"I Am Loved"

"I am loved. I am needed.  I am wanted.  I have a purpose.  I am valued. 
I have great worth to God." 


I go through seasons in life where I have to write everything down - every thought, every emotion, every nuance. I must capture it all on paper.  Then, there are other times I go weeks without picking up my journal; instead, capturing all of life inside my soul, because I have no words to express my journey.  At times my writing is full of complete sentences, turning into paragraphs, turning in novellas.  Other times, it could barely qualify for a check list. It has taken me some time to navigate these seasons of my life, and find what works best for me.

Because I tend to be a strict rule follower, I decided awhile back to throw the perverbial rule book for journaling out the window, and simply do what is best for the season, and moment, I am in.  The point of being creative is to allow space to let creativity flow; sometimes it's a flowchart, sometimes a brain map, sometimes lines upon lines of handwritten paper, sometimes a computer-typed file. 

The season I was in when this photograph was created, was in a very pointed point in my life journey.  I was very self-concious, with poor self-esteem.  I wasn't very sure or confident in who I was, or the direction my life was needed to go.  I wasn't very sure how to make heads or tails of things.  I needed direction, I needed counseling.  So I went to my most trusted source.

I sat myself down before the Lord, and begin asking questions.  Then, gave time to listen to that still, small voice, deep down inside me.  Sometimes it came as a nudging.  Sometimes it came as an impression in my mind's eye.  Other times words would scroll through my brain.  Hearing from the Lord is a very creative yet logical process, all rolled into one.  There isn't a precise formula for dialoging with God; it's just simply a two way conversation.  And with all conversations, there's time for internal and exeternal dialog, visual and audio clues, eta, eta. 

The two biggest questions I asked the Lord in that season (and still do today, actually), were: 1) Lord, what do you want me to know about you?, and 2) Lord, what do you want me to know about me?  Simple, yes.  Too simple? Maybe.  But the answers I found, were so profound, that it broke off years of confusion, doubt, and wandering.  See, the Lord loves to communicate with His children.  He thinks more thoughts about us than there are grains of sands upon the seas.  He loves us fiercely, and fights for us passionately.  He longs to break in through all the lies, all the fear, all the torment. 

We all have been lied to about our identity, worth, and value.  It may have been founded by people, our own perception regarding reality, or our true enemy, the spinner of lies himself.  He has many names, but I won't give him enough credit to call him anything other than our eternal enemy.

We believe that we are less than for many, many reasons.  TV, social media, photoshop, advertising, just to name a few, portray others as having more fun, being more popular, and obtaining a level of beauty and sophistication that no product can truly bring us.  Whether we buy into these lies conciously or subconcsiously, they are there, battling the real truths about who we are and what we should be focused on.

Now, before I go further, I'm not saying fun, TV, makeup, or other worldly things are of the devil and should be discarded. Not at all.  What I am saying, is deep within those TV ads, those magazine covers, are subliminal messages that say we aren't good enough unless we look like that (photoshopped model who doesn't even look like that), have the right gadget or gizmo or whatnot.  I'm talking about our own self-value and worth and how we see ourselves on a day to day basis.

Now, back to my season of journaling profusly and asking big questions.  Each day, I would carve out alone time, to be able to sit and listen.  For me, it was late at night, when the day's work was done, and most everyone else was sleeping and not needing anything from me. I love the late night hours, because I'm not "on the clock", trying to rush around and meet a schedule. This may or may not make sense, but it is how I function best, and I can think and hear the cleariest.  For some it may be first thing in the morning, before anything has snagged your attention, and for others it may be a respite in the middle of your day - a pick-me-up between the business of life.

I had a fresh sheet open in my journal, and after a deep breath, I would begin.  Sometimes I would chatter on, telling the Lord about my day. Sometimes there would be tears.  Sometimes there would be smiles.  Sometimes there would be whining and complaining.  Sometimes there would be a lot of "I'm sorrys".  And sometimes I would just sigh and sit in silence.  But always, always  were these two questions: 1) What do you want me to know about you?, and 2) What do you want me to know about me?

As I progressed, I started to feel the layers of lies melting away.  The fear retreated.  The confusion disappeared.  As I began to learn about God in new and intreging ways, I felt the burden of having to prove myself, to be good, to perform, disappating.  I was refreshed and renewed in a sense of God being for me, of loving all the complex parts of me, of wanting the best for me.  I also began seeing new faceuts and dimensions of myself as well.  I am stronger and smarter and more creative and fascinating than I gave myself credit for.  I learned to love me a basic and core levels.  I am worth more and valued higher than I believe.

It was freeing; it was mind changing.  But more than that, this season was life-changing.  It turned my head in an enitrely new direction i didn't know existed. My season of journaling about my God and myself birthed these 6 power statements I now life my life around.  Nothing can shake me from these 6 truths enscribed on the photograph.  I may waver, and the world may try to pull me off balance, but when things get shaky, I return to this photo, and these statements. They are my life anchor. 
I am no longer looking toward people to return me to solid ground.  I no longer look to external products or circumstances for love, worth, or value.  I rely upon myself and my God to supply these things.  And I've become a much more grounded person for it.  I can exude so much more love and light and joy and compassion, giving more than I take. 

It wasn't an overnight experience.  It wasn't just an emotional moment.  It was a season of rebuilding layer upon layer in my core identity and foundation.  It was hard work.  It was terrifying at times, it was exhilerating at times.  But that season was ground breaking for moving this wall flower into a  to a mover and shaker for life. 

I still ask these big questions regularly.  I never want to stop growing, stop learning, or stop asking.  There is so much I do not know about myself and God. I want to keep building on this core foundation of identity I have laid.

If you are in a season of wandering aimlessly, or not liking yourself, of hating the mundane your life has become, I challenge you to start over.  Grab a new journal, go get your favorite color of pen, and just dig in.  Clear some time each day, and begin a dialog with God.  Even if you've been hurt or wounded.  Even if you don't think He cares. Even if you don't know if He's out there.  Try it.  You have nothing to loose.  Except the self-doubt, confusion, and sense of loathing.  But you just might find that a season of asking two questions will just change your life. 

Photo taken with iPhone 4, August 2014, Iowa..  
Copyrighted Reflections of Revelation. 


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