The other day I realized one thing I absolutely cannot say I was ever wrong about.
I have never been wrong about loving.
I have never regretted loving a person, no matter how that person has treated me.
And I know not everyone can understand or agree with that because there are some cruel heart-breakers out there. It’s safe to say we’ve all been hurt at one time or other- some emotionally, others physically.
I am no exception. I have been hurt by friends and boys and classmates and family. I have received the devastating effects of loving and not being loved in return.
Yet not one person can I deem as less than worthy of my love. NOT ONE.
No toxic friendship or damaging relationship has made me change my mind on who I ought to love. No deception, heartbreak, betrayal, or fall-out has made me question if I should love the way I do.
Yes, I should have guarded my heart better. But guarding your heart doesn’t mean you don’t feel. I have always welcomed love in my heart because I can’t imagine anything better taking its place.
If God is love and God is alive in me, then that must mean love is alive in me.
And something that is true and beautiful like love can’t possibly be regarded as a mistake. Even if that love was “irresponsibly” given to another without regard to the risks or pain it could bring.
You see, it’s not love that brings pain. It’s how people respond to our love that brings pain.
Does that mean we should stop giving love, then? No. Because to love and be hurt is brighter and more fulfilling than not loving at all.
When we aren’t loving, we aren’t fulfilling our most real and beautiful calling. We aren’t letting God be fully alive in us. We aren’t able to bring fruit into our lives or into anyone else’s.
Love is just about as essential to living as the air we breathe. And so closing ourselves off from loving would be like letting ourselves die.
No, I have never been wrong for loving. PEOPLE have wronged me, but love never has.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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.
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:7-19
Here’s a word all girls are familiar with: Acceptance.
Every female struggles with it.
Am I pretty enough? Do these people like me? What should I wear today? Will they make fun of me?
Or worse: Who does she think she is? Why can’t he just be normal? Why should I bother getting to know this person?
Whether it’s trouble with accepting ourselves or trouble with accepting others, we are all guilty.
Today someone raised a question: Why do you want to be accepted?
For a long time, I literally did not have an answer.
We spend so much time putting on makeup, trying to impress people, working to achieve something of worth, hoping to getting someone’s attention, and asking ourselves if we’re even good enough.
It’s obvious that we all want to be liked and accepted.
Why does it even matter? Who cares if your hair looks like a mess? What’s the point in trying to gain as much approval from your peers as you can? Who are we trying to impress anyway?
Because we are like Eve. Every woman is.
“Like Eve after she tasted the forbidden fruit, we women hide. We hide behind our makeup. We hide behind our humor. We hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. We hide our true selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe… We will not risk rejection or looking like a fool. We have spoken in the past and been met with blank stares and mocking guffaws… To hide means to remain safe, to hurt less. At least that is what we think. And so by hiding, we take matters into our own hands. We don’t return to God with our broken and desperate hearts.” Captivating- John and Stasi Eldredge.
When we fail to accept ourselves, we are drifting farther and farther away from where God wants us to be. He wants us to run to Him, He wants us to put our insecurities behind us, and He wants us to find truth.
And the truth is that we were each created to be simply captivating.
“A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that he finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in him, she is enough. In fact, the only thing getting in the way of our being fully captivating and enjoyed is our striving. “He will quiet you with his love” (Zeph. 3:17). A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm, a sense of rest, and invites those around her to rest as well. She speaks comfort; she knows that we live in a world at war, that we have a vicious enemy, and our journey is through a broken world. But she also knows that because of God all is well, that all will be well. A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become.”
Once we break through those layers of hurt and fear, we find a capable version of self, a beautiful one. Once we see the true meaning of beauty and we learn to accept ourselves, we also learn to accept others. We are all so much alike.
Ladies, we all seek to be loved, we all want to be seen as lovely, and we all struggle with looking at ourselves in the mirror, some more than others. Once we realize how similar we really are, how can we not love and help each other? How can we not accept each other? You are meant to be captivating, and so is she. We all are.
Though we may not fully know why we want to be accepted, the desire is there. Instead of allowing it to control our actions and determine how we live our lives, we need to let it all go and realize what we can be, not what we aren’t.
Ladies, this one’s for you.
When I was a little girl, I was told countless times that Jesus loves me. I was reminded time and time again that we are each created unique, and we are all beautiful in our own way. I used to think I was as pretty as a princess, decked out in a pink dress and ruby red Dorothy shoes.
As I grew older, my trust in these truths began to fade. Bombarded with standards of “true beauty” and “perfection”, I somehow stopped seeing myself as this amazing and adored girl. I somehow became blind to how much I am really loved.
I think the root of most of girls’ problems these days is the desire to be loved. I think it’s safe to say that we are all searching for approval or love from someone.
What saddens me is that we stop believing that we are worth loving.
What saddens me is that we stop believing that we are adored and valuable to this world.
Somehow or another, we find ourselves searching in all the wrong places for adoration- boys who only want to use us, friends who only want to make themselves look better, our peers who only want to judge us for what we wear and who we hang out with. Even parents can put pressure on us to look a certain way and do certain things.
Because we’re looking in all the wrong places, we’re constantly let down. As these disappointments build up, it becomes harder and harder to see someone worth loving when we look in the mirror. We just don’t seem good enough for anyone.
This is an epidemic. This is affecting girls WORLDWIDE.
You are not the only one. Everywhere you go, you will find someone dealing with the same insecurities, feeling the same doubts, and searching for the same approval you wish to have.
What we all need is a long and hard look at our Creator. God, the all-mighty Creator, formed us all. We are each made unique, we are each made in his image, and we are each blameless in his sight when we trust in what He did for us. We have a Savior who redeems us, who protects us, who LOVES us, who ADORES us so much, he laid down his life so that we could be released from the bondage of sin.
We do not need to earn God’s love. He loved us first. He loved us before we were even placed in our mother’s womb. From the beginning of time, He had us in mind. With the sacrifice of His Son, He had us in mind.
As we struggle to gain acceptance and love from others, God still loves every fiber of our being.
This is something that a lot us girls forget too easily. This is something a lot of girls do not even know yet. We are already loved.
Instead of chasing after approval from all the wrong people and in the all the wrong places, let’s focus back on God. Let’s trust that He has a plan for us. Let’s trust that He loves us even more than we could comprehend.
Let’s rise above the labels, rise above the rest of the crowd, and chase after the life we are called to live.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)