On Friday I began this post while writing on the word prompt from Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday and you can read Part One by clicking the link below... (but don't forget to come back!) This is a continuation of the thoughts that unfolded while tapping out my feelings associated with "Cherished"...
Read Part One HERE
My prayer is that you will know... REALLY know, my friend, that you are cherished! I have no doubts about it! No hesitations... there are no questions I must ask first, no hoops to jump through... no qualifications you must strive to meet beforehand. No. Right here. Right now. YOU are cherished... all of you - the good and the bad... the cleaned up parts and the hidden messes... the you that you pretend to be, and the you that you are trying to escape from! All of you is cherished by all of Him! It's true! If it weren't true, trust me, I could not walk in such bold confidence of it for myself!
As I mentioned on Friday... I too have Flashbacks... some good, yes. I was blessed to have someone whisper to me in the dark of night that I was destined... saved for a purpose... cherished. But I also have some memories that want to scream out that this is not the truth! I have had dark seasons when "Cherished" was not what labeled me or gave me identity. That was not a word in my vocabulary nor an emotion of security that I was privy to.
I am like you... I have failed. I have tried my best and come up short. I have clawed my way out of pits too deep and too dark to believe that any one... Any. One. - could cherish me. I have put on a smile and spoken a "Fine" and faked my way through too many days to keep track of... when all along I knew - even if no one else could see through me - I KNEW that I was anything but fine. Yes... these Flashbacks try to grab hold of my attention and once again cover me in labels of 'Not Good Enough'... of 'Never Gonna Measure Up'... of 'Damaged'... 'Broken'... 'Not Worth the Trouble.'
It's tempting... with all their bright lights and smoke screens to turn my eyes to take them straight on. However, the One who knows me best and Cherishes all of these parts of me has captured my heart and even when the flashbacks, and the voices in my head, and the world around me may be fighting for my focus - it's HIM that my eyes stay fixed on!
Flashbacks come as I rocked my little one... cherished - that is what SHE was... still is - even when I could not believe it for myself! Oh how I purposed in my heart that she would always know this! That it would be truth to her, and always True. But like it did for me, life unfolds and 'reality' can feel so real... despite our biggest wishes and best words, she went through her own struggle with knowing, but not remembering. How it can break our hearts when we so clearly see the Gold and the Glory in a precious one... a friend, spouse, daughter, son... and yet they are blinded by the enemy and cannot see anything worthy of Cherishing.
You see, I first tried to believe it on my own... to freely receive it when I first heard Him say so. It wasn't long after, however, that I began to feel like I could make it MORE true... that I could do something to bring increase... and if that was true - then surely I could do things that could make it LESS true... cause decrease too. I see it so clearly now as a slight-of-hand trick of the enemy but at the time, it felt like there was no other way.
It was not until I doubted it all together and gave up hope when He came beside me, and grabbed my hand... I heard Him speak my name with so much love that it took my breath away... and in an instant, I knew! I remembered! It's not in my doing... it's in my being... in my becoming. He cherishes all of me - not because of anything I do or don't do... but because of who He made me to BE! I am His Beloved... His cherished one... His Bride.
He had been prompting me to read through the book of Hosea in the midst of all my trying to Earn His love... I ignored and put it off time and time again thinking, "I know that story... I have read that book..." I was wanting something New... something personal... but when He laid down beside me and simply surrounded me with His mercy, He spoke softly once again. "Now will you go read Hosea?" I could not get to my Bible fast enough to drink it in... it's when I got to Hosea chapter 2 that I was undone in all the right ways! I encourage you to go... read it all.. and find the power of the Truth within the power of His Word. It's right there... and if it's for me, then I promise you that it is for you!
We are... no matter how we FEEL or what WE think... we are His Beloved and because of who HE is (not who WE are) and because of Whose we are (not WHAT we've done)... He is All. In. He is madly, passionately, unabashedly, unfathomably in love with us!
So if ever you begin to doubt it... or find yourself working for it, simply this: Cry out "My Husband!" and watch and see how Cherished you are!
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
“And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the Lord,
“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,
And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’…
… “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.”
~ Hosea 2:14-16;19-20 (The Message)