Last night, my husband and I got to reminiscing and opened the door to so many memories. Some we laughed about, while some launched a flood of hurts that had been long forgotten. We talked of my being rushed into heart surgery and a doctor we called Dr. Meany-head (just so you know, he totally deserved that title). We laughed about when my diet consisted of only Sonic slushes, lactose-free ice cream and icees, as opposed to my now strict way of eating. We walked back through what it was like losing so much from the toxic mold in our home and living in our dear friends’ basement for six months as we rebuilt. The memories and experiences kept flowing past our usual bedtimes and something my husband said struck a cord.
“We’ve done a lot of living in eight years.”
Our lives aren’t exactly what the world would call perfect. Instead of being a Hallmark movie, our life script reads more like a country music song, complete with an old rusty truck and the dog dying in the end. Yet, it is so, so good. My God has given us more than we need to overcome all that life has hurled our way – His perfect and unmeasurable love. When things look bleak and it appears the storms of life are surely going to overtake me, God reminds me of His love. It’s usually in the smallest of ways but they are powerful reminders to my ever absentminded heart. He uses those sweet, small moments to drown out my fears, worries, pains, and doubts.
I just have to be looking for them.
In November, God called me to be still this Christmas season and with the Lyme Disease diagnosis being handed down shortly thereafter, I can now see why. I deemed this Christmas to be stress-free and it really was! Instead of shopping for hours, smiling for countless social media pics, and running around like a crazy person, I opted for Amazon Prime, puzzles and games with the family, and hot chocolate and movies by the light of the Christmas tree. I dug deep into His word instead of digging deep into the clearance bins. God whispered to my heart to be present this Christmas – the rest didn’t matter. Guess what? It was the best gift I could have gotten.
God loved me enough to give me just what I needed. It wasn’t a fancy gift to flash all over social media. It was the one I needed in the silence of my own seeking heart. God knew what it took to fill my heart with joy and contentment, more than I. He knows the very irregular heartbeat of my heart and loves me just the same.
But it’s the littlest of ways that God loves me that makes my heart melt.
On the evening of Christmas, God used someone to bless us and show me the immense scope of His love. Inside our front glass door, someone dropped off a jar of change and an envelope of some cash. The message written on the envelope simply told us to have fun on our trip and Merry Christmas. Tears welled up and fell… hard. My mind raced – who would do such a sweet thing? And who would come out on Christmas night to drop it off? I instantly knew this was an “I love you” from my Father. It was a standing-with-a-boom-box-over-your-head-declaring-His-undivided-love kinda event to my anxious heart. You see, the experience we planned in lieu of gifts this year was proving to be more expensive than we thought.
That jar of change sits right next to my bed and reminds me that God loves me so much that He would prompt someone, even on Christmas, to put a lid on their change jar and drop it anonymously in our door. Their love for us, spurred by God’s own loving whispers, still wells up humbled tears. We are grateful for that act of love shown by one of God’s chosen people and pray for them often. See, those coins symbolize so much more than pocket change – they prove that God sees me, that He loves me, and boy, that love never ceases to amaze me.
“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94: 18-19
I don’t know what storms you may be facing right now or what your heart’s cry has become. But I do know this – you are LOVED. No matter the disease that is ravaging your body, no matter the empty crib once full, no matter the marriage broken or finances thinned, God is loving you through each tear shed and each stab to your already broken heart. He sees you and He knows the pain you are in. He is wrapping his arms around your brokenness and radiating His healing love into every crack and crevice that needs repair. When you feel alone, unseen, and beaten down by this world obsessed with perfection, ask our loving Father to reveal His repairing love to your heart. And prepare to be healed.
Yes, my life is definitely not “worldly” perfect. We have to scrounge together money to go on a trip, yet God is already in so many of the details that it’s amazing to me. And although we drive old cars that don’t always start, God loves us enough to get them running and save us from having car payments. My loving husband and empathetic children are a certain kinda special to this momma’s heart and we have so much fun spending time together. Even in those pain-filled days where bed is my home, God’s arms are felt wrapped around my frail body and holding me close, loving me through the journey and through the storm, filling every crack with His repairing love.
That my friend, is a life made “perfect” – all because of the perfect love of Jesus.
My sweet Jesus, your love not only amazes us but it surpasses all our understanding. I humbly come before You today asking You to not only show us your love, but engulf us in it. We need You, Jesus and today we ask to feel seen by You. In our fast paced world filled with comparisons and criticism, we feel lost in the shuffle and unseen by a world so bent on being showcased. Please rain down your love upon our weary hearts today. Give us eyes to see it, Lord. Reveal to us and remind us of the many blessings you have already bestowed upon us and fill our hearts with a desire to stand in your presence regularly in thanksgiving. You are a good and gracious God and we give you all the glory and honor for all that you have done and are currently performing in our lives. Thank you that when we know you intimately, our lives are filled with all we need – your perfect love. We ask this in your holy and love-filled name. Amen.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43: 1-2