I help lead a women’s small group on Tuesday nights. Our new term just kicked off and we are doing Lisa Bevere’s study, “Unrivaled”. Each week we watch her videos and answer study guide questions. This was week one and the task she gave us already has me thinking so much.
She talked about how God loves us all uniquely. He doesn’t love us all the same or equally he loves us fearlessly and uniquely. She went on to explain that he loves us uniquely to eliminate competition and comparison. It was really eye opening and I would highly recommend doing this study but what really got me was at the end she asked us to write down 25 things God loves about us. Sounds simple but oh my word it’s so hard. I know why she chose the number 25 things. You can pretty much rattle off 10 things that are surface level and then you are forced to go deeper. I was struggling to do this and then I was struggling to understand why I was struggling so much (yeah, you don’t want to be inside my brain).
Anyways, I decided to go to the source himself and ask God, “Hey, what are the three things you love most about me.” This felt really odd to do, almost childish. It wouldn’t feel weird to ask my husband that question so why did it feel so weird to ask my creator? I honestly couldn’t think of another time that I have opened that intimate relationship with Christ. Like I have built this wall and have only let myself view God in certain ways and not others. It felt all too vulnerable and weird but still I listened. The first three things I heard were, “Your heart, your smile and your laugh.”
My first reaction was to immediately reject all of these things. Sometimes it’s hard for me to decifer my own thoughts and thoughts that were placed by God. All weekend long though I kept hearing it in my head, “Your heart, your smile and your laugh.” I didn’t really have the time to give it the thought it deserved so I just pushed it aside.
Let me go back and explain why I immediately rejected these three things. I don’t like to admit this but I have very low self confidence most of the time. I like to view myself as confident and independent but the quickest look in a mirror or bad picture taken of me and I’m in a downward spiral of negative thoughts about myself. It goes so low that I immediately start questioning every outfit choice and hair color I’ve ever chosen. I go from 0 to 100 in 2 seconds. It’s not something I’m proud of but we all have our issues to work on. I’m also a type 2 personality and a perpetual people pleaser. In the back of my mind I am constantly questioning if I’m doing enough as a wife, friend, family member, etc. I am doubting whether my intentions are good or if I’m only doing things to please everyone. This causes me to question where my heart is all of the time. So to hear God say he loves my heart.... that’s hard to accept. To hear he loves my smile and laugh, psh that’s ridiculous. I feel most vulnerable when I make eye contact with people which is why I don’t do it very much. There is something about the thought of looking someone straight on and smiling at them that makes my skin crawl. I tend to look away or cover part of my face. If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m an awkward mess.
I do not think it’s a coincidence at all that the three things I don’t like the most about myself are the three things God loves the most. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I think it’s the work of the enemy. He knows God’s character and unfortunately knows my weaknesses. I think he has played a hand in making me not like these things about myself. I have not been innocent in this in any way, I let him. Instead of calling it for what it is I let it tear me down.
It’s hard to think about 3 things that God loves about me let alone 25 but I’m going to. Let myself go there and be open and vulnerable with the God who created me. The next question in our study was who do we have trouble loving fearlessly? My answer was God. I love God so much but wonder if I have truly been loving him fearlessly and with all I have. For one reason or another I’ve built up walls and said you can come here but not here. I’m done hiding behind them and excusing my negative thoughts. It’s time to let the walls down. I’m sure I’ll continue to stumble and fail but there’s no where to go but up. No I’m off to write my 25 things and would encourage you to do the same.