A new year usually means a lot of time trying to make ourselves new. A lot of people in my profession try to lure people into their gym at this time, making them seem worthless from all the sweets they ate the last two weeks. Allowing them to believe they are not enough because of any number of things appearance-based. Letting them think that when they achieve something in that realm they will magically be enough. But only then.
What would happen if we all said no? If we chose to find freedom in a different way? If we realized that way was not working and never would?
No more shackles and chains and things that bind us to the undesirable. No more energy spent wishing yourself better.
What if our better self involved embracing our original self? What if, by loving the body, talents, quirks, and even weaknesses we have been given, we are able to find a freedom of contentment we did not realize we could have?
Just walking his baby home, adoring his child. We’re like the toddler in this picture: adored, loved, revered. This is Justin and Jase, in case you couldn’t tell. And the trees are not on fire- just a gorgeous sunset.
My identity is more important than what I do. It is more important than who I love and what my family looks like. When we dig deep to our roots and see at our very core all the love that went into our creation it may change how we see ourselves. Like a new parent astounded by the overwhelming love they feel for their infant – one who cannot even hold their body up themselves yet alone speak or walk or eat or work. This is how our Father felt not only when we were designed by Him long before the womb, and after we were born, but also today. That love does not run out or go away in the teenage years, or any time of rebellion, or when you flat out decided you were over church. He feels about you with that intense love today. And tomorrow. And three weeks ago when you did that terrible thing. And ten years from now when you will doubt.
He loves you through the pain, through the mistakes the triumphs and the flat out failures. He loves you in your illness and in your health. His love does not discriminate.
I love looking back at the baptism of Jesus, which was when He was 30 and John the baptist was doing water baptisms in the Jordan River. Jesus had not yet done anything for any sort of ministry, and yet the clouds parted and God shone upon Jesus and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
This was pre-ministry. This was before crazy miracles and accomplishments. This had nothing to do with his finances or appearance or family plan. It had nothing to do with his religious status. It solely had to do with His Son, and He loves him & He is well-pleased with him.
Let’s go out on a crazy limb. Do you think God feels this way about you?
Fill in these words for yourself and repeat them:
” You are my (Son/Daughter), whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Throw up a quick prayer if you do not think this is true. I will wait that millisecond for confirmation. Honestly if you are hearing any negative remarks to this, it is all your inner voice telling you you are not worthy of a love like this. Tell that inner voice to sit down and shut up; this is true for you today, regardless of if you believe it or not.
I love that this part is mentioned in three of the four Gospels (the four books reflecting back on Jesus’ life). In Matthew 3 the words are directed towards others as if God is introducing Jesus. In Mark 1 and Luke 3 it is directed towards Jesus as if He needed to hear this for himself. But in every single version the words are exactly the same besides the tense. When something is mentioned more than once in the Bible it shows its importance. And when something is recalled by three different people verbatim, well, you know it was meaningful. It is left three times in this exact order as a message to us today – this is for us!
Can you love yourself enough to believe these words and maybe even smile at the thought of Truth resonating to your core? Even if you do not believe anything else, can you understand this is true about you today, regardless of your race, religion, sex, and age?
Just this thought is earth-shattering freedom. I have been resting with these words for the last two years as I have been healing my poor view of myself. I have found tremendous freedom in this, and I hope you find that freedom today too, friend.
If you are having trouble ruminating this through your mind today, please give this song & message a listen today.
As it says in Galatians in the Message, “May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends.” May you feel this love deeply and personally today.
Consider it Joy,