...and finding me led me into thinking how I'd lost me. A few things come to mind, but the most critical factor in losing myself was graffiti-ed on the walls of my heart. Men. The desire to be accepted, loved and cherished by a man was a desire that burned more violently than a forest fire. I'm certain being fatherless and molested took turns slapping me around with reminders of rejection, but those things were just the birth of a cycle that only God's love could bring me out of.
There I was, from childhood through to my young adulthood, self-medicating with relationships. I thought they could fix the brokenness that I was. Not understanding what true love was would have anyone feeling next to nothing, I felt like dust. Dust is exactly what I was as a starving Christian, declaring that I loved Him and that He loved me without fully experiencing his love or being able to reciprocate it. My excursions through relationships led me to dead ends, heart breaks, unhealthiness, self hate, sin, emotional neglect and abuse, a failed marriage, even situations that could have ended horribly relating to my safety. I tried bending and folding into molds God never intended for me. The discomfort wasn't enough to push me into searching for the missing pieces until the closing of 2015, I was a spiritually fatigued emotional wreck and I surrendered to God. I stopped searching for love and validation from men and developed a desire for more of God.
I wanted to know Him as intimately as I'd desired to know these men before. I needed my freedom and hope back, so; I committed my life for the next year to fall out of love with my flesh and into love with The Spirit. By eliminating the interference of dating I was able to seek God completely and honor Him with my HEART and my BODY. In Him and His word I found true love, any responsibility that I shoved off on men was FREE from God. I found myself emotional about the truths of how much He loves US. I wanted acceptance and He tells me that I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4-5.) I wanted to feel beautiful and He tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14.) I wanted to feel valued and He tells me that I am more precious than rubies (Proverbs 3:15.) I wanted to feel purposeful and He tells me that I am here to bring light (Matthew 5:6.) His word is the manual to victorious living and it's full of love letters granting comfort that we expect from other outlets, being them people or things. From there I understood that to experience true love (from God) is also to be able to give it. I spent last year in it's entirety selfishly loving God and myself, I was not afraid of isolation due to my singleness. I was eager to be bold about God and His love because I understood it. I was happy, and He was pleased.
I concluded 2016 celebrating my independence from something that once held me bound to the revolving door of relationships. I celebrated one year of celibacy and kicked off a lifetime of getting to know God intimately. This was the most appreciated season of my life, and it is a receipt of obedience and surrender. Entering this new year I want us all to get to know God more intimately. God's word says " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV)