This past weekend I went on a Ladies retreat with some women from my church. It was located in Frankenmuth and the entire weekend was about realizing that you are God's and He made you special. God thought about each and everyone of us. He crafted and molded me into who I am today, this very second. I am not perfect. I have made many, MANY mistakes. I am bitter, jaded, and easily wounded. But my time for moving forward is now.
There are some things that I am going to have to remind myself of, in order to move on. First of which being, I am loved. Despite the things said about me or written about me, God has made it so apparent to me that I am deeply loved. He holds and protects my heart like a person protecting a valuable treasure. He reminds me on a daily basis that I am thought of, treasured and wanted. He sends people to rescue me from my self-destructive patterns.
The second thing I am going to have to remind myself of is the fact that I am not my past. He is aligning my future. He is actively placing people, important events, and special purposes for me to further His kingdom. I am so grateful for his mercy and unconditional love!
The third and last thing to remind myself to do, is to love extravagantly, without holding back. This is no small task. I have been challenged to love everyone around me, not just the ones who are easy to love. I need to love those who cause me heart ache, those who anger me, those who mean to cause me harm. I have to love EVERYONE. This love may look differently than the love that is given to my family or close friends. I want to be the person who is known for loving others in spite of any situation. I am not going to be successful every time, but I am going to try my hardest.
In the book, The Message, it says in 1 Corinthians 13: 3-7
"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love."
I am bankrupt without love. Nothing else matters. It doesn't matter what the world is saying to me or how the world is telling me I should treat people. God has given me a higher purpose than what the world dictates. People's words do not define me, God defines me. HE chose me.Thank you God for staying so close and being small enough to hear me when I am in need. Thank you God for second chances and your redeeming love. Without it, I am nothing.