Living Loved…

As I sit here this morning, the day after my birthday, I’ve read over cards, texts, and social media messages that have touched me and made me feel special.  As I begin to read my devotions and write in my journal, I pause and think to myself, “what a wonderful life I have”.  That takes me further into thanking God for the life He’s given me ~ a truly wonderful life!  No, I don’t have an easy life, but I, also, do not have a hard life either.  I have a home, plenty of food, a good and fulfilling job, a network of amazing friends, great family, awesome husband, pets that are my children, a wonderful church family, and have all of my needs met.  Especially the need for love, which makes me a bit frustrated with myself!  Why?  Honestly, because I’ve wasted a lot of years not feeling completely loved, not really loving myself, and not truly embracing the amazing, unconditional, unending love Jesus gives me each and every minute, of every hour, of every day.  I think I chose not to feel loved as a defense – maybe to reduce being vulnerable?  Not sure!  Oh, in my brain and some of my heart has felt “the love”, but not until the past year have I truly felt it completely.  And, I honestly believe it is because I am now completely loving.  Loving without expectation, judgement, and condition. Aha….I think I’ve finally achieved being authentic!  PRAISE JESUS!  It’s about darn time!!  I can just imagine Jesus smacking his forehead thinking just that “it’s about darn time, Jacqueline!”!!!  LOL!  Does this mean I’m perfect at it?  Uh, NO!  Does this mean that I don’t get honked off or cranked up about things?  Uh, NO!  I’m not a perfect person, but I am honestly enjoying living and walking in the presence of God and feeling completely loved and accepted.  Which doesn’t mean I’m completely satisfied with life….I still have things I am working at changing and have goals, but working toward those goals is so much different than ever before.  Does this mean I’ve lived as a hypocrite all this time?  No, I don’t think so – what I feel is that I’ve grown into a deeper relationship with Jesus – more authentic relationship – maybe reached a level of spiritual maturity, if you will?!  I’m still a work in progress and hope that I never stop growing, but am so, so thankful for where I am today.  Do I still have fear?  At times, yes!  Do I still doubt?  Unfortunately, yes! But when I read scripture about how wonderfully designed I am – I actually believe it and can smile and feel fulfilled, not less than.  And, with that comes increased self-confidence – which has energized me in serving others – which is even more fulfilling.  I am grateful to be the daughter of a King who expects me to stumble, yet knows how many single hairs are on my head and is patient with me.  I’m now going to go back to my journal and write out some of my goals for the next year to achieve.  One will be to continue writing and sharing, as I hope with my “sharing” that one woman will feel the love of Jesus and come full circle as I have.  Sweet Jesus Sister’s – embrace His love and trust that He is Good – good.all.the.time.  Until next time, keep shining! 🙂

Philippians 4: 6-7 ~ Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (The Message; emphasis mine!)

1 Corinthians 13:13 ~ 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

 

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