I started my very first Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study this morning. I was very excited about this study because it is based on the new book by one of my favorite authors - Lysa Terkeurst. The Bible study is about living loved when you feel left out, lonely, and less than. The book is Uninvited. I have had the book for awhile but have hesitated getting started with reading it because I knew that it would hit hard and somewhere very deep. I don't want that to sound like a "oh, poor pitiful me" statement because I am not wanting anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't often feel uninvited or left out but it is the feeling loved part that I struggle with. I have really really been battling this for about 2 years or so and even more so in the past year.
This morning, we watched a couple of videos and had our first memory verse. The memory verse was Colossians 3:12. I am going to give it to you from the NLT because I really like the part that says "people he loves."
"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."
I am convinced that Lysa and I are the same person...or at the very least, we would be BFF if we knew each other in real life!!!! Something she said today resonated with me and is SPOT ON with what I have been feeling.
"I want to live from a place where an off kilter interaction with other people is not a downward spiral of wonky feelings but stable love instead." ~Lysa Terkeurst
YES, YES, and EXTRA DOUBLE SUPER-SIZED AMEN YES YES YES!!!!!!!
I mean there are days when someone can say or do one thing. One response that was not in line with my expectation and I am spent! What in the world?! So many days I feel like I am the only one in the world that feels this way, and the fact that someone put this on paper is so refreshing and encouraging to me. I don't feel like such a freak! ;) Do I like it any better? Nope, but I know that I am not alone.
She went on to talk about the guilt associated with feeling anything but thankful for all of the blessings in her life when others around her have it so much worse (raises hand), but describes it as an "undercurrent of disappointments that ebbed and flowed" when she is truly honest about her feelings. Then....what do I do? I perform. I start pouring out love and service with the hope that someone will give me what I am longing for.
"Performance based endeavors are not the answer for living loved. Living loved is sourced in your quiet, daily surrender to the One Who made you."
As I was looking back over these notes and thinking about these words, it kind of frustrated me. I got frustrated at myself. I mean, why is it so hard to just live loved because I am? The Bible tells me that I am loved by God, I have been taught that, I am closer to God now than ever before, I am His princess, I am redeemed, forgiven, set free, I AM LOVED! Why in THE WORLD is that so hard to just believe and LIVE??!! Pick it up, take it with me, drink it, eat it, live it, and BELIEVE it?! I do not have an answer for that, but regardless, it makes me cry. A lot....from the deepest part of my heart. I cry. Why oh why do I look for love in all the wrong places? Not bad places but not God places. HE is the only One that can fill that void. It is not my friends' job to come to my rescue. When I don't get x number of likes on a Facebook post or Instagram picture, my world should not come crashing down. When I text, "I love you" and I don't get that in return, my heart should not shatter. I should live LOVED. BECAUSE I AM. Those people that I so desperately long to be loved by....they actually DO love me, but even more important than that....GOD LOVES ME and THAT is Who I should seek to please.
Wanting to be loved by the very One that created me should be my greatest desire.