A few years ago, I faced an illness that stopped my world. I am not talking about the stomach flu that is horrible for a week, but about debilitating pain that takes you out for months and months. Those months of pain turned into years of doctors. I don’t need a little sympathy but I do want to tell you about one friend who made those months bearable.
While I was stationed on the couch for what felt like an eternity, I had one treasure to look forward to every week. As life spun on around me, one constant gave me joy in the midst of pain. One friend came and sat with me at least once a week, sometimes more, and was just present with me. We would watch “America’s Next Top Model” and sometimes just sit in silence. She would stay for a few hours and when it was time for her to leave, she would say goodbye and with each visit, she breathed life and hope into my spirit.
As life moved on outside the walls of my home, she remembered me, she saw me, she came and silently imprinted truths into my heart. You are loved. You are remembered. You are cherished. You do not need to perform for my love to be real.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the ‘doing’ that we miss the precious moments in which we can just ‘be’. There are so many boxes to check in order to validate our worth and purpose and existence. Meanwhile, we are sightless to the beauty all around us. We miss the laughter in children and the stories behind our grandparent’s wrinkles.
It makes me think of all of the times that I am so busy trying to do things for people and for God that I miss out on the individual who wasstanding right in front of me. I make the deed to be done more important than the relationship. I am so occupied with showering people with love, that I am not able to enjoy the process of loving. Each person is fashioned with intricate detail and beautiful patterns, but when we are constantly running past them, we only see a blur. You have no presence to take joy in the individual pieces that make up the whole.
What would it look like if we stopped and decided to “be” with those around us? What would it look like to stop trying to out perform one another, to gain favor with Jesus? What if we stopped and sat beside the ocean and watched the sunset with Jesus? What if we learned to sit and listen and get comfortable inside our own skin?
I believe our relationships will benefit. When I was in the midst of pain and could only offer that to my friend, she chose to sit and be a safe place for me. She reminded me that I have value that comes from the deepest parts of who I am, things that remain true and cannot be taken away even when I have nothing to “give”.
I believe our relationship with Jesus will grow. We were originally created to be in relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. They spent time with Jesus, just doing what friends do. They didn’t have a list of things that needed to be done in order to win fifteen minutes with your heavenly Father. Spending time with your Daddy will give Him a chance to lavish on you; to whisper to your heart. Once we quiet ourselves and sit in the arms of Jesus, we are able to hear and taste His sweet words of love and affirmation. He desires to tell you exactly who you are, and He knows you wellenough to not raise His voice for you to hear Him. He is more than happy waiting for you to come over and crawl on His lap and curl up as a child.
Do you know someone who is hurting? Do you know someone who is lonely? Are you hurting? Are you lonely? Maybe it is time for you to sit with Jesus and let him shower you with affection. This is a God who does not do abandonment, who never leaves you or forsakes you. Jesus doesn’t need your attention but moves in the relationship at your speed. He delights in you, He cherishes you and there is much He desires to share with you. If it meant so much for my friend to show up and simply ‘be present’ with me, can you imagine how excited the lover of your soul is to ‘be with’ you and quietly speak life and truth into your heart?
As you read this I am telling you; you are beautiful in every way that matters, you are smart, you are loved, you are loveable, you are not an accident, you have purpose, you are not alone and you are treasured by the God who knows you best and loves you deepest.”
If this message blessed you, be a blessing my sharing with others.