sharing some of those frustrations with her and again she said "He loves you. You are beautiful and He loves you so much."
It astounds me that God would use my doubt to show up in the greatest ways. There are some days when I want to throw in the towel and run away from my life. There are some days when I don't think anyone loves me, let alone likes me. But God picks that towel up and shows me that HE, the creator of the universe, loves me.
When those barriers finally came down, I saw things in a completely different way. Before I left for YWAM, chances are if you asked me how I was, I would lie. I would tell you I'm fine but only to see if you loved me enough to push that. Because I really wasn't okay. Now if you ask me how I am, get ready, because I will be honest. I have found honesty to be freeing. I thought that it would push people away, but it actually brings them closer. There is great joy is sharing your struggles and life with other people. I think another source of joy you can experience is when you find the love of our Father. When He speaks to you and shows you His love and affection for you.
God loves me. This is and will always be mind blowing to me!