I was talking to a friend earlier this week about what it means to be truly loved by someone and why that can be hard to receive or believe. For someone to truly love you, they need to know you. All of you. That’s terrifying. Once they truly know, what is there to love? We may be inclined to think.
To me, that’s why it’s also easier to sing “Jesus loves me, this I know” than to really take to heart that it’s true. But, it is. NO ONE knows you more or loves you more than Jesus. No one. Not your mom, dad, husband, or child. Not your best friend from 6th grade or your beloved college roommate.
Sometimes I scratch my head at how I could be loved in all my frustrated and over thinking ways. But, Jesus not only does, he made and loves me this way. He knows each and every flaw and insecurity. He knows why we have them and He knows that we need Him.
To be with a man who sees you at your weakest, your sickest, your most tired and most scattered, and views you in love is God’s plan for marriage. Can he admire you dolled up and respect you worn out? Can he open your door and shut out negativity? Can he make you smile and break out of routine? Does he agree on the big stuff and disagree respectfully on the others?
Can you be honest enough for him to know you? It’s the only way he can love the real you. After all, that’s what we truly want.
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” — Timothy Keller
I spent last weekend with a group of friends who also happen to be mommies…..just like me. We have 13 kids between the six of us, and somehow we all managed to get a weekend away! It was bliss. We got to share freely without needing to kid censor our conversations. We also had the privilege of completing our sentences. Needless to say, there was lots of head nodding going on. It’s so refreshing to have friends you can be real with.
We thoroughly enjoyed two fancy dinners, sipped hot coffee in the morning, relaxed, and even closed our eyes by the pool. We talked about dating, marriage, pregnancy, labor, and sex. The stuff we all deal with and don’t normally have the chance or courage to bounce off others in a transparent way. The stuff that reminds us how much we are alike deep down in our souls. The way God created us. To love, endure, persist, relate, and connect.
Our time together also reminded me how much we all crave a closeness to our Creator. The One who made us this way. The One who knows us best. Even better than we know each other or ourselves, He knows us. I imagined Him looking down and smiling at all of us as we laughed and enjoyed our time away. All the while, He protected our children. The same children He so graciously gave to each of us. The same children that teach us more than we have ever known about love. The same children who our hearts ache for on our way home. The same children that we are sending to school next week with bittersweet feelings. The same children who have humbled us and helped us appreciate things (like a weekend away and girlfriends) more than ever before.
I have no doubt this weekend recharged us as mommies, friends, women. The more time you spend with someone who is different than you, the more you realize how very little different they are. We all want to be the best wives, moms, friends, and daughters we can be. We aren’t perfect, so to have friends that can say “I see your issue, and I raise you mine” is priceless. Let’s continue to be real and love each other through them….just like Jesus does.