Loved by You…

I twirled the golden band on my ring finger as I sat in the movie theater, thinking about all of the relationships of my past. Not one relationship had ended the way that I had expected, but the ending of each one brought life to me in a new way. It’s becoming a bit of a routine to sit in a theater and think of men. Typically women go to a movie on a date, either with a bestie or a romantic partner. But as for me, this was the second of three solo movie adventures and my thoughts seemed to be waiting at my reserved seat for me. At this point, I’m beginning to wonder why I pay money just to have inner conversations that could be held elsewhere for free. Yet I know that my mind does what it wants, when it wants, and apparently this is its fertile thinking grounds. As my mind thought of boyfriends of the past, I silently sat and sang “I am loved by You” by Maverick City Music (click here to listen). Somewhere along the line, I had honestly forgotten that God loved me due to the heartache that I had experienced. The removal of every person that once brought me happiness made me doubt God’s desire to see me happy and, by extension, His true love for me. If He truly loved me, wouldn’t He want me to have love in my life? I had been deceived and recent events were revealing just how unreliable my wandering thoughts had been…

Delete history?

Everything had to be deleted from our history. All texts, all pictures, the entire contact history- it all had to go in that very moment. There was no more hanging onto it and, on some level, I was ready to let them go. You see, I didn’t just delete the recent, fly-by-night man, but I also deleted content from my ex. Two years of pictures, texts, and memories (even IG memories) had to go. To be honest, I didn’t cry like I thought I would. I fully expected a waterfall to spring forth from the depths of my soul. Instead I just laid in bed, wishing there were some easier way to delete in bulk on social media. As sure as I know the sun rises every morning, I know that someone is reading this post and thinking that I am a cruel, cruel person. How could I so “coldly” delete memories from the last two years of my life with someone that I claimed to love so deeply? Well, Beloved, I’m sorry you think that, but I promise it did hurt me.

Imagine that cell phone that you currently hold in your hand. As you capture images, share texts, download things, and use it in general, space/memory is being occupied. When your phone finally reaches its capacity, what do you do? That’s right, you delete so that new memory space may be created. Emotionally, I had to create new space in my heart for God’s best. It hurt me to let go of those experiences, but I knew that if I held onto them, I would not have space to receive what God had for me in the future.

Days after I last preached, I continued to receive compliments regarding the words God had given me to share. My heart fluttered as I heard the positive impact that His words had on the lives of others. Even today as I reflect on what’s been said to me, I can’t help but think about what it took to write that sermon and then share it to the world- I had to completely empty myself in order to be filled by God’s Holy Spirit. Every ounce of Michelle had to be sat down so that God could stand in my place. It was a difficult, yet humbling experience that caused me to truly see what happens when I release and just let God be God. Despite having preached many sermons in between, that particular Good Friday sermon reminded me of my initial sermon and took me back to the place of a humble student learning from the Master as I studied, prepared, and wrote.

Thank You, Holy Spirit.

As I think about God’s love for me, I am transported back to both my initial sermon and my Good Friday word. Though different, they had many similarities, one being my complete and utter reliance on the Lord. That sounds odd to say (and I’m sure, odd to read) but you must know that I do write what God says at all times. Sometimes, however, I get in the way with the delivery of that message. The trials that I face, the thoughts of my heart, and the sin that is within me cause me to not give the reverence to God’s Word that it is truly due. But that night, April 15, 2022, I was divinely reminded of God’s love for me.

Beloved, what are you facing today? What difficulties consume you for which it seems impossible to disentangle yourself from and be set free? Whatever it is, I want you to stop right here and jot that thought down on a piece of paper. After you have written it down, pray over it, releasing it back to God in this very moment. It’s urgent that you release it today because TODAY is the day that God is calling you to do the greatest work in His kingdom. The current day that you are given by our gracious Abba is the day that you will do your greatest impact. It’s not tomorrow or yesterday, it is today- that is why it is a gift, a beautiful present to behold. So, pray in earnest today; pray and then release it back to God.

I have a secret to share with you. Scooch in a little closer and listen carefully, my friend. Are you ready? Ok, here goes…

I’m not perfect.

WHEW! It felt so good to get that secret off my chest!

I am not perfect and oftentimes it seems like I wake up only to make a series of new mistakes. Yet for some strange reason, God continues to give me another chance. Not because I am so faithful or worthy, but because He is so faithful and worthy. Being loved by God does not mean that I am perfect and that He loves that about me. No, being loved means that I am imperfect and that by fully submitting to God, He can still use me in my imperfection and still be glorified.

I didn’t grow up in a household where the word “love” was used often… or at all. I grew up unaware of what that word meant because I had never heard it. As I reached adulthood, I realized that though the word was seldom used, its meaning was felt in every corner of the house. Likewise, God’s love for us is seen in the beauty of every single day. Even if He doesn’t write it in the sky, in big letters to be seen coast to coast, His love is present in the little things that we see and experience. Sweet friend, you are so incredibly loved by our Abba and Lord! I pray that today you would see that love, experience that love, and then share that love.

“Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
Your love grows sweeter, sweeter.
I am loved, I am loved by You.
I am loved, I am loved by You.
I am loved, I am loved by You.
I am loved, I am loved by You.”

Be-LOVE-d, you are loved.
Be blessed.

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