I tend to read more during the summer. (Even when I’m not completely bored, which I am, but in a good way.) This summer is no exception. I read the first book in the Irish Angel Series, Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis. Not gonna lie, totes picked it up because of the title. I was like, I got a heart of stone, I can totes relate to that.
The book is historical, which I loveeeeeeeee. I’m all about love stories from other times. This was right up my alley. (btdubbs, I’m now putting all her other books on my list, especially the other books in this series!) The girl in the book closed herself and especially her heart to others. She got thrown into an extremely bad situation as a child and had to make some tough choices to get herself out of it. Now she’s created a new life for herself and she’s scared of it all unraveling. Her choices and circumstances define her past, but the trick she has to learn is how to stop it from controlling her future. She has to learn to forgive herself before she will ever be able to love herself or anyone else for that matter. Forgiveness and love go hand in hand. One doesn’t function without the other. I’m learning that the hard way, as usual. I’m stubborn, so learning the hard way is the only way I know.
There is a sweet preacher in Mobile, who taught the church that every Sunday. Especially the girl sitting in the back pew by herself simultaneously hoping not to be seen and desperately wishing someone would notice her. He got up there every Sunday and told the congregation that You love us too much to leave us as we are. Lord, my Father in Heaven, You want more for me. You love me too much to leave me as I am.
My little sent me a video with Darius Rucker’s new song, If I told you. And as usual, it was right on the money with what I was praying about lately.
What if I told You sometimes I lose my faith
I wonder why someone like You would even talk to me
What if I told You there is no fixing me
Cause everybody has already tried
If I told You all the stupid things I’ve done
I’ve blamed on being young
But I was old enough to know I know
If I told You the mess that I can be
When there’s no one there to see
Could You look the other way?
Could You love me anyway?
Lord, You amaze me with the subtle, little hints You leave. Every moment of my day is part of Your grand design. Every second is part of Your plan. Could You look the other way? No. You couldn’t. You love me too much to look the other way. You love me too much to leave me as I am.
I have tried to put up walls to protect myself. I put up walls to show I’m ok, I’m fine. I put up walls to create a barrier around my heart. I taught myself to believe that building those walls meant someone would love me enough to break them down one day. In the meantime, I was protected by a shield that could keep me from getting hurt. Clearly that didn’t work. What I’m starting to realize is that I wasn’t protecting myself by blocking my heart off, I wasn’t truly opening my heart. By keeping others out, I don’t let them in all the way. I miss the good stuff. I miss the forgiveness. I miss the love. I miss the joy.
I have never been in love or anywhere close. I know nothing about love except what I’ve seen, but never experienced for myself. I’m learning how to love. I started with knowing You and loving You. I’m learning how to love myself and in Your timing I will learn to love someone else. It started with the cross. It started with Your forgiveness.
Romans 5:8 says: But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
That. Right there. Is literally everything.
I was cleaning with Pandora playing and the live version of Holy Spirit came on, sung by Jesus Culture and Martin Smith. At the end of the song, they prayed. “Can’t stay where I’ve been. Can’t stay where I’ve been. Wanna go deeper. Wanna go deeper.” Afterwards, once again, I was on Pinterest and stumbled across this quote that said: “Lord cleanse me of anything that breaks Your heart.”
So, that is my prayer. I pray, Lord cleanse me of anything that breaks your heart. I pray that I don’t stay where I’ve been. I pray that I go deeper. I pray that I seek you. Thank you for talking to me. Thank you for wanting to spend time with me. Thank you for fixing me. Thank you for making my whole. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you staying. Thank you for waiting. Thank you for never leaving. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for teaching me to forgive myself. Thank you for not looking the other way. Thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for showing me what true love is. Thank you for wanting more from me. Thank you for loving me too much to leave me as I am. Thank you for starting with the cross. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.