What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of God? Your family? Friends? Maybe a favorite place comes to mind? Or something you do that brings joy to your life?
We want to be loved for who we are. We want unconditional, no strings attached, love.
You are worthy of love. Do you know that?
God loves you. Do you know that?
You are loved.
In your core, do you recognize you are a unique creation? That you have a personality, character traits, an appearance, a way about you, that is yours and yours alone?
You are precious.
You are unique.
You are special.
You were made to love. And to be loved.
When you look in the mirror, do you see all of the beauty that is you? Or are your eyes immediately drawn to your ?flaws??
A wrinkle around the mouth is a road map for a smile. Creases around the eyes reveal a lifetime of laughter and joy. The lines between your eyebrows are etches of worry and concern. The lines on the forehead are pictures of surprise. Each line reveals emotion. Reminders of past expressions, joys and concerns. Each of them – beautiful.
Stretch marks and wrinkles on what was once a smooth stomach are reminders of the miracle of life that formed and grew inside you. A unique person was birthed into this world ? out of you. The beauty of this is indescribable.
Maybe you aren?t as toned as you once were. Maybe things are beginning to sag as gravity takes its toll. When you wave your arm, does the bottom flap wave back?
Is this what you see when you look in the mirror? Or do you see something beautiful?
You. Are. Beautiful.
Our society places value and emphasis on youth. An entire industry exists to help us preserve our youth. Freeze our faces. Suck out our fat. Tighten. Tuck. Plump. Firm. What if instead of working so hard to reverse the aging process, we choose to embrace it?
Each phase of life is a gift.
Where you are in this moment is a culmination of all the days and hours and minutes that came before. Right now is a time you will never have again. A moment filled with incredible promise.
There is only one you. And there will never be another you. You have something to offer this world that has never been offered before. And never will be again.
When you think of your life does your mind get caught in the trap of past regrets? Do you focus on what is broken? Or what God has made new? Do you believe you are worthy of forgiveness?
Do you know you are loved? Unconditionally loved. Your past choices have no bearing on your worthiness of love.
Trust me ? I know. I have believed the lies that I am unlovable. Unworthy. That somehow my mistakes, sins, and poor choices all made me exempt from the full love of God. I have let my past define me.
Thankfully, God broke those chains years ago. And I have not looked back.
We are all struggling in some way. And yet?..
We are loved. As we are. Fully.
You are beautiful. Please take that truth today and carry it with you wherever you go. When you encounter people, look them in the eyes and see their beauty. And offer them yours. We have many gifts to give one another.
And the greatest gift we can offer is love.
Let?s give it freely. Unconditionally. With no judgement. To everyone we encounter. We all deserve it. We all long for it. To know we are worthy of love ? exactly as we are.
Let?s strive to love as we are loved. As God loves us.
Because His love is the greatest gift of all.
It?s never-ending. It?s more than we can fathom. It is wide. And high. And deep. And remarkable. It is filled with forgiveness. And mercy.
It is perfect.
Accept it. Share it.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord?s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge?that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 14-20