letting love speak louder
“Just love on them”
For some reason, that Christian phrase always makes me laugh. To me it just sounds a tad peculiar. I think it’s the way it’s phrased as “loving on” but maybe that’s just me. It’s one of those phrases that one says in response to a situation that might involve another person and cause you to shift your perspective off of yourself and onto Jesus. It being seen as one of those Christian cliche phrases can kind of get lost amongst all of the fortune cookie phrases we spurt out when we quite genuinely don’t really know what to say. Like “everything happens for a reason” for example, 9 times out of 10 that is the last thing anyone in any dire situation wants to hear but I digress…
God’s greatest commandments, above all else was to love the Lord your God and to Love your neighbour as yourself:
30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31
When done in this order:
- Loving God
- Loving others & loving yourself
With Jesus as our first love, the rest gets easier to do. I’m not saying that loving people is easy but the more you get to know your loving God on a more personal, deeper and spiritual level, you love and live openly with Him, allowing Him to transform every part of you. Then once you taste His love, mercy, kindness and forgiveness you’ll be able to love others effectively.
knowing your worth
I typed out the title of this blog post wondering whether or not I remembered my own worth.
Sometimes we find our worth in things, vanity, relationships, friendships, likes on social media, our hobbies or our interests. For me I’ve tried to find my worth in the way I’ve looked, the way I’ve acted, the way I’ve interacted with people, I’ve based it in comparison to other people and I’ve tried time and time again to fix myself up in order to disguise the pain of feeling unworthy and guilty and shameful but time and time again I am led back to one thing that holds me altogether even when I feel like I’m falling apart, that one thing is Jesus.
Jesus who calls me worthy, Jesus who died hanging on the cross and still called me worthy, Jesus who looks straight into my soul, my spirit and all that I am drenched in sin and calls me worthy.
I’m writing this post as a reminder to not only you, you beautiful soul but also to myself. You see my worth’s taken a recent kick in my side and I’ve questioned every single part of my body, examined every part of my personality, done the whole, what have they got that I don’t have and what have I got that they don’t have. I’ve looked for affirmation laced in other people’s words and measured up my worth against them but you see the cycle keeps on going. There are on days and off days where I have to keep reminding myself of my worth and everything that Jesus calls me to be. It can be a constant monthly, weekly, daily, hourly reminder. Sometimes I can be so consumed in my own thoughts that I think myself sick, to the point of tears, to the further point of ugly crying into the sky (or a pillow) and pleading, begging the Lord to help me, mould me and change my unhealthy way of thinking.
Normally I would write a conclusion to my blog posts, to recentre my own thoughts as I write them and gather them after having scrambled them all onto a page but today I just want to leave it at this: knowing my worth is a process, sometimes we can know it in our head and sometimes it doesn’t reach our hearts. Head to heart knowledge is important and I’m in that process now. That process of being taught and disciplined by the Lord who knows exactly what is best for me. So after crying my eyes out to Alex G’s song Everything and Alessia Cara’s song Scars To Your Beautiful – I didn’t have any words to say to the Lord, all I wanted to do was cry and that’s all I had in me in that moment and maybe just maybe my tears, in that exact moment, spoke so much more louder than my words could ever say.
But I don’t feel like I should end this blog post that way, a conclusion can be even more important than how I start this so let me try again.
Your worth is not dependent on what a boy says to you, your worth is not dependent on what you see in the mirror, what you eat, what you wear, how you are, whether you have it all together or are crumbling and breaking inside – despite what you’re feeling your worth is dependent on an eternal, most high King, a King fiercely and passionately in pursuit of your love and your attention. He sings your beauty over Him and our beauty is found solely in Him. He remains the same yesterday, today and forever, the only thing unchanging and knowing your worth in this way, well, it changes everything.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … ” – Matthew 6:25-34
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. – Isaiah 43:4
christmas for the divorced family
I used to get so excited about Christmas in my younger years. I would wake up in the early hours of the morning, grab the pillowcase of presents that Santa left us and crawl onto my Mum and Dad’s bed waiting patiently with eager eyes for the moment they would wake up and allow us to delve into them.
Fast forward three years from our last Christmas together as a family and at times I still long to do that very same, simple thing.
My parents are divorced now, they separated three years ago, it was something that shook mine and my brother’s life immensely. We both were left to deal with it in our own way fighting the feelings of abandonment and rejection away with our own methods. For me, it was a time where I had no choice but to get closer to the Lord, a time when He was carving me into strength and hope, in His name only. It was a time when I would have no choice but to press into Him because in Him I found no rejection. Life was happening, it was crumbling and falling apart but He was there.
Now we have arrived at our first Christmas where they are officially divorced and not just separated. It was now that each parent had to make a decision on where they would like me and brother to be and at what time. We are both old enough to make our own decisions and each gave us options and we would have to weigh them out. This was hard, there’s a lot more to consider when deciding on who spends time with who. You have to take into account whether one will be alone on certain days, whether it was easier for me and my brother to separate and how each parent would feel if we did so and so with so and so.
I wanted that postcard Christmas, where families get along, are all surrounded by each other, playing board games and wearing cheesy Christmas jumpers. Eating food to the point of lying horizontal on the sofa and then watching Christmas movies while playing with presents, sat in front of the fire listening to Frank Sinatra.
Reality is, all of those things sure, they might happen but what if Christmas isn’t like that for you. What if it’s filled with loneliness and unhappiness reminding you only a time that carries remnants of a broken family and broken expectations?
There has been one thing that has brought me through every Christmas where we had to break up the day to spend time with each parent. One thing that has kept me going amidst the feelings of abandonment and rejection. One beautiful, crucial thing that has kept me together and far from falling apart while watching families that are complete. One thing that makes me grateful and thankful for life and the very idea of me even breathing.
For me, Christmas time is ultimately about Jesus. He is the reason for the season, He is why we live and move and breathe. Keep this at the forefront of your mind throughout this season even when all other expectations fall below what you wished for.
Jesus is more to me than just a baby born in a manger, a baby we sing carols about and occasional learn about at Christmas and Easter. He is my everything.
So what’s like Christmas for the Divorced family?
It is a time to overlook past hurt, pain and suffering. A time to look forward to God moving in your family situation if we simply just keep our faith in Him. It is a time to ask the Lord for healing and restoration in relationships and broken expectations, a time to heal scars and wounds from words and pain. It is a time where the Lord longs for you to press into Him so he can bring comfort, peace and joy in this beautiful time remembering the Saviour of the world and how glorious He is.