Butterfly Sparks Designs

Monday, August 31, 2009


Livin' Love!
A calling?! A direction?! A command?! A highest honor! A gift bestowed as a crown!

Every time I hit my knees or my face, well, quite often my face, He whispers back to me" LOVE!!" I'm like, "Huh?! LOVE?! Well, they are the ones with the baditude!"(what I love to term a bad attitude) or "He's the one I'm prayin' for you to FIX!!" Sometimes I just want answers to what is a very real need that He cares very much about, but His answer always encompasses that answer, "LOVE!"

So, in my youth, I thought,"I GOT it, LOVE!" I'll be loving TOWARDS this person or that when I'm around them! Check! Ok, let's move on, but He just loved me oh too much to leave me there!! Such is the beautiful dance of living a life in Him!
As a very young child, LOVE was forgiveness! LOVE was forgiving those I loved and trusted, yet broke my heart and spirit! LOVE was releasing the pain that originally crushed my heart and choosing to feel the pain all over again to receive peace! Yet, as He whispered to me then too, "Let it go so it will not become YOU! Give it to me and you will never become what you hate!" I didn't even understand that then, but I remember pulling at my hair because of the pain and struggle it took to give Him back all these things that were bigger than me and certainly beyond what I could carry! I only knew that I would not choose to become them! I would not choose to repeat them! I would not choose to feel that forever! So, I used to picture myself, picking myself up, dusting myself off, handing him my rage and pain, and starting all over again!"Today is a new day! Today I choose to walk in Joy!"

In the midst of this ongoing walk, LOVE became trust! LOVE became not asking, "Why?!!!!" to put it sweetly! It became the image of letting Him wrap His huge wings of trust around my broken, confused heart while I grieved when my father became sick and I believed with all my heart that he would never die! We all did and to this day, I know that I probably will never know, this side of heaven, why he had to leave! I adored my father like I adore the FATHER! He held my heart in His hands and I was the apple of his eye! I hung on his every word! His every glance was LOVE! He was firm and never swayed by emotion when he knew in LOVE He must discipline, but He always walked in LOVE towards me! I'm sure he got frustrated at some time, but he was the epitome of LOVE to me!! Then, like a life stealing, heart clenching storm, he was gone! It was forever, to me! "He's in heaven with the angels, sweetie!" just felt like he abandoned me! Yet, my mom told us over and over and over, "Yet, will we praise Him! As for me and MY house, we will serve the Lord! " So, she did, and we followed! We followed her on the path of LOVING trust and He was oh so faithful!

LOVE lesson: time to grow! He has never let me get away with hate! Every time I secretly hated or even deeply disliked someone, there they were in my face, up in my grill, over and over and over and over like a flippin' broken record!! So, here we are again, LOVE is LOVING all!! LOVING the unlovely, the annoying, the party poopers, the shy, the wall flower, the bully, the gossiper, the RUDE, the deemed "time wasters"! Yes, it is an ugly admission! Well, not only did I find out that I was a little too big for my bloomers and self-hated plaid uniform skirt, but I found out that those people were often the hurting, the needing, the crying , the beautiful, the called, the destined, the gifted, and the ones who changed me into LOVE! LOVE that saw the heart instead of personality, attitude, words, body language, tone, appearance! His LOVE that walked in GRACE!! I thought I was cursed with an annoying people magnet, but I was called with a destiny for LOVE with the gift of seeing His GRACE!

Tables turned and this firecracker girl who LOVED to shout Jesus from the mountain tops learned what it's like to fall! Learning to give grace-filled LOVE is one thing, but falling in the miry pit yourself is the LOVE of accepting GRACE when your walk pretty much bites! When I am ugly and covered and all can see my scarlet letter, when all I LOVE and live for comes crashing down around me because I broke my own heart, when I think that my sin can scar His image, I can truly understand the depths of His LOVE for me! I thought my sin disgraced Him! How could I ever forgive myself for breaking the heart of my Jesus?!I did not understand Him at all! I did not understand His earth quaking LOVE for me, in spite of me, and that it truly had absolutely nothing to do with anything I had ever done or not done! I never knew I actually thought I earned it! I never knew I thought I was somehow worthy until I was so painfully unworthy! I think it took that! I think when everyone in the world, so it seemed, felt great about stomping on the pregnant teenager, it took true forgiveness of myself and embracing of His true GRACE to lift my head up high and tell Satan to kiss my redeemed booty!!;)

Now, He takes me deeper or just deeper into His LOVE! Sometimes it feels like striping away or beating, but then I quit fighting Him or realize I'm playing the "I'm right because.." game and surrender to His gentle molding! We think it's going to be painful, but it's us that's pulling! He is oh so tender and LOVING! Not that tough love people love to refer to in their angry voice, but seriously, not one who delights in striking us with lightening for heavenly kicks and giggles!! He is FOR us! He DELIGHTS in us! He ADORES us! He too, hates the sin filled junk of this world that we live in, for this time, and desires to one day sweep us away! He desires to carry you, fight for you as your knight in shining armor, and never leave you or forsake you!

This, I learned when I walked through circumstances beyond my control! This, I learned when I begged,"Take this cup from me! I have no more to give!" This, I learned when only my loved ones could hold my arms and even show me where to set my faith for a hope of restoration! I learned to LOVE not just in actions, but to give my heart when I was too numb and broken to feel LOVE any more! I learned what it means to CHOOSE LOVE to put on LOVE like a painful outfit I knew I could not fill! In my numbness and my darkness, He guided me and I learned His LOVE carries me! His LOVE can even be like a cross I pick up daily out of LOVE for Him! He did not release me from a LOVE I was destined to forever be one with and when it was a thorn instead of a sweet rose, He became LOVE for me! I have always LOVED to LOVE, but now, I did not know who that person was any more, nor did I know if I ever would be that person again! I was just a leaf in the wind, clenching to Him and believing that He could make me more than enough for my kids!! I found out that the weak, mustard seed of faith that just said, "Here I am! I think all that I've ever believed has crumbled and all that I've ever hoped for is lost! Can you fix me?" It was not an overnight healing! I have experienced that, but this was a walk it out with Jesus kind of healing! I usually did not even know what exactly was wrong with my broken heart even long after my circumstances changed and the immediate source of the brokenness was miraculously restored! Still, He's that big! He was and is still Lord of all and He put the pieces back together in such a more beautiful way! I stood with Him in the storm with LOVE holding me up this time and I learned that LOVE is walking with Him, trusting in Him, forgiving others, forgiving yourself, giving Him your pain and rage, letting Him carry you back through it, riding out the storm, putting on your battle gear, laying down yourself, LOVING when you can't even feel LOVE any more! LOVE is He! LOVE is His all encompassing ability to be who we need Him to be, where we need Him, when we need Him! All in all, come just as you are because this journey, this destiny, this place is all about LIVIN LOVE!! So, here we go! Steppin' out of that boat on the water with Him!