One of my absolute favorite songs is from Sarah Bareilles called, Many the Miles. She takes such an awesome perspective on many of her songs, but this one has special meaning to me. I have 6 kids…I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. Yes 6! I have personally birthed 4 and I have 2 step children. Two of my kids are full-grown…more time for you to take that in. OK so, full grown. When they were growing, I prided myself on being a mother! I loved it. Probably more than anything! I laughed, cried, scolded and learned sometimes all at the same time with those two wonderful blessings! I was simply amazed at their own unique persons even at such young ages. When they were 12 & 10 I got divorced. All Hell broke loose within my life. These two most wonderful creatures who were simply on a path that every suburban parent would be envious of, slipped through my fingers and I felt I was completely helpless to stop it! The two most wonderful things in my life got hurt and torn by stupid, meaningless, unnecessary turmoil. They hid-of course. I mean emotionally you know. The friends that they had, no longer accepted them because a “single-mom home” was unstable and a “bad influence” Our 6 figure income of cars and sports and gap galore changed to good will and food stamps! They didn’t know how to handle it and quite frankly, I was trying desperately to learn myself. EVERYTHING changed.
Now, 9 years later, I learned how to love deeper-myself and others around me no matter who they are or what they are going through! I learned that is exactly how God loves me! I mean, I really mess things up sometimes! I’m direct and hurt feelings. I say I’m going to do something and forget (this one is too common!), I’m selfish and point my finger telling someone how I think they should live! What is all that? God Doesn’t do that to me. He loves me exactly where I am at-no matter what! When my kids hid…the good news was and is, they could never hide from God’s love. I’ve learned there is nothing that is too far or too deep for God. He knows all and will come to us and love us through it all! If I’m to be like Him, then I need to do the same for other people right here on Earth right now! I don’t live my life for them-not even my kids (I’ll that one sink in ladies…), but I do love others the way I am loved by True Love Himself!
And…Like Sarah Bareilles’ song says “How Far Do I Have to go to Get To You? Send me the miles and I’ll be happy to” When I hear this song, I think of those two beautiful kids of mine! Now almost 21 and 18, they are still picking up the pieces and I love them through to the best of my ability-all with the love of Christ within me (left to myself, I’d get mad at them for screwing it up!)(and then they’d come back at me and say it’s all my fault anyway! No good can come from that! That is wasted energy. Nope-God’s right, it’s better to love)
Listen to the words to this beautiful song:
If we could apply even just a little bit of this towards others daily, we’d be so much better off and so would everyone we come into contact with. Think about it…
Ever ride dirt bikes in the mud? Or two-tracking with a truck? Yes, it’s true I grew up in Michigan and that proves it! At any rate… The tires can get pretty thick with mud and sticks and rocks. It gets thrown everywhere! When it comes time to clean it all off though, it can get tough. The longer you wait the harder it gets and scrubbing becomes more and more difficult.
I’ve been thinking about bitterness, anger, self-loathing, doubt, fear-many of these feelings and self-talk come from unforgiveness. These feelings can come whether they come from unforgiving others and all that they have done to me, or unforgiving myself and how I acted or things that I’ve said. The longer I wait to forgive and allow myself to wallow in these negative emotions which keep me far away from God and from others (even myself!), the more difficult it is to clean up! It gets crusty and deep-rooted allowing more and more of the same behavior to be attracted to us! It’s ugly and a burden to carry around. Sometimes we carry these scares even when we think we’ve cleaned it all up causing us to hurt and not even know it. We need to search our hearts and have these areas revealed. When they are shown to us, we need to quickly humble ourselves and take action to forgive or ask for forgiveness.
We need forgiveness-letting go of what others have done to us, of what we have done to others and what we’ve done to ourselves. We need to free ourselves of these weights therefore freeing up God’s blessings and love to freely flow in and through us.
You’ve heard of “Hurting people hurt people”? Well, the opposite is true too. When we are free to love ourselves-forgiving the wrongs, we touch other people’s lives in ways we may not even realize it. Blessing them and giving a bit of tenderness or kindness to others. We can also feel confident and secure in knowing that we don’t have to defend our actions or relent in the hurts any longer. Boy, all this sure is needed! We are hurting as a society, as families, as individuals. We are more lonely and hurt than ever. We need to look inward and see what needs forgiveness and our letting go so that we can enjoy love, peace, tenderness and compassion again fully, the way God intended it in the first place!
God reaches across the vastness of eternity to divinely stoop down & desires an intimate, loving, unconditional relationship with us. He chooses to want us whether we ever return that love to Him or not. As we spew and vomit our putrid selfishness all over His glory, He stays by our side…just loving us. As we hang onto our hurts and shortcomings using them as excuses to stew in our lives…He patiently waits-understanding our pain. He doesn’t show this to the world, He doesn’t expose what we do or where we are at…He just loves us; patiently desiring for us to turn our hearts to look in His direction even if for only a single moment. He longs to lavish His love-perfect as it is, He longs to pour it out all over and in and through us. In doing so, He stands us up to realize when we look in His direction for our strength, we can truly do anything! It’s uncomfortable at best to step out with such awesome power running through us. Knowing it’s really not of ourselves, but with each step, each breath, each ability is powered from Complete Power. With this greatness comes a responsibility. We are never able to be completely touched by such wonderfulness and keep it to ourselves. It becomes our desire for all to taste the completeness and the healing that’s necessary for our finite spirits. When we allow God Himself to touch all that is within us, we are able to tap into His perfect peace and completeness. Full acceptance right where we are at-no matter how dark of a space it is. We touch eternity through The One who always was, always is, and always will be. The cure for all that ails us, is this Love that reaches through the space, through the time, through all the darkness and places it’s arms of Grace around us. This Love carries us through it all, expecting nothing in return. Why? Why would such perfectness ever want anything to do with me and all that I’ve messed up, with all that I’ve hurt, with all my brokenness? Why? Because He wants to. I can do nothing to earn it. I can do nothing to lose it. But we must ask for it. When we do, He reaches through all to let you and I know…