Peacefully sound asleep, the early morning sun begins to creep in between the curtains and corners of the window casting dancing light particles onto my floor and comforter. While rolling over and taking in last night’s dreams, your alarm sounds and it is time to rise. Taking a deep breath, you hit snooze and lay in bed contemplating if it was real. Was this just a dream or was it a reality? Could a love like this truly exist? Could someone love me … all of me? Or is it all a dream? Too good to be true?
It’s part of our innate nature to be loved and to love. We look for this love throughout our lives. We look to our parents. To our friends. To the opposite sex. Searching. Just a glimpse of His love, that is what we long to know. We hunger to be part of a love story. We watch the romantic movies with the famous scenes that say lines such as “You complete me” and “if you are a bird then I’m a bird”. Since we were little girls, we enjoyed hearing love stories where the prince comes in on the white horse and saves the princess. Drawn to these stories, we secretly dream of being the recipient of that type of love – big, extravagant and overwhelming love.
Psalms 139:1-18 talks about such a love story. A love story where we are the main character. A love story and beautiful depiction of God’s love and grace towards us. In this Psalm, David writes about a love that searches us out. No matter where we go – He is there and His love awaits us. The recipients of this love are never able to outrun God and His love.
Verse 18 of the Psalms shows a glimpse of God’s thoughts toward us – “if I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand”. After reading that, I was reminded of my last trip to the beach. I sat by the ocean in my blue, striped lawn chair and umbrella, turning the pages of my latest book. I could just read for days in that setting with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore as they inch closer and closer to my toes with every minute and the sun beating down on the waters bringing forth different colors of blue and green. At the end of each day, I would pack up all my bags, chair, and towels. I would try so hard to wipe off as much sand as possible prior to walking back into the house but despite my best efforts, the sand was still there! Sand in my hair, in my ears, under my nails, in my clothes – it’s still there. No matter how hard I tried to wipe the sand away, the sand was still there. No matter how far away I had walked from the beach, the sand was still with me. The sand won every time! That is God’s thoughts and love toward us! Despite all our actions, all our running in opposing directions – we still find sand. We still find God’s love and thoughts towards us!
In my early twenty’s, life took a detour. A detour in search of love. A full tank of gas and one destination – Love. I had no map in hand and was unaware of the direction I was headed. During this detour, I met a man that said the right things with an endearing country accent that made me smile. I wanted to believe every word he spoke. Longing to be loved, without hesitation, I believed every word. I wanted to be the main character in a love story and this man stood in front of me offering me that role. Or so it seemed. Three months after meeting, we were married. I thought I was being swept off my feet in love but instead, I was swept off my feet in lies. Lies that fed me thoughts that no one else would love me. Lies that said if I don’t marry now then I will be left behind – my friends will be married and I will be single. Lies that said I wasn’t worth more than a couple drinks and few good lines. These lies led me right into an abusive marriage. I wasn’t playing the role of the main character in a love story. I was playing the role of the victim. The victim of abuse. Victim of emotional, verbal and physical abuse. I am not sure exactly how I ended up there. Many victims of violence have stories of an unloved childhood that led into abusive relationships as adults. That was not my story. I knew love and support from my parents my entire life. I was raised in a Christian home and went to church every week. For, as- long as I could remember, God’s Word was spoken over me. You would think that I would have known – that I would have understood – that God loved me and that His love was all that I needed. No matter how many times I heard of God’s love, I never let it apply to me. That love must be for my friend or the pretty girl at school or the best player on the soccer team. But that love wasn’t for me. I believed the lie over the truth and it led me to play the role of the victim instead of the role of the victorious, loved daughter.
It’s time to start playing the main character in our own love story instead of just watching them in movies.
It’s time to realize that we are already sought after and loved instead of searching for it all the wrong places.
Many victims of domestic violence, are stuck in the vicious cycle of abuse their entire lives. That could have been me – that could have continued to have been my role in the story. But one day, I saw my life flash before me and I knew it was time to start playing a new role! My husband at the time, came up behind me, held me against his chest with one arm, and placed the cold knife against my throat with the other. He promised to kill me. He promised me that this was the end. No more roles to play, I would die the victim. I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want this to be the ending of my story. In that moment, I cried out to God, “Save me Jesus – spare my life and I promise to live for you and to share with everyone how you saved me.” I said it over, and over again in my head, “Save me Jesus – spare my life! Save me Jesus – spare my life!”. I don’t know how long we stood there like that. But with eyes clenched shut and repeating that prayer, again and again, he dropped the knife and let me go. God literally saved my life that day. This was no longer some story I read in a book but it was my life. My life that was saved. My life that He died for on the cross. My life that He redeemed for with His Son. My life that was worth saving. God’s words became real to me that day. I no longer continued to believe the lies. I no longer continued to play a role that I was never meant to play in my life. I believed that I was loved. Not only did I believe it but I saw it. I saw it with the knife falling to the ground and my life being spared – I was loved! I was worth saving! And so are you. You are loved and worth saving. It’s time to start playing the role of the main character in His love story!
His love for us is not equal to a number. There is no number available that can represent His love for me and you. It is greater in number than the granules of sand at the beach. It is greater than any value appraised. His love is not measurable!
In Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV) we read, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” There is no need to worry or fear that when we awake that this love was all a dream. The sun rises, it’s a new morning and not only does He still love us but He continues to show us love in new ways. He never stops pursuing us! It was not a dream. He is still there! “His mercies never come to an end” is such great news. Every day we fail. No one likes to admit it but it’s true – we fail. We fail at being a wife, an employee, a mom, a sister or a friend. Blessed are we that despite our failings, his mercies are never ending. We can’t out sin God’s mercies and love toward us. We can’t get to the end of it or outrun it. His love and mercies are with us in the beginning, in the middle and never come to an end.
When we begin to allow these truths to sink in – sink deep – then we start playing the role we were always meant to play. The role that we have longed for our entire lives – the main love interest in His story. It is time. Time to pick up the script and begin playing our role. When we pick up the script, we realize there are no words to the pages. That’s because it is still ours to write. It’s His story and His words are on each page but we still need to write our part. Let’s write it as the main character recipient of His great love towards us – the greatest love story of all!