Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Letter To The Young Women In My Life.

Someone gave me the most amazing compliment today. She texted me to say thank you for remaining true to myself, even when I'm in a relationship. She said that her teenage daughter noticed the other day that I have not "changed", either myself or how I act, just because I'm in a relationship, and especially while I'm around my boyfriend. She said that this spoke louder than all the dating talks she and her husband could give her daughter, and thanks for just being myself.

Hahah, I guess it's pretty easy - I don't know how to be anybody other than me, and I've never been someone who's good at faking it. But I know I am also more than blessed to have a great guy in my life who loves me, not despite of who I am, but just because of who I am, and that allows me to stay true to all the dorkiness that is me. For the first time in my life, I have a tangible sense of what it means to be loved for all my quirks and oddities and to trust in a relationship that the other person will love me even as he discovers all the things about me that I assume would change his mind. Knowing this reassures me that this awesome man I get to know and love is a blessing and a treasure from my heavenly Father who has loved me like that since before time existed. C is just one more way that God shows me His own love on a daily basis, but by no means is he the only way.

Sidenote: Granted love is so much more than a feeling, or an emotion, and even feelings wane. Today, though, a thought occurred to me from the classic love section of 1 Corinthians 13- love keeps no evil of wrong, well it also needs to be sure to never forget the good either. As I practice every day what it means to love another person - the compromise, the self-sacrifice, the grace and acceptance and mercy, I need to make sure that I am not just forgetting any wrongs done to me, but always remembering the good about each person and the good that they've shown me. It's not enough to not keep track of hurts, we need to celebrate the things about the people that we love that are beautiful as well.

I am so blessed to be in a relationship that is every day teaching more and more about the kind of love Christ showed me. His is the kind of love that saw me dirty and filthy, and died for me with joy and love in His heart. For the treasure that was put before Him He endured the pain and the shame of the cross. We are that treasure that He was looking forward to. We were the light at the end of His tunnel. What's more, He didn't try to clean me up beforehand, or tell me that I need to act this certain way or behave that certain way to get His love. He took what was imperfect and showed me a love that was beautifully perfect. He was the first one to remind me it's okay to be who I am - that is who He created me to be and who He loved since before I was even born. And through this great relationship with C that He's given me, He is teaching me in new ways to refine what He has redeemed into someone kinder, sweeter, gentler, more sacrificial, less selfish, and all around better. Love is doing the refining work in me that all the behavior modification in the world never could.

The love that He has shown me, and the gift that He has given me of a man who accepts me the way I am and doesn't try to change me is what I've always wanted and prayed for, but knew I would be okay without. And I hope that the young women in my life realize that they too will be okay with out it, if that is God's will for their lives. We do not need a guy, a boyfriend, or a man to remind of us God's love - it is there for us to see in a million other ways, if we just ask Him to show us. Now that I have it though, I can fully see that it is nothing I've earned, nothing I've deserved or accomplished on my own, nothing I would have died or been miserable without, and most of all, I can see truly that it is 150% a gift from my Father who loves me. And fortunately, it is just like the Bobbi Brown makeup I've become so addicted to, it allows me to be me, only better. Btw - yes, that was a shameless plug for Bobbi Brown, but I am seriously adoring her makeup line. There is nothing artificial, fake or mask like about it - it is built around just being who you are, but better. And that is something I hope all the young women I know will realize about God's love - His love takes us just as we are and makes us more beautiful (Christlike), but still fully ourself.

Young ladies, remember that who you are is "good" in God's sight. He has created you unique and amazing and truly transcendentally beautiful. Every day He will find new ways to show you it Himself, if you just ask and seek. And frankly, I don't want to ever hear that any young woman I know is waiting around for a guy to show her this about herself - we, as the body of Christ, get the privilege of doing that, among other ways that He can use. But when you do find the right guy (you know, when you're like me, 36, haha!), you will then see in a new way God's love for you. Till then, don't change who you are. Love who you are. Embrace who you are, and grow in Christlike character to refine who you are into someone even more beautiful and glowing and reflective of He who loves you. You young ladies are amazing, and I love you very much! Now go conquer the world with all the love of Christ, because with a smile like yours, you're gonna stop this world in it's tracks!

And that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

1 comment:

Kari said...

I love you!!!!!