Written June 2017
The First Evening Meditation after God said, “My love makes you beautiful.”
I hate dressing rooms for a very good reason. They are filled with the emotional despair of every woman who as ever looked at herself in that mirror on the wall. Ugh. Avoid at all costs. But occasionally it is necessary to actually try on the clothes that I am buying, so I suck it up and brave the room of despair.
Such was my state of mind when I stepped into the tiny T. J. Maxx dressing room to try on some summer tops that I desperately needed. My attitude instantly changed when the Lord spoke up. He said to me: “My love makes you beautiful.”
Wooo. I was happy for the rest of the day! That is until I returned home and was met at the door by my squabbling responsibilities. But later that night, God brought the love subject up again and He made a point I hadn’t thought about before. He said that He holds Himself back with me because I hadn’t given Him permission to love me with all His true self. I didn’t like that. I want God, of all people, to be totally comfortable around me, to be free to be Himself.
I realized that being truly loved by Him meant being completely known by Him. I poked around in my heart, looking for why I was shy about letting Him so close and, sure enough, I believed that being known meant being hurt, which led me to the vows I had made to do “whatever it takes” to hide. So I decided to take a risk, break the vows and give the Lord permission to know me completely, so that He could enjoy being Himself with me and I could discover what it is like to be loved down to my toes.
Have you ever given God official permission to love you? I think most of us hold Him off a bit, because to be loved by God is to be deeply known by another. And we are so afraid of being truly known that we have even figured out how to hide from ourselves.
We tell ourselves that we want God to love us at the same time that we unconsciously reject His love. Why do we do this? One reason is because we have accepted with our hearts that we are unlovable for whatever shameful reason. We are like Adam and Eve hiding in the dark woods as God stands in the glorious sunlight, calling to us, “Where are you?”
In that “Where are you,” is the Lord’s offer to love us in the hidden shame of our darkness. It’s an invitation into His all-consuming, completely accepting yet completely honest love. But to be fully loved by God – to give Him permission to love us with all of His love – means being completely known by Him.
Unless we are willing to be known, we will not allow the Lord to love us. Oh, we will let Him trickle out a bit of love here and there. But that’s all our hearts will accept. A little here and a little there.
Where are you? Will you give the Lord your permission to love you with all of His love? If no – because it’s just too scary to be really and truly known – will you give Him permission to work on that for you?