This week a couple of new friends and I experienced a misunderstanding. We communicated about it, not perfectly, not pretty but real. I’m a state-the -facts-from-my-perspective type of person. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Other times it’s not. But it’s me. It’s who I am. I have become okay with who I am as I’m learning, in the deep places, that Jesus dearly loves who I am. The interesting portion of that last statement is what prompted the shift was first accepting others exactly where they were. I decided to offer the same grace to myself. I also believe the same about the other’s in this misunderstanding we experienced this week. I don’t believe they need to improve something or change who they are to be loved exactly as they are, by Jesus or me. I truly love them! That’s a big deal!
I get emotional when I think of how much he loves you and me exactly as we are, that we don’t always have to be on the “personal improvement life time subscription plan” because… life just passes by so quickly while we are striving toward that goal , always having our ears bent to hear what we need to work on next etc. We tend to have a photo in our mind that is ever changing and unattainable. We go about it backwards!
Resting in Him today, exactly as I am today and receiving the love He pours over me is an upgrade, so much better than my prior “goal” photos in my mind or my tattered vision board. Resting in Him exactly as I am today towers over the mental picture of myself with a chiseled physique sharing orations, in writing or speech, that have awards and medals hanging next to them, along with a snapped picture of myself wearing a glowing robe of righteousness! I truly believe we have it backwards. When we love people exactly where they are at it takes us to higher places, without the blinding/striving that keeps us forever squinting in the distance for what is next. We pass by scenery that needs to be seen, people that need to be seen and peace that needs to be had. I believe that is where the glory of the Lord lives and flows out of, those peaceful places of being who we are today while we connect with others and allow them to be loved in the place they are today.
In my mind’s eye I see a beautiful woman completely relaxed, almost draped over a lawn chair looking upward and soaking in the sun, simply absorbing what God placed there for us to partake of, eyes closed, and shoulders relaxed. She is so grateful! The sun itself is a wonder, how it hangs in the sky and warms us, moves around in the timing He assigned to it, all for us, all for the ones He loves. It’s so simple but so difficult for us to accept the deep love He has for us without toil. Metaphors are hard to grasp at times. This could easily look the same as stating, “I don’t like my job but feel obligated to stay here because this is a step toward my goal photo of who I am to be!”. Try resting in Him, just accept the beautiful things about YOU and make decisions from that place. Meditate on that and take just one step. That’s resting in Him. Don’t baulk. I’m a planner too but one step at a time is all that’s needed. Yes, it’s most definitely a walk of faith and you just can’t mess faith up!
Last night, I faded off to sleep after conversing with two amazing women, seriously… incredible women! They were the women involved in this misunderstanding with me. Holy Spirit woke me with typed words going through my mind like a banner. Misunderstood, Miss Understood and Mrs. Understood. Then it was as if the phrase was diagramed or conjugated or whatever the proper term is for changing something from past to present. They changed to Misunderstanding, Miss Understanding and Mrs. Understanding. They weaved through my thoughts as I entered and evaded sleep through the night. I meditated on them for the morning, on the edge of tears, knowing His revelation was near. I’m always deeply touched when He speaks to me, with the goal of never receiving something He shares as being small or trivial.
It’s a simple message. Misunderstandings will come. These beautiful opportunities will come. There will always be another human or humans connected on the other end. Will we stand on the outer edge of commitment and dabble in a relationship, just taking them on dates when it will benefit the evading Miss Understanding, the one always wanting to stay single and toy with others? Or will we commit to loving who they are today? Will we choose to see them? Will we choose to expose our toes to be stepped on while we learn how to sway in the intimate dance of relationship and community? These are things that happen during a first dance at a wedding, after they voice their commitments before witnesses. The Miss becomes a Mrs. Her identity changes after her commitment. Mrs. Understanding is committed to learning and understanding the one she is dancing with, the one she is toe -to- toe with, the one she sees fully, accepts and chooses to be intimate with.
My mind wanders to one of my favorite moves where it ends with Mr. Darcy saying, Mrs. Darcy over and over because he was only allowed to use the term when he was completely and perfectly and incandescently happy. Too much? I think not! When are we completely, perfectly and incandescently filled with joy? When we know we are deeply loved by the one who created us and loves us perfectly, exactly where we are today. I’m certain His perfect love doesn’t have levels released according to our effort or toil, though I do believe we “feel” it in waves equal to our acceptance! Equal isn’t the best description either because He never gives in tune to our understanding. It’s always much larger than we can imagine but you get the idea.
Our identity changes when we say I DO, accepting His love toward us in this very moment, not down the road when we shape up. This allows us to love those we stand toe to toe with in community, committing to understanding and intimacy. While walking this out, one day we walk by a mirror and are taken back by what we see. It’s not our “goal” photo., not even close! Our goal photos pale in comparison to His goal photos of us! I would venture to say that he doesn’t even have goal photos of us because He is so in love with who we are right now, this moment as you are reading this sentence! What we see in that reflection is beautiful! We like it! We have changed so much by simply making a commitment. (I changed this week by interacting with these beautiful women) What we see is sincere, genuine, love in relationship, a result of commitment, a result of resting, nothing like we planned and so much better than we could have imagined.
Hey, you! You are loved beyond what you can imagine, right now. Yes, right this second! Set aside that belief system that lingers and prods you to step it up a notch. Sit down, close your eyes and let Him speak truths to you that will blow old beliefs away like rain clouds whisked away by a warm, fresh wind revealing the sunny blue sky behind them. Soak it in. He made it for you!