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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Feel Like A Failure?

 The Kerrville Daily Times asked me to be a columnist for their paper.  Below is an article that appeared last Friday in the paper.

Feel Like A Failure?
We live in such a high performance society these days. Often times that can make someone feel inadequate or like a failure if they don’t live up to others standards or their own.  I have talked to a number of individuals that have commented that they felt like failures for various reasons; divorce, loosing a job, not living up to parental expectation, past mistakes and financial failure are just a few I remember.  One of the things I always share when I hear those words are the words I heard one day that brought relief to my dry soul.   This powerful sentence changed my life.  You are never a failure unless you fail to see God’s love for you.  
When we fail to see God’s love for us we can easily fall victim to negative thoughts, feelings and sometimes actions.  Knowing we are loved and are special can make or break  your day.  What I have discovered is that can only be found on a daily basis by looking to God and believing His word.  Sometimes people can fail to relate to us like God intends and that can lead to a struggle with our value and worth. Have you ever been ignored? Excluded? Belittled? Put down?   It is in times like these that we have to contend with the truth from God’s word.  He calls his children beloved and we cannot let other’s treatment of us,  appraise our value.  One of the most healing sentences spoken to me were the words, “I am so sorry that you were treated that way because that person did not reflect God’s love for you.”  That comforting sentence restored my value.
In early 2000, God began to reveal to me that he wanted me to live as His beloved and he continues to  teach me this truth at a deeper level even today.  The word beloved means  “much loved.”  It is used 110 times in the bible and God frequently refers to us as His beloved.   This indicates to me God wants us to understand this concept. Beloved is how he address us.  A couple of examples  are found in 2 Thessalonians 2:13
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the 
Spirit and belief of the truth.”  James 1:19
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”  There are many more and frequently God refers to his people in the New Testament as “beloved.”  
 We often hear the phrase “God loves you” but we don’t believe it is true for us personally.  I grew up in church and heard those words frequently but it wasn’t until I was a woman in my 30’s that I really began to believe them and they moved from my head to my heart.  God Almighty, creator of the universe really loved this girl!  It was the beginning of understanding my identity and value.Understanding a love that is freely given for no reason is hard to comprehend because we live in such a performance based society that often says, “I’ll love you if you love me.”  God’s love is totally unconditional.  There is nothing we can do to earn it.  It is free, it is abundant and never ending.  

I have learned that the more I can receive God’s love for me, the more I have of it to give away.  I know in my own life, I wasn’t close to  loving others well until I began to open my heart to receive God’s love for me.  That took being vulnerable to the Lord but I found the more I did that, the more I began to tell God over and over again how much I loved Him.  Now I daily sit and say, “God I love you and open my heart to receive your love for me.”  This has made space in my heart to love even those that are challenging to love.  God is huge on relationships because He is a relational God.  He wants his children to love as he loves.  For me that takes drawing on the grace of God and sometimes having to ask God to give me His heart of love for that person.  I now have a phrase that governs my life; I am what I love, not what loves me.  Anyone can love those that love them; the rubber meets the road when others do not reflect God’s love for us. Let’s be a community that lives as the beloved and loves others well and don’t forget- You are never a failure unless you fail to God’s love for you.

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