Sunday, December 15, 2019

being loved is easy

“What are You gonna do with me?” I keep asking God. Despite the heavy confusion, intense sadness, pitiful pride, or any other I'd-rather-not-have-it smeared all over me, His answer remains the same:

“Love you.”

I can stay here. He invites me to. 
Loving me is all He ever wants to do.

Has 2019 been a doozie for anyone else? I’m gonna be glad to see that thing go. 

Yes yes, it was shocking and difficult. I’m a human who knows how to hurt people; and a human who knows how to get hurt. Two things now well-discovered. Also, moving across the world, regardless of which hemisphere I’m moving into, is hard. 

My 2019 was like this; heartbreak and pure delight, confusion and clarity, pain and healing. While at times, my heart thought it may not survive, it did. Even in the middle of the “Huh? Life wasn’t supposed to be turning out this way?” there was growing up and surrendering and new friendships that blossomed like lilacs and learning love. Jesus can use anything for good. Even my mess ups and confusions and tears.

Loving us is always His agenda. Always. 

When He crouched in a garden and crafted a lover out of dirt, love was His only motivation. When He escorted all those Israelites out of slavery, love was His only motivation. When He taught Kind David how to sing, love was His only motivation. When He entered into our depravity through the womb of a virgin girl in a barn, as a naked Jewish baby, love was His only motivation. When He took His last breath on a blood-soaked wooden cross as a naked Jewish man, love was His only motivation. When He grabbed the keys to Hell and defeated all the darkness it could conjure up, love was His only motivation. 

And right now, today, as He looks at 7.7 billion hand-designed human beings, and keeps their planet spinning, love is His only motivation. 

I don’t know what 2020 is going to be like. Maybe terribly hard, maybe relievingly easy; but I know what He’s going to be doing with me--loving. 

Love is all He's going to be motivated by, all year long. 
All eternity long.

And He's got the same motivation for you. 

Right now, with the extra weight, the broken heart, the unruly habits, the sadness you’re not sure you’ll ever be able to kick, or any other you'd-rather-not-have-it: all Jesus wants to do with you is love you. And being loved is easy. 

A year ago, I was in a jet lagged, reverse culture-shocked daze in Walmart in Carmi, Illinois. I held my one year old nephew in my arms and recorded a video on Facebook, rambling honest words about feeling thankful for all God did in Hong Kong for the years I lived there, reciting my plan for the upcoming year in Kentucky, thanking every person who supports me in any sort of way, and expressing a need for a car. 

I don’t have jet lag nor am I in Walmart, but I want to make a few December statements again:

God is still good and His motivation is still love.

We can talk to Him, cry to Him, read what He says in the Bible, and rest in His love. His love is the safe place. There is no one like Him. 

Regardless of our salaries or nationalities or relationship statuses, we face sad days, questions too big to answer, relationships that break our hearts, and many varieties of complicated pain.

But God is still good and His motivation is still love. 

I keep reading the end of the Story. Revelation 22 wraps it all up and man, what a finale. Jesus wins. And I'm with Him. 

He loves us, He pursues us, He wins us.

Night will be no more. They will never need the light of the sun or a lamp, because the Lord God will shine on them.
-Revelation 22:5

Go with Him, He's the one you want to end up with. 

A good chunk of my year plans were overhauled for various reasons, but the main plan stayed the same and I lived it out: letting God do whatever He wants with me. 

That's what He did. 
That's what He'll keep doing. 

And being loved is easy. 

p.s. The 2003 highlander y’all bought has 8,000 more miles on it now, is currently stuffed full of a moving friend's life possessions, and about 60 Bibles. And some snacks. Thank you for this car. 

And thank you for all the support. His motivated-only-by-love heart is being experienced by me, my friends in Kentucky, my friends around the globe—-thank you. 

p.p.s. If the question you're asking yourself is "Are those the same gold velvet pants you've been wearing since you bought them for $2 off the old woman on the street in Hong Kong?" The answer is yes.