Well-worn, Well-loved

Freddy

This is Freddy. He has seen better days. In fact, when Jackson brought Freddy to me with stuffing seeping out, I almost suggested it may be time for His crocodile to gracefully say goodbye.

Instead I found myself (easily) being talked into stitching him back up to love another day.

Freddy is special to Jackson. I found Freddy several years ago and knew he would be just the right gift for my boy on Valentine’s Day. Freddy reminds Jackson every day that I love him, with that message written across the heart Freddy carries.

Since coming to our family, Freddy has been through a lot living with the other stuffed animals on Jackson’s bed — smells, drool, sickness, being kicked, thrown, squeezed. And, it shows. The once soft fabric is now matted and worn. The stuffing is falling out. One of his eyes is a little wonky.

But, he is loved, just as you and I are by our Heavenly Father. Many of us can say we’ve been through it — we are worn. We’ve been kicked, misaligned, pulled in too many directions. Our faith has been stretched and pulled almost thread bare. We may look in the mirror and see people who have had better days.

Look closer. View yourself through God’s eyes. He sees each of us as someone precious to love another day. We are well-worn because we are well-loved. Yes, we have faced tremendous obstacles, hurt and frustration. We have stumbled and been stained.┬áBut, the matting and thread bare places also prove we have been held so tightly. Those stitches are reminders of God’s plan to make all things work together for good, and the scars are evidence of His faithfulness and healing.

We may think we’ve grown useless, but our Savior has never been more proud to have us by His side. We are worthy because He loves us. We are His.

In love after 30 years

My current daily Bible reading plan. Search for “A Passion to Serve” on the Bible App (YouVersion).

My heart leaped this morning when I saw what was next in my Bible reading plan!

I’m currently working through the “A Passion to Serve” plan on the YouVersion Bible app, focusing on places in Scripture that detail what it means to serve God and serve others. I’m on Day 305! ­čÖé Yesterday I finished the book of Genesis and the life and legacy of Joseph. Today, I opened up the app, and I’m diving into the book of Acts next!! This is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I was almost giddy when I saw it!

In that moment of silly joy over Scripture, it hit me all over that this is what it means to be in love with Jesus.

God saved me 30 years ago. It really blows my mind that we have been in relationship for three decades!! The God of the Universe has chosen to walk by my side for all these years, putting up with my faults and annoyances, my failures and fears. He’s seen my best and my worst, and His love has never changed. He’s never left my side. He’s carried me through the darkest moments, shouldered my burdens, and held my heart through unbearable loss. He’s invited me on mission, imparted the words and the courage to share the Greatest News, and given me the precious privilege of seeing my children come to know Him. He’s blessed beyond what I’ve ever deserved! His patience astounds me, His compassion overwhelms me, and knowing He will never give up on me makes me love Him even more.

So when my heart beats a little faster opening up God’s letter to me, it makes me smile. Not everyday is like that. There are times I read and pray because I should, and not because I want to. Yet, God’s faithfulness isn’t determined by mine. I’m in a love relationship with the God who created me, with the Savior who sacrificed everything for me, with the Spirit who has chosen to dwell within me.

When God redeemed my life, it was for keeps. I can think of nothing better than growing old with Jesus. After 30 years, He still makes me smile.

 


**I do realize that many of us have and are walking roads where our faith has been stretched across the painful realities of life, and our love relationship with God has been strained. Our hearts don’t match with our heads. We may be asking hard questions, struggling to see where God is in the midst of a difficult situation, or perhaps we’ve just grown apathetic over time without meaning to be. Our desire is gone. I raise my hand and confess to all of these scenarios over the course of my relationship with Christ, even recently. Please know in those moments, God’s love does not change. He has not left you, and He is continually choosing to love you. There has never been a time He has regretted dying on the cross for you. Pray for God to renew that love and joy in your heart. Pray over Psalm 51:12. ┬áThere is no distance that God’s grace cannot reach. I’m praying for you today.