Right now, as I sit on my couch, I’ve just finished a bowl of blueberry Wheaties and am sipping a very hot and very strong cup of coffee. My room is a mess. I haven’t put away my clothes in almost a week, my bed is unmade, and there’re about ten other things I need to do that I’m putting off in order to write. And I also haven’t exercised. I thought about it, let myself get way too anxious about it, debated running and then threw out my yoga mat and started doing sit ups and push ups. And then I stopped. Because why was I really doing this? Why was I freaking out all alone in my room, while my roommates worked and slept peacefully in their beds?
And as I sit here and reflect, I think it’s because I really just wanted to be loved.
Throughout this past year of college, God really challenged me as he showed me just how hard it’s been for me to believe that I could be as loved as people long to let me be. And he showed me that I’d believed this lie for quite some time. There’s something in me that so longs to be perfect, skinny, fun, and the one everyone looks to who has it all together, but in reality, that desire has only ruled my life and robbed me of my joy. Because instead of just being, I’ve been performing, trying to prove to everyone, including myself, that I’m supposed to be loved. That I deserve your love because of what I’ve done. Yet it’s all been in vain because the truth is that I already am loved. And it’s not contingent on whether I work out today. It’s not contingent on whether or not I was the best friend I could be today and made every one of my friends feel super loved and encouraged and supported. It’s not contingent on the size of my arms or my stomach or whether my clothes are perfectly pressed or covered in stains (which is most likely the reality). I could go on forever with all the anxieties that relentlessly try to tell my heart and my mind that I could never be loved fully because of x, y, or z, but the truth is that even as I frantically tried to prove my worth on my yoga mat this morning, Abba Father whispered in his still, small voice, “Hey, Beloved, let yourself be loved today.”
Let yourself be loved.
I think it’s one of the most ridiculous and shocking things we could do in this morning. Because whether we acknowledge it or not, our world is constantly throwing images in our face that demand that we bow down to the idol of “Not Enough.” It says we’re not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or cool enough, or smart enough, or rich enough, or successful enough, or (you fill in your blank here) enough. And yet, in the middle of all that noise, there is the still small voice of Jesus calling us back into His arms of Love and stilling the storms of our heart once again. And He’s beckoning us to be loved, to be his Beloved today.
It’s funny, you know. I kept hearing the Father call me Beloved for months until I finally realized what he was reminding me again and again each time He called my name, “Hey Beloved, let yourself BE – LOVED.” Friends, His command is in our name. God calls each of us his Beloved, and He’s just beckoning us to BE – Loved.
I know it’s overwhelming, and I know it’s hard to accept, and half the time I question whether or not it’s really even his voice, but today we’re invited to enter into trust. We can trust that we hear the Father if the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. We can trust that He is for us. And we can trust that we are loved. Whole-heartedly, wildly, deeply covered in His love. And just to believe it, if only for a moment, is the baby step we need to begin the journey into walking in the freedom of being ourselves. It’s the first step. Not fixing ourselves or reading our Bibles—it’s just to let ourselves be loved. In this moment. Right where we are. No strings attached. I’m only taking baby steps, but slowly, these feet of mine will walk and begin to run, and I want the same for you today. I want each of us to experience a freedom we could have never imagined, and I want us to be brave.
So breathe my friend, take a step, and let yourself be loved.