This Is Me

“The Greatest Showman” is the talk of the box office right now. After watching an outtake that brought tears to my eyes over and over again, I bought 7 tickets. I was going to support these actors. No matter what I thought of the film, the “This is Me” singer was worth my money. Her emotion still sends tingles down my arms and tears to my face.

You can tell she’s been put down. You can tell she’s believed it. You can tell she’s at the point in her life where she only wants real. You can tell she’s learning to love herself exactly as she is and only desires those who do too in her life. You can tell she’s scared to death, but willing to not only stand up for herself, but others too. You can tell she’s finally willing to be walked away from or do the walking. She will no longer cling, hide, or strive to please, she will embrace who she is and who she was made to be. You can tell she owns her weaknesses and imperfections, but won’t let them keep her from singing. Not anymore.

I can relate. That’s where the tears come from, I guess. Maybe you can too. Maybe you’ve been put down and believed it. Maybe you’ve been afraid to speak your mind or your story for fear of false accusations or rolling eyes. Maybe you’ve been told something is all your fault. Something you’d never pick in a million years.

In the movie, she plays the bearded lady. She was hidden from society and called a freak her whole life, even by her family. But, she sings like an angel. They would let her voice be heard, but never her face. It took one man to call her out and celebrate her differences for her to feel valuable. Praise God for the people in your life that do this, and know that even when they feel hard to come by, your Creator celebrates you. You are who you are for a reason. Your trials, conditions, story can be used for His glory. And, He died for you.

We all have a story. Maybe you’ve been harassed, abused, neglected, accused, lied to, lied about, dragged through the mud, laughed at….Jesus, the Son of God, was spit on. For us. He was beaten, accused, and killed a tortuous death…for you.

When the ultimate accuser and liar (Satan) comes to ridicule you for who you are, what you’ve done, what is happening right now. Kneel down and then stand up. Because we can come boldly to the throne of grace and mercy when we need it MOST. And, He is victorious. God already did what He had to do to save us. To claim us. To keep us.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

I claim this scripture. You can too. God looks at each of us in awe, wonder, amazement and love. He made you, not because He had to, but because He wanted to. Lean into that and when you are hurting, get real and honest with Him. Like the day you were born. Can we come to Him with no makeup on our face and no makeup on our situations and say “this is me”. Can we open up to Him and others and say this is where I messed up and “this is me”. Can we ask forgiveness, make amends, change, admit wrong, lay it down and say “this is me”. He loves us as we are, but never leaves us that way. He comes in, reminds us who we are to Him, and loves us so much that our hearts desire to reflect Him. We will WANT to be closest to the One who knows us best and still loves us most.

When you call out to Him “This is Me”. His answer is always “And I love you”.

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To Be Known….

known

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

Create in Me….

pure heart

A pure heart is a surrendered heart. A heart that is willing to be honest about its own shortcomings and give praise for its victories. A pure heart relates with the pain of others and shares in their joys. It views others as a fellow child of God. It respects other cultures, races, sexes, humans just as they are. Humans who were born with an inherent need for love and nurturing.

If I could have and keep one thing in this world, it would be a pure heart. A pure heart for God and for others. This is a rich heart. This is a priceless heart. This is a heart that leaves a positive impression and a lasting legacy. Pure heart.

A pure heart is like a child’s heart. A heart that sees the best in people. A heart that is naïve to the competition, jealousy, deception, and hatred of others. A pure heart trusts. A pure heart feels conviction when it’s wrong and sadness when someone is hurting. A pure heart thinks of the other’s heart even in the midst of a disagreement. A pure heart relates. A pure heart cares. A pure heart mourns. A pure heart comforts.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

A pure heart is beautifully open and transparent. A pure heart is priceless. A brain full of knowledge is not nearly as attractive to me as a heart full of care. A bank account full of money is not nearly as attractive as a heart full of patience and kindness.

Jesus had the purest heart. Pure for His Father. Pure for others. Did He have pain because of it? Yes. His tender heart broke from the separation from His Father and the ridicule and betrayal of those He dearly loved. Although, He suffered tremendous physical pain, the drops of blood he sweat in the garden were from emotional pain. He relates.

The enemy starts early trying to steal and harden our hearts. He wants them dark, dingy, heavy, hard, and cold. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Through circumstances out of our control and by people already hardened, he hopes to change our hearts towards God and others. This is why a pure heart in an adult is such a rare find these days. Because, our circumstances change us. They scare us. They hurt us. They shock us. A pure heart is not a perfect heart, only fully surrendered to and reliant on the Perfect One.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

When we see Him face to face we will be changed. Our minds, bodies, and hearts will be made perfect. Then and only then. But, here on earth, our hearts and minds can be renewed. Our emotions and mentalities can be rewired. Our lives can be reshaped and made fresh and clean. Jesus purifies our hearts.

He still loves us with a pure heart. I want a heart like His….