How grateful I am to know that God loves me and has each hair counted! We may say we ‘know’ God loves us, but do our doubts distract us from really believing we are invited to this intimate relationship with our Creator? Despite any circumstance or fault, do you ‘really’ know you are loved and valued? Though it may be hard to comprehend, it is because we are loved that we are valued by God. We take encouragement from the words in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
Thankfully, my ongoing relationship with the Lord has shown me that God is not interested in my faults. All God wants is my love and a willingness to grow in Him. Unique and one of a kind, we are encouraged not to forget how special we are. However, when our focus is on our faults, this becomes our reality. Unfortunately, the negative seems to flow easier than the positive. Scientific research proves our thought patterns can significantly influence our emotions.
May we take inspiration from spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen, “Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply.” When we seek to ‘hear’ in our inner sanctuary, in stillness and peace, our hearts are close to God and we experience the Spirit dwelling within. The way to this is to spend even a few moments in silence and this can be a gift we give ourselves.
Caregivers can feel ‘less than’ because the needs of our loved ones are immense, and we sense we fall short. This is the perfection trap, because no one can cover everything. Even our self-awareness can be crushed under the load of responsibilities. Writer Anne Lamott says, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” Richard Rohr says, “It is our faults and weaknesses that bring us to God, not our perfection and strength.”
We might use up our resources – strength, patience and more, but God remains faithful. Lamentations 3:22-24, “The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, His compassion is not spent; They are renewed each morning – great is Your faithfulness! The Lord is my portion, I tell myself, therefore I will hope in Him.” Trusting our God, we receive blessings to keep going midst every challenge. When I am feeling I have nothing left to give, I seek out the Psalms, beautiful verses for every mood one is in and I come away even after a short time, encouraged not to lose heart and able to keep on, keeping on. As caregivers, I don’t think we can ever hear enough not to be afraid and that God loves us. The Bible is filled with these verses. Do you have a favorite one to share?