Love. Isn’t that a great word?
Love is one of my favorite words and not just because I’m a newlywed!
I hope that even if you have walked some hard places because of loving someone, you still believe in true love. I do.
What completes this sentence for you, “I love…”?
I love good hair days, the sound of my children laughing, my husband, all things Christmas, Jane Austen novels, my friend Keri’s fashion-sense, hot pink nail polish, and every movie I’ve ever watched with my sister Amanda.
If you grew up an 80’s girl, you love hot pink nail polish too, and you will remember these songs, “Love is a Battlefield”; “Tainted Love”; “I Want To Know What Love Is”; “You Can’t Hurry Love”. If you are a groovy 70’s gal, how about, “I Honestly Love You”; “Let Your Love Flow”; “Love Train”? If you are a go-go of the 60’s you might remember “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling”; “Can’t Buy Me love”; “Love Me Do”; “Give A Little Love”.
Clearly our culture is confused about what love is. Most of us are pretty confused too. We understand love based on our own limited experiences. Some of our experiences have been beautiful, maybe even true love. Other experiences have left our hearts tattered, and we still have the scars.
Real love is deeply personal. True love, is so much more than mere “fancy” as my Scottish mother would say.
As I began my walk through a painful (is there any other kind?) divorce, I experienced a true miracle. God, who I have decided is a romantic, sent me a love note! A real, tangible, actual love note!
It was days before my first divorce court appearance. Cue ominous music, think of words like looming and dreaded, etc. It had been only weeks since my happy world had come crashing down. I was adjusting to my new normal which included being a single Mom of four. It was a day by day, moment by moment, “Lord HELP me” filled time.
Being the only one of my circle of friends to walk the path of divorce, I had no one to mentor me through. I had BIG fear of the unknown. Custody issues were heavy on my heart. This Mom’s heartstrings were tightly knit to her four little ones. I had no idea what to expect on that court date.
To distract myself from the fear, I did the obvious girl thing, and picked out a perfect courtroom outfit. My life was turned upside down, but at least I’d look “together” was my irrational rationale at the time. I borrowed some black dress pants from a girlfriend, and bought myself a new vibrant fuchsia blouse. Fuchsia since I am that 80’s girl and I hoped it might conceal the evidence (bags under my eyes and new creases on my forehead) of the strain I felt.
Next, I had to get serious about being prepared. Basically I felt very little control over anything in my life, so I was grasping! I defaulted to the woman I was before I was a Mom of four.
I call her Miss Planner. She is an organized person. She wears clothes that say, “dry clean only”. She files things alphabetically and has completed to do lists. She’s a manager to the core. She’s an empowering kind of a gal- I like her!
This might sound totally ridiculous to those of you who still wear dry clean only clothes, carry briefcases to work, and know how to multi-task from your iPhone. Please extend some grace to my frazzled state. I am so not a Clueless type of woman. I was really proud of my choice to be a stay at home Mom for more than a decade. I’m smart, strong, and capable, but at this point in my life, my self-esteem had been run over by a semi-truck that was speeding in the opposite direction, with big red letters R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N down the side of it.
Having some sense of control over something- even if just what I wore, and even where I’d put all of my legal papers helped take my mind off of the fear. So, I set off in search of the perfect binder, one that would say, “I’m prepared.” I found just the right one- it was pink, with some gray flowers on it and the icing on the cake was that it had initials of a real four year college on it. A hand me down from one of my college degree holding sisters.
Thinking the binder was empty, I opened it to put my papers inside. And that is when I found my Love Note from God! There in the back pocket of the pink binder, I noticed a folded white piece of paper. I unfolded the paper, expecting it to be a forgotten shopping list, or a piece of kid’s artwork that was very common in my house. What I found instead took my breath away. Typed in a plain, small font, was this message:
You are my child; I love you more than anyone else in the world. I will never leave or forsake you. You are of inestimable worth, in My eyes. I suffered the torments of hell on your behalf. I care about who you are on the inside, not what you look like on the outside, or your value in the eyes of the world. I will be with you until the end of the world. I will carry you through periods of struggle. I will nourish you, raise you, and make you into a worthy vessel for My service. I will destroy those who destroy you. I will give you my peace, which passes all understanding. Through Me, you have the Way, the Truth and the Life. Stay with Me. I want you near Me. Lift your eyes to me; hold My hand, trust Me, and walk with Me every day. I will eventually receive you in Glory, where you can sit at the table with Me. Then we will always be together.
Tears fell. This was true love. This was so personal. God is so personal. He reminded me that He saw every detail of my circumstances. God knew exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment. Fears began to fade away as I remembered God’s promises to me. I knew without a doubt that this was a Love Note directly from God to me.
I spent some time on my knees, in that school room filled with dozens of other binders. I thanked God for meeting me there. He used that Love Note to speak so tenderly to my broken heart. I heard His reassurance that He knew all about every unknown in my future. They were not unknown to Him. He knew all about what I would be facing in my “new normal”, in court and in everything else.
As I finished thanking God for my Love Note, I started to wonder, how did this Love Note get into this pink binder?
And then, of course, I called my sister who was the owner of the cute pink binder! As I read my Love Note to her over the phone, she recalled that it was a message she had prepared to share with her Campus Life Group, years earlier when she served in that ministry. She thinks she had found it in an old Brio Magazine article. (Note- if you find the original source- email me! I searched online, and found a “copy” but not an original author, and I’d love to give them full credit.)
That court date is now a few years behind me. It was the second worst day of my life, but God got me through it. He’s continued to show up every day. He wants to be personally involved in my life- even when the hardest part of my day is finding inspiration to tackle the endless mountain of laundry.
God does not single out only certain people to send love notes to, or to speak to. Re-read that Love Note up above. It’s really God’s Word, that some creative person personalized. It’s not just for me, it’s for you. His greatest Love Note to each one of us, is probably sitting on your bedside table, or maybe a little bit dust-covered on a bookshelf. The Bible. It is filled to overflowing with the truth of His love for us. (If you don’t have a Bible, you can read it online at http://www.biblegateway.com)
He came to this earth 2,000 years ago, just to save YOU. To have a relationship with YOU. If you had been the only person on this planet, He still would have come. He is that personal.
Don’t ever doubt that God cares about the details of your life. He sees every victory, and every tear. He’s right there. Call out to Him. He is ready and waiting. He is interested. He loves you, and it’s true love.
Are you carrying something that you need to lay at His feet? He knows we face hard stuff, really hard stuff. He knows we live in a world that is lost and filled with flawed people. He has not asked us to shoulder the burdens that come with life on this fallen planet.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
If you are in need of comfort, turn to book of Psalms- as you read, and seek Him, I know He will meet you right where you are. Whether you are in the midst of a really difficult life circumstance, or just need some encouragement in the daily grind.
Psalm 34:4-8, 17-18
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
These are just a few verses from His Love Note to us. There are so many more that He wants to use to speak life, hope, comfort, peace and most of all love to you.
I’m praying for you sweet friends- that you will grasp how much He wants to be in your everyday life, and even more that you will discover His true love for you through His greatest Love Note of all.