Loving Me

I’ve always had God.

So many times in my past, I’ve felt like that is all I had. But having only God is not a bad thing, a lesser thing; it is everything. It is…as a wordsmith with a degree in English, even as a poet, I struggle to find the words…a shedding of all to have your soul embraced by Supreme Love. When broken, when defeated, when the heart is shattered to pieces…it is all left at the altar, and God lifts it away.

He lifts it away and leaves an internal peace. A healing. A restoration. A reprieve.

My life has changed though. I have changed. I find myself still at the altar, but this time offering up the abundance, the overflow of goodness and love and blessings, because I don’t know what to do with it. I am filled beyond capacity. There is no more room in me, in this earthly body, to store it.

But I feel God telling me to keep it on Earth, to find ways to give, share, gift it to others who so desperately need it. The ones who were like me. The ones beside me at the altar, on their knees, weeping. Especially to the ones lost who don’t know the way to the altar, the ones truly alone who do not know God or have turned away before feeling His embrace.

On the drive to work, on high volume, I was singing from my soul to Lauren Daigle’s, “You Say.” It’s a popular song, though I don’t think many know it’s about God. For me today, it did start out as being about God’s love for me as usual, through it all. But then lowercase “he” kept coming into my thoughts, weaving in and out of the lyrics’ messages. And I realized how love with another, here on earth, can feel godly, and God-sent, in the sense that the right one will see all in you that God does. And cause you to believe it, to see it too.

My short story is that I have been slowly, very slowly, shedding the things said to me for so many, many years in my past that smudged and dirtied my unmagical mirror, that distorted my reflection, my view of myself. They say one must simply dispel those lies, but that one opinion, that one voice, gets deeply ingrained and changes one’s very composition it seems, impossible to wash off, to get washed away. It is a poisoning, first administered by another, then somehow the other gets the victim to administer the doses herself. I lost the ability to see myself as God does: very intentionally and lovingly designed as beautiful, precious, perfect.

When you are with the right one, there is a natural cleansing of the mirror. Just as you had come to believe the verbal abuser, you come, in time, to believe the one who loves you, come to see yourself through loving eyes. The right one sees you the way God does. It is truth. Cleansing truth. And it cleans the mirror slowly, one inch at a time, and the light begins to reflect where there was once only obstructive grime.

Thoughts of the one who loves me floated in and out of the music of the One who always has. I do not carry pain anymore, so I think of the lyrics in a past and present sense (altered below). You has become both God and him. And I am left at the altar. Teary-eyed. With that goodness-excess overflowing, with that same loss of words to describe the feelings of my soul being embraced by such an unearthly, spiritual,

supreme love.

When love is love, it is clear. And all the non-love of those yesterdays, those long yesteryears, becomes clear, too.

You say I am loved when I [couldn’t] feel a thing
You say I am strong when I [thought] I [was] weak
And You say I am held when I [was] falling short
And when I [didn’t] belong, oh, You say I am Yours

Thank you for so tenderly cleaning my mirror, love.

10 thoughts on “Loving Me

  1. Seeing someone else as God sees them…what a wonderful goal. Unconditional love is so hard to grasp, especially when we have dealt with the human version, which always comes with limitations expressed with words like “if” and “when.” I did a little talk this week via Zoom with a church group and one of the things that I said is that God wants us to “be all that we can be,” to borrow the Army’s old recruiting slogan. Our lives and our identities get so fragmented that we become confused about who are. When all parts of our identity are in harmony, though, I think we become the best possible version of ourselves, which may well be how God sees us.

    Thanks so much, Laura, for sharing both your story and this beautiful song, which I have heard quite often on a local Christian radio station. There are so many messages sent out by the world and by people in our lives that seem designed to make us feel bad about ourselves and our insecurities and inadequacies. In the midst of that, it is reassuring to know that God still loves me no matter what–nothing can separate me from the love of God. The people in our lives may abandon us, but God says he never will. That is a promise that I cling to desperately during those times when loneliness threatens to overwhelm me.

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    1. Oh, dear Mike, thank you for sharing your beautiful sentiments and connections.

      I do believe He does want us to be all that we can be, and I feel so often we get in our own way of that. For me, it was refusal to break my vows (to honor Him), but now I feel deeply that He didn’t want me to live that way. Sometimes, I think, for those with such high moral values, we may be misunderstanding and taking into our own hands (or not emptying our hands to receive) that which He does not desire for us (the blessings we may be inadvertedly missing or unknowingly rejecting).

      Our best versions of ourselves…that was actually a deep shower thought I had recently and wished, at the time, I had the time to reflect on in writing. I will revisit those thoughts this weekend…

      Yes, the song is a popular favorite. I got to see her in concert not too long ago. I was thinking how I need to expand my music, find and sing (while driving alone) those songs I feel, have experienced and come through, from the depths of my soul, always connecting back to Him.

      I appreciate so much your personal connections, Mike. I feel many (most? all?) have felt that abandonment and loneliness, which makes me not able to imagine not having faith in a higher power. How awful to imagine that darkness and those tears without the Light and Love.

      I’ve always enjoyed your every word, Mike; you know that. About dragonflies. About God. And all the in between.

      Bless you, my friend. So thrilled to have you chat awhile. I’ll be getting some free time again in my life and look forward to catching up more with everyone’s writing and photography.

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      1. Thanks, Laura, for sharing so much of yourself. It is tough to have the courage to be that vulnerable in a public space like this. This has been a week when I have been doing a lot of thinking about my relationship with God, so your posting struck a responsive chord.

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        1. Striking that chord is all I can hope for when I share myself. 💕 I am trying to get past my fear and self-consciousness when writing personal prose. (It’s easy to hide behind poetic metaphors.) I feel compelled to try to reach the hearts and souls of others, to use my gifts and experiences to comfort and inspire. I think it’s what God wants me to do.

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  2. Your faith is your strength and your strength shines through. You have arrived in a wonderful place, of enjoying being you 😊

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    1. I couldn’t have arrived without the tender, loving hands and words of the one who finally found me, convincing me of my beauty. Sometimes, only true love, through God, can guide one to self-love. ❤

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