The end of a year...a time for reflecting...
As I look back on the year 2010, I am first amazed by how quickly the year flew by! It seems as though it's only been a couple of months since my husband and I were celebrating NYE 2009 in Gatlinburg, TN. Yet here we are at the close of another year, looking back on how our lives have changed. I won't bore you with all my life changes of this past year. But I do want to tell you about one:
The biggest change that's taken place in my life is learning that God is my unwaivering Lover. I grew up thinking that God was watching me for two reasons: to punish me for wrong-doing, or to reward me for being good. I've learned, especially in the past year, that while God watches over me, He is also intimate with me. He wants to be the center of every detail of my life. His love for me is unending, unconditional and unwaivering. When my heart grasped that understanding, my life took a 180-degree turn. I learned that no matter what I do, God's love for me will not change.
I think every woman longs for a man who will love her...without condition. If you're married, think of your spouse. (If you're not married, imagine how you'd want your spouse to love you). Now imagine betraying that person in every possible way. Imagine slandering his name, lying to him, cheating him, abusing him, acting selfishly towards him. Would he still love you? Would he still whisper sweet-somethings in your ear? Would he walk away from you? Four years ago, when I betrayed my loved ones with my selfishness, I feared abandonment from them. And from God.
What happened in my life is quite possibly a different set of circumstances than what's happening (or happened) in yours. But one thing remains the same for all of us. No matter how far we walk away from God, no matter how much wrong we've done towards Him, no matter how far we've fallen (or jumped), no matter the heartache we've caused our friends and loved ones, God wants to lavish His love on us. His mercies are new EVERY morning. His lovingkindness is better than life. His grace is greater than our sin. He whispers to our hearts His unending devotion. Are you listening? Do you accept what He offers?
When I accepted His unending, unconditional, unwaivering love, my life changed. I've had a long relationship with Him, but on my part, it's been that of trying to please an acquaintance. In the past year I have learned that the relationship He offers me is that of lovers. He is the lover of my soul. He whispers sweet-somethings in my ear. He gently corrects me when I'm wrong. He allows me to mess us. He saves my tears. He loves me.