Last week I had the great opportunity to go on retreat in Vail, Colorado with some youth ministers from the Archdiocese of Denver. It was a wonderful chance to get away, to experience the beauty of God’s created world, and to more intentionally reconnect my heart with His.
Our first night of the retreat we had some time of praise and worship. I couldn’t tell you which line in which song triggered it now, but I began to fear. I kept thinking about the things I’ve done in my past and wondering how someone could ever love me despite the things I’ve done and the mistakes I’ve made. Then, all at once, I realized that I didn’t need to fear. Why? Because the man (God willing) I will someday marry will forgive me, and show me God’s love and mercy, otherwise he’s not the man God is calling me to marry. Men, if they are truly being men, seek to live out God’s love. In seeking to live out His love, they also show mercy and forgiveness, just as God does. Sure, their mercy and forgiveness may not be as instantaneous as God’s (they are fully human, after all), but if they are striving to image His love then the mercy and forgiveness will come.
Then, as God usually does, He pushed me one step further. If I desire to experience God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness from my future husband, then I need to be willing to live out those characteristics now. And not just with the men in my life, but with everyone. I once read a quote that says we attract what we are. If I desire mercy and forgiveness then I must also be willing to show mercy and forgiveness. Though I am fully human, my call (and all of our calls) is to witness His forgiveness to others. All of my sins have been forgiven. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done, because He’s forgiven them all. What, then, on God’s green earth can I not forgive in my brothers and sisters? They lied to my face? So what. I’ve done worse to God and He knows it. And He’s forgiven me for it. There is nothing under the sun that I shouldn’t forgive because He forgives all. His mercy covers me.
God Knows Better
Do you ever have those times in your life when you say or think something and then BAM, God gives you an opportunity to live out whatever you’ve just said or thought? That is exactly how this train of thought went. Within 24 hours of this epiphany occurring I had a chance to see it lived out. God is good, and greater than all of our sins. He knows better, and He knows better than to allow my heart to rest in fear. He showed me what true love would look like – a continuing imaging of His love on the cross – and then put this theory to the test. Suffice it to say that His love, mercy, and forgiveness flows freely in the hearts of those who open theirs to His. Life is beautiful and God’s grace is more than sufficient for all our needs and desires. Rest your heart in His as it bleeds for love of you.
What I’m Listening To:
“Cowboys and Angels” by Dustin Lynch
“Over” by Blake Shelton
“Take A Little Ride” by Jason Aldean
“Wanted” by Hunter Hayes