Tag Archives: love

Love Differently

heartI think our view of love can get skewed. We read the command to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and we immediately feel guilty, because… we don’t. Let’s take a second and look at that, though. Why do we feel that guilt, that “uh oh, I’ve fallen short again.”? Sure, we probably feel the warm fuzzies when we recall how He showed up that one time, or know that we have a deep respect for Him due to our life-long church attendance. But love with all our heart? whew! I don’t know…

Let’s be practical. When we love someone, it’s because we know them. We spend time with them.  We understand how they tick, we appreciate their qualities, we feel a kinship with them, a bond that is strong. I’m not talking about infatuation here (ohhh, he’s so dreamy, I just know we’d be perfect for each other!). I mean the deep stuff. Commitment. The loyalty, believing the best of them, going to bat for them because they are worth it.

Tell me: are you able to love someone simply because you are told to? You have to know them to love them. God longs for us to spend time with Him; He wants for us to know Him, to establish a deep friendship with Him. And that can only happen by spending quality time getting to know Him. He already knows us, but longs for us to know Him in return. We’re talking relationship here.

So, what are the ways you find you most connect to God? Are you an ‘inspired-by-nature’ person? Do you feel a connection when you sing? When you study? Or when you serve others? We’re all unique, and have different ways of finding connection with our Maker, so latch onto yours and make use of it. Get to know this God who says He loves you personally. Let Him wash you with His peace, His adoration, His smile, His singing over you. All for you.

Because Honey, that’s when the magic happens. Love differently. Love with all your heart.

Talk to me. Leave a reply and tell me what you think, or hop over to my Facebook page and tell me there. I look forward to hearing from you!

– Sheavaun

Shameful Little Secrets

embarrassment       Sharp intake of breath. Right hand rubs my forehead, covering my eyes. Barely audible groan. Whoosh of exhaled breath. Stomach in knots.

That’s what happens when something crosses my mind to remind me of an embarrassing moment, a poor judgement call, a foot-in-the-mouth episode, colorful language I let fly without thinking, or anything else I’ve done that now makes me cringe. These moments still take me by surprise, and tend to plunge me into a mud hole of despair. My shameful little secrets grab me by the throat with no intention of letting go.

I shake my head in disbelief as I recall the people I have hurt, or embarrassment I’ve incurred. What brings tears to my eyes is knowing I have besmirched the name of God countless times by my ignorance, my hot temper, bad 1st impression, or a poorly handled situation. For most of my life I have lived under the category heading of  ‘Christian’. I’ve attended church, youth group, camp, mission trips, and even traveled through the U.S. singing in churches about love and blessings. Yet I still behaved poorly. I would be one of those wretched souls who cause someone that does not know God to look and say “no thanks, if that’s what it means to be a Christian, I don’t want it.”

Believing that it was completely up to me to muster up enough love and control to better my life and be a good example, I deemed myself a failure. A lost cause. 1 Corinthians 13 -the famous Love chapter in the Bible – was avoided at all costs lest I be reminded of my lack of fortitude in that area. I did not have enough love, no matter how deep I dug.

I suppose it’s taken slamming to the concrete floor of nothingness and loosening my hold on all that I thought I could control to allow me to discover priceless treasure: I am different. I am unique. And the anger I have kept prisoner for over 20 years, fueled by fear, does not need to remain as my primary staple for survival. Slowly, but oh so surely, I have begun to cock my head in wonder as I listen to the whisperings of love that have been slipping past my defenses. Gently seeping into the hidden places of pain, the musty cellar hiding my insecurities and conclusions that I do not measure up.

The Voice I am learning to recognize, learning to trust, speaks to me of a love that is not based on what I do or have done in the past. It is given freely to me because the Giver is like that. He gives freely. The only requirement is that I accept it. To accept Him as the ultimate giver of love, freedom, peace, and fullness of life. His grace is immeasurable. And as I welcome this grace with jerks and halts and stops, it begins to settle into my bones, filling me with strength.

What baffles me the most in this extraordinary process is that as I release my anger and in turn accept love and adoration from the Giver, I find I don’t react to people or situations negatively like I used to. Sure I slip up once in awhile, but learning that God is bigger  than I am, and loves me for me somehow enables me to respond rather than react.

That love I could not seem to muster up on my own? It bubbles up to the surface and overflows, and it didn’t originate with me. What a beautiful thing.