I Am Still With You

I woke up to hear the constant drip from the downspout outside my window. My first thought was, “Please don’t make me get out of bed!” It had been an incredibly busy few weeks with lots of travel and little sleep. It seemed like I was being pulled from every side trying to meet everyone’s needs around me… except my own. 


It’s funny how we can be so busy extending the love of God that we forget we need to take time to just be in His presence.

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(Post by Shelly Head, Photo by  gbarkz )

(Post by Shelly Head, Photo by gbarkz)

Call it a mom’s heart, or a minister’s heart, I love to love on people. But this early rainy morning I woke up feeling empty and somewhat depressed. “God, how can I help others when I feel so alone and tired?” I began recounting the ways in my head that I wasn’t cut out for the calling God had placed on my heart. Each thought brought more despondency and the feeling that I couldn’t move off the pillow. My to do list began to play before my eyes, but I just wasn’t having it. Not today. Not on this cold, dark, rainy day.

 

Then, quietly, the Lord began to speak. “I have promised never to leave you nor forsake you.” I chose to come into agreement with the Spirit… “You are right Lord, thank you for being ‘God with us’, and for being close right now.” The silence broke again as I heard the Spirit of God speak, “I have promised to meet all your needs.” A tear gently flowed down my cheek, “Thank you Jesus, you have been so faithful to me.” But just as quickly, a thought went through my head… what if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I disappoint those around me?

 

I reached for my Bible and instinctively turned to Psalm 139. There it was. He knows me...inside and out. He knows when I sit and when I rise. He wove me together in my mother’s womb. He knows every detail of my being! I then became captivated by these verses. 

 

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17-18

 

When I awake, I am still with you… The thought reverberated through my head. Yes, even on these dark, dreary  mornings, He is still with me, never leaving me, and I am still with Him! He is the constant that keeps me consistent. He is the steadfast love that keeps me steady. I am not alone, He is with me and I am still with Him! I still didn’t “feel” like getting up, but as these thoughts went through my head and began to melt down into my heart, I made a choice. I threw the covers off and prayed, “God, I am still with You!”

 

Extending His Love,

Shelly H.

My Unconditional "Aha" Moment

I can't remember how it came about…if it was an “aha” moment, a dream, or one of those times when I was stepping out of the shower and a thought hit me. God touched my soul so deeply on this day that my perspective about myself completely changed.  

(Photo by  Joshua Fuller  on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash)

In this “dream” I will call it, I was standing on a stage, in a plain dress, just standing, doing absolutely nothing. In fact, it was as if I could not do anything and it was as if it was expected that I could not do anything. God was standing in the audience, looking at me, and I felt His love, presence, and approval. I felt His overwhelming love for me, and it was just plain old me doing nothing! It wrecked me. If you were to ask anyone who knows me, they'd tell you I don’t sit still for very long. Ever. I move and do; it's who I am. But in this dream I wasn’t doing anything, and I was totally and fully loved.  

Around this time, my son, Jonathan was about two or three years old. Periodically, the young children at our church would go up on the stage area to sing a song with hand motions and such. My sweet, curly-headed boy usually just stood there, or when he saw me would cry and reach for me. My immediate response was to go to him and collect him up in my arms. I loved that little rascal. He did not have to do one thing on that stage to earn my love. He already had it. That’s when God said, “That’s how I see you dear one! I love you. I love who you are.” You know, that still brings tears to my eyes, to feel God's unconditional, undeserved love in such a personal way. It freed me to just be me before Him. 

Some days I feel like I accomplish much, and other days not so much.

(Photo by  Tyler Nix  on  Unsplash )

(Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash)

But God does not base His love on my performance or accomplishments.

He loves me, period. God’s words to my heart and soul that day changed me. I no longer do anything to gain His love or approval. I already have it, and living from that perspective allows me the freedom to love others.

He loves you too, dear friend. It does not matter who you are, where you have been, your limitations, weaknesses, strengths, accomplishments, financial situation or ________. You fill in the blank. You are loved. You are loved deeply, fully and unconditionally. God loves you, and He loves you more than you can ever fathom. 

If you struggle believing God's love for you, cry out to Him, and He will answer you. Believe His love for you.  

 

You are loved,

Barbara