Jesus, yes.

189.1
Still, forever, yes.  So in love with Jesus and the Love and Grace He is.

If I may explain a little, because I certainly have been (head over heels) in love with Jesus before, and certainly have felt loved by Him, the difference between the way I felt His Love before and the way I experience His Love now is beyond words really, I will give it a shot though, a very candid shot. 

If I can be very honest, it seemed like in the past, (due to my immaturity, self centeredness and the fact that I was working my tail off all the time to understand and earn His love), that He was only loving me at times, only when I was striving for it.  Somehow, in a church where I was taught Grace and surrounded by people who talked of Grace and while immersing myself in books and teachings of This Amazing Grace, I managed to hold onto the notion somewhere deep down that I could be good enough or bad enough

And so in all of that striving and working- when I did feel Loved it was almost always tinged with arrogance.   And when I did not feel Love, I filled that space with self doubt.  And because I am fallen and broken and human, I allowed my feelings to drive me most of the time which resulted in an endless cycle of working hard, feeling love, falling short, feeling like garbage.  And it was lovely and exciting except when it was painful and exhausting.   
180
This past month or so though, a whole ton of my stuff stacked up on top of me.  Some of it was coincidence I suppose, or maybe (most probably) attack from the enemy, and some of it was caused by awful choices that others made, but also I screwed up and made poor choices and the results heaped up into a big terrible mountain. 

In the midst of all this mess though Jesus was with me, more tangibly than He has ever been.  He sat with me and spoke to me and Loved me while I was more broken and frail and weak than I have ever been.  I was filthy with shame and guilt and covered in grief and sorrow. I had no striving in me, nothing about me was earning anything, nothing about me seemed lovable- and I am telling you, I have never, never, never experienced more Love. 

Him being with me while I was at my worst absolutely transformed my relationship with Him and my understanding of Grace.  I realized, He loves me no matter what, because that is who He is, that is why He is.  And He is never the one that leaves.  (And I don’t need to ask Him to be with me, He always is.)  The problem in our relationship is never Him.  (I know this is like Grace 101, but I just didn’t get it until it wrapped itself around me.)  I mean, I can’t imagine if I was in a relationship with someone that I passionately loved and they didn’t even acknowledge that I was in the room half the time. 

How I have made it this far in my relationship with Him and only just had this fantastic revelation is beyond me- but there is no time (or reason) for regrets now.  He’s here (and I kind of want to shout it like this “HE’S HERE!!”), all the time.  And He wants to be with me, all the time. Even though…  Even as my stuff is piling up and spilling out.  And so this Love that I am experiencing…

233.2
 
This Love is so absolutely humbling…
This Grace is so breathtakingly beautiful…

I don't know…  You Guys~ it's Grace and it's Amazing, and it is real.  And I am still very much in the middle of dealing with all of This Terrible Crap and trying to walk through These Awful circumstances but they are just circumstances, they do not define me or Him.  And I am not alone and comprehending that, even a little, is truly and thankfully changing me… I don't know how to not gush about Him and the way He Loves… and bask in it and smile and laugh at the utter fantasticness of it all.

Its like… I don't know…   This email sums up the way I feel, kind of:

This! Is why you use exclamation points all the time!?  This is why you smile so big all the time?! 
 
~Because regardless of the circumstance there is a Big Big Big Love for me and there is So Much Grace. 
 
What other response would I have but deep contentment and exclamation points and big smiles?   
Seriously, if this Love is here, surrounding me all the time~ then the way I live can only be in response to this Love.
How could it not be?!
This a whole. New. Way to live. 
Waking up in the morning with an awareness of love deep down and overflowing that has nothing to do with anything I have done or tried to be is Transforming.
Going to bed at night feeling content and cared for and so not alone is Transforming.
This awareness of His presence and understanding how much He wants me to be with Him, wants to be with me, wants me to know Him, for no other reason than that is simply who He is~
That~ is totally revolutionary for Little Girl and Grown Up Me.
 
Wow, wow, wow,
Love, love,
Amber   

 

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