Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Will you love me even if...

I am a people pleaser. I take my job at this very seriously. I will come running if you call. I will make little cookies with your name engraved with icing. They will be organic. I will probably grind the grain myself with one of those sweet marble pestles.  Now of course I'm not saying all this to tell you of my shining kindness and superior cookie skills (Though I'm happy to make some for you! See? People pleaser.)  I am saying that I am finding that someone, somewhere, someday will be upset with me and it will be deastating for me.

GASP. What?! But I even packaged the cookies in cute boxes with ribbons that are their favorite colour!

Of course, this attribute makes you feel good sometimes. Like you have accomplished something great. As though you were super-woman, standing high on a mountaintop looking out on the hundreds people you miraculously saved from a moving train only seconds before it was about to crash to its doom. It feels good to help another. That isn't wrong, but for me, I base my worth and my entire value on others' view points of me.

So of course, what is God doing, but bringing me down to my knees in realization that love is deeper.

I have come to realize that my need to make others happy most likely results in the belief that this is what makes me loveable. It is what others will like about me, because I have nothing else to offer.

I am going to be completely transparent with you friends, I am a mess. Just like my room. A WRECK.  Seriously, my room sometimes looks like a hoarder's nest. I am a perfectionist, so if I can't do it perfectly, I probably won't try (bad. bad. bad idea, Meggie).  Even though I love my friends dearly, I will always forget to call them until something happens on Facebook (like a birthday. oops.). If you text or call me, I will most likely forget to respond, or if I don't know the answer never will until I have an answer. Being that I am extremely (E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y.) indecisive, I will also therefore probably not have an answer anytime soon. If you ask me what I want to eat, I will tell you I have no idea, because I seriously will not care. I hate my pictures taken, to a point that will offend you into thinking I don't want to be seen with you. I am in extreme debt from some horrible decisions I have made. I have lied to you if it suits me. I make up things about other people to make myself look good. I complain. I nag. I am stubborn. I will continue beg God for answers when I don't like the sound of the one He is giving me. I will try to get ahead by cheating. I am overly competitive. My sense of humor can sometimes be just terrible. I have 0 motivation to literally do anything when I am sad or upset. I am lazy when it suits me. I have tapped cars in the parking lot and not left notes. I have stole money, time, and resources from people and places - as an adult. I have mistreated my pets, my poor innocent animals when I have gotten mad. (That happened TODAY). The list could go on and on...

Now before you say "oh we all do that" or "that's not that bad..." just look at a few of those and imagine if some of those closest to you acted like that. Brothers, sisters, special others, daughters, sons, mothers, fathers... it is FRUSTRATING. It grates on your nerves. You seriously wonder how they don't notice they are doing it, right? Or perhaps you understand and are now on the same page saying "wow... this chick's got issues." Yep.

That is what I have been putting my family, friends, and loved-ones through.

Please make no mistake, I am not saying all this to get pity or compassion. Please don't. They are issues and they are wrong. I will even say they are SINFUL.

Today I have run into a wall of mirrors, where I have suddenly came face to face with many of my weaknesses. They have been happening a lot over the past few weeks especially. Things a people pleaser is not fond of. We DREAD it.

I have quite a few people not talking to me right now - and all for very valid reasons. My guilt. (I'm not talking about the feeling, but the act. I am guilty.)  I came home today and realized that very few who are close to me are happy with me right now. I have wronged many of them in some fashion or form.

I ran across this story today on facebook from a ministry I hold near and dear to my heart (LoveWorks Ministry):

"A young Asian woman sat with tears running down her face. "I cannot understand this part of love called 'Bears All things'. How can it be true that someone will love you even when they know your weakness, your struggles, your failure and sin? I can only imagine rejection and it fills me with fear. It makes me never want to let someone know those parts of me."

My heart was filled with compassion as I saw the fear and loneliness in her eyes. "Love will not reject you. It is actually love that heals you and for healing to happen, you must invite someone in to your weakness and receive love. It is in this moment that transformation happens. This is the way our Father has designed healing of the soul - it must come through love. Remember why Jesus was sent - to show us the love of the Father."

I prayed for her heart to be filled with courage so she could invite someone into her weakness and receive love. The next day she stepped out and opened her heart to a friend. This woman received every word and did not judge, instead she poured out God's Love, His compassion, His mercy, His belief. The young Asian woman was in awe!! She had never felt something so beautiful and powerful. She shared with our small group through many tears that it filled her with joy, peace, trust, strength, and freedom!!!"

This broke my heart. BROKE IT. I have been so filled with rejection today because of my areas of weakness and sin. I feel as though I keep failing. I keep forgetting to call, I am too busy to check on those I love, I keep making selfish decisions... How could anyone love me when there is all of those issues that come with it???

I want that freedom. I want to feel that warmth of love from God, our most faithful friend. To have someone not just 'put up with me' but love me through all my struggles? Unconditionally? Without question? Without a "okay but I need this from you..."?? Unimaginable. I just can't even fathom it. Yet I found so many instances in scripture:

Romans 5:8 -- But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 -- For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

As I pour through Psalms I am struck by the love He has for his children. When I drink in Jesus' words I am hit by who he ate with, spoke with, slept with. Men he knew that would betray him. Men and women that He knew was scared and had issues. Imagine being caught red-handed and a man you have only heard stories of stopping your execution because of His heart of love and compassion, putting himself in harms way. THAT IS OUR FATHER. That is Him! This is not a fairytale, this is no joke... He loves us that much.

Imagining all the issues He loves me through, how can I help but look at others in grace. I am truly humbled.

As I move forward I'm not sure exactly how to heal wounds I have caused, but I know God will show me the most loving way. It will mean humility. It will mean perhaps pain, but what freedom will we possess when we allow Him to love through us. That is love. That is true love - everything not based in this is fleeting, it is a facade.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails."
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a

We read and hear these words all the time...  but take a moment and really read it.  That. Is. What. Love. Is. It is not "oh that would be nice" love. It isn't make believe. That is what love really looks like. We can love and be loved like that. Imagine that. 

I want to learn to love you like that, friends, I really do. 

Father God, please show me what your love looks like. What it feels like. I want the beauty and freedom and peace that comes with real love. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Father God I am guilty, I am full of pain, hurt, fear, and wrongdoing. I want to be so moved, so captivated, so moved by Your love, that I cannot help but love others unconditionally as you do. Help me Father take the first step. I want your love. I need the love only you, the perfect and holy one can give. I pray a blessing of hope and joy on those reading this God, ignite in them a hunger for your grace, hope, love, and freedom. Help us all see the truth, what is real, and what you have already given and we need only receive. It is through the precious blood and sacrifice of your Son that we can even come to your feet and ask this. Amen.

God is with you friends, with arms of love.