This image is a small glimpse of the Berlin Wall; passers-by are able to "mark" their visit in a most unusual way.  I was moved by the gum heart...reminding me you can find love anywhere if you'll only look....

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God.
This is the true self.
Every other identity is illusion.”

~ Brennan Manning

 

I assumed she knew.

How could she not know?  This Godly young woman’s life preaches the Gospel whether or not she’s using words–her decisions, counsel, countenance all point to One Thing.  Jesus.

I assume you know, too….

We go to church.  Read and study scripture.  Bookmark Christian websites.  Pen our faith in paper journals.  Proclaim it with our lips, in our homes, online.

It’s not that we haven’t heard it or read it.  It’s too important to forget, yet remembering is so hard. Why…is..that…?

Is it simply that knowing with your head doesn’t equal believing with your heart?

Will you declare this with me, right now – out loud – and pray the ears of your heart hear it with believing?

I am beloved.  

(Colossians 3:12)

I’m convinced the enemy delights in our defeat.  He’s been hissing lies since the garden. Venomous fangs punch holes in our hearts, siphoning belief and injecting poison in its place.  Ears are deafened, vision is obscured, perspective is distorted.

He peddles junk we’re much too eager to buy:  the (false) belief whatever it is we have to offer doesn’t matter, isn’t enough, falls short in comparison to everyone else.

We see the talents of others and stamp them Better.  We compare ourselves to family, friends, even strangers (insanity!) and assign them a greater value because they’re doing something we cannot, will not, have not or may not even want to do!

Shoulders slump and countenance falls because a distorted mirror reflects imaginary inferiority.

Listen to me, lovies–

God calls you beloved!

God calls you beloved and when he looks upon you he sees his son, covered in your skin, speaking with your voice.  He values you and he doesn’t need you, he wants you.

I searched the new testament for instances of the term beloved; in the ESV translation I found 66 verses.  And though every verse doesn’t apply exactly, when you read them at one time, you come away with a sense of how God sees his children–with great intimacy, affection and unconditional love.  (Related – if you’re interested, a study of the word and related derivatives, its Greek origin and application)

God has made you unique–do you understand this?!  You are one of a kind.  Precious.  Irreplacable.

I want to shout it until you hear, shake you to awaken you from belief’s slumber, press it into you until your heart receives what your hard head already knows.

You are altering the future by impacting everyone around you by how you treat them, how you choose to love them (or withhold love), how you listen, encourage, invest.  Y o u.

Some of us will make tiny ripples and others will send waves crashing, but each one will forever change the surface of the water.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Some of us are stubby pinky toes and some of us are melodious voice boxes and some of us are fleshy thighs or muscular calves or beating hearts but we’re all part of the body, and when it’s at its healthiest, all the parts are doing their job and working together. (1 Corinthians 12:14-25)

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul draws an analogy between the physical body and the spiritual; how every part is necessary.

Verse 19, “If all were a single member, where would the body be?” and in verses 22-23a, “…the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor….”

Every part matters. Lesser is greater, last is first–Kingdom ways refused to be boxed in man’s convention.  It’s a kingdom of opposite value in so many ways.

It is no small thing that you are God’s beloved; in fact, it is everything.

Everything that matters, anyway.

If what the Bible says is true, Jesus gave his life for you.  Our ears fall numb from hearing that so often, but when I allow myself to linger on this, I begin to see my worth.  My value to God.  The purpose and significance of the things I do well.  Though it is likely that others may share your talents and gifts, not one person on the planet, past, present or future, shares your thumbprint.

Yes, I assume you know these things (I assumed she did, too) but sometimes we need to be reminded.  When it feels like everyone around you seems to be achieving greater successes; or doing greater things for the Kingdom; or enjoying the blessing of great marriage or having children or finding the perfect job; or being more talented or generating interest from Very Important People or receiving more opportunities; or maybe it seems like you don’t have any talent whatsoever, nothing distinguishable to offer or that you’re an invisibility cloak wrapped around vanilla…whatever it feels like…

It’s not about what you do or don’t do, say or don’t say, contribute or withhold–God doesn’t love you any less or any more based on your performance.  It’s simple Truth, impossible for the human mind to comprehend, but it is enough–

You. Are. Beloved.

: : : : : : : : :

With {{love}} from one who needs to be reminded, too.

Note about the photograph at top:  This image is a small glimpse of the Berlin Wall; passers-by are able to “mark” their visit in a most unusual way.  I was moved by the chewing gum heart…reminding me you can find love anywhere if you’ll only look….
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  • Tammy

    Thank you. Just, thank you. I needed to hear this. And am bookmarking it to share with my precious 12 year old daughter.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Tammy,

      :) You’re welcome. And I hope your daughter h.e.a.r.s.

  • http://kimberlyamici.com Kimberly Amici

    What a good reminder!! I am going to share it with my daughter too!
    Assigning others “a greater value because they’re doing something we cannot, will not, have not or may not even want to do!” is insanity but is my default. I long to bask in God’s in love until I no longer fall for this.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Kimberly,

      Meeeee, too!!

  • http://www.livingsurrender.com Sarai

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder! I know it in my head, like you said, but my heart often does not recall it. A wonderful truth – He loves me unconditionally!

  • Kimberly

    Thank you. People NEED to believe this. It’s only been just in this past year that I’ve started to (“only” took 34 years), and what a differnce it’s made in my life!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Kimberly,

      We have to keep pressing it down from head to heart, don’t we? That truth must float….

  • http://www.momentsandinvitations.com/ Dana Butler

    Robin, I love this. Thank you!! I love Brennan Manning too… annnnnd this quote was in my blog post from yesterday. So funny.

    I’m so thankful for his life and writings…. no other author has influenced me more.

    Anyway…. THANK YOU. :) xo

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Dana,

      You know you’re one of my favorite commenters, right? You’re so good to me. And in THIS case, great minds, yes? (thank YOU back!!). xo

  • Kiah

    That was so Awesome to read this Am. Spoke to the depths of me. Thank you.

  • carol l

    How God-timely that I would be listening to “Healer of my Heart” (Jonathan Martin) while reading this today – a singing that always brings tears…and, when adding your sweet and much-needed words to it, more so. Have been dealing with some ‘let downs’ lately, and, truly appreciate the reminders that the best is yet to come, and, that we are ALWAYS belov-ed and bless-ed. Thank you!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Carol,

      Sometimes I wonder if this is just the nature of a woman; not to believe the beauty available to us…. What special background music to companion this post :).

  • Cathy

    so, i was just wondering. did you climb inside my head while i slept and capture
    all the thoughts that bombard me daily?
    did He send you there to remind me that He holds all those thoughts and works
    to love them out of me? did you feel the ache and shed the tears along with me?
    just wondering.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      {{Cathy}}

      Oh, how your questions pierced my heart; YOU affirmed that I was to write THIS. I actually was well underway with another post when I felt led to write this one RIGHT NOW. I’m praying over you lovie, expectant that this word would become REAL to you.

      xo

  • http://www.sharlafritz.com Sharla

    LOVED this! It’s exactly what God has been speaking to my heart lately. I find when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, if I simply stop, close my eyes, and listen to the Father’s voice, “I love you,” the anxiety melts. God has also been whispering that whatever I’m doing, I need to start not from the urge to prove myself or make someone like me, but from the mind-set that I am already deeply loved. What a difference it makes!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Sharla,

      That mindset is revolutionary. So simple yet SO hard!

  • Alicia F

    Thank you so much for these words today……

  • http://www.greatnorthernpowderguides.com ky

    thank you! beautiful and timely. i took a lovely long walk yesterday and beat myself up for 1/2 of it. …you’re not doing this, failing at that, look at what “shes'” done, and all of a sudden I stopped and realized…those are lies of the enemy!! thats not how my Lord sees me!! i spent the trip downhill praising God and telling myself outloud that i am beloved! spotless in His sight! beautiful! worthy! I’ll say it again….BELOVED!!!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Ky,

      That walk was good for you for more reasons than one :). Gosh, I hate the lies we believe all too easily. I’m right there with ya… :/

  • http://preciouspagesbypaula.blogspot.com/ Paula McLane Jennings

    awesome post and a wonderful reminder!

  • http://www.chrismalkemes.com Chris Malkemes

    Miss Robin Dance. Thank you for obeying Him to speak the truth out in Love…we are BELOVED. How we dance around it – “not me. yes me. not me and yes me again. Let us with open eyes, ears, hearts and arms take Him in, breath His heavenly fragrance and say, “Beloved Father, I am Your Beloved and complete in You. Thank You.”

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Chris,

      That is a lovely prayer worthy of our lips. Thank you.

  • Valerie Hohenberger

    Thank you for reminding me of my absolute worth in His eyes! After all, He only made one of me and He seemed to think that was ENOUGH!!!

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Amen, Valerie :).

  • http://i(in)courage Debby

    …. I am alone, sad, overwhelmed, defeated…….. I open your words, Tears run down my face. Lord… I can not possibly read these words right now I am at work crying. The words so sweet and comforting. He does Love Me, as He shows me over and over. And He is with me through it all. I feel like a failure. He Loves Me. Life is hard. He Loves Me. I am tired of it all. He Loves Me. And He Chose You to write such Truths to all of us. Thank You for following your Heart.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      {{Debby}}

      Hugs and more hugs. That I would have the privilege of reminding you of HIS truth? Is honor. I’m praying over you now, lovie…that these words are life/real/assimilated into your heart. Of course not MY words by God’s alone.

      xo

  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan@ Walking Well With God

    Robin,
    I hope you don’t mind, but I am making a copy of this to put into my “Truth About Me” folder. I turn there (as well as to my Bible) when the enemy whispers so boldly in my ear that I begin to believe the lies. This post is filled with great truth and it helps the message go from just being “head knowledge” to being “heart knowledge”!
    Thank you so much for sharing what I needed to hear!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Oh, Bev…how could I mind? I’m HONORED…deeply touched! Sometimes God uses the ladies of incourage to buoy my spirit when I feel less than, defeated. I’m not in one of those low places at the moment (shootfire, that can change on a dime!), but YOUR words are affirming and I’m grateful.

      And…..I love that you have a Truth About Me folder! Precious :).

  • http://crystalstine.me Crystal

    Oh amen…thank you for this. Beautiful words of truth my heart needed today.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      xo YOU.

  • amy

    Fantastic post but I have to say the image at the top is off-putting. Is that used chewing gum?

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Yes, Amy, and your comment caused me to add a note about it at the bottom of my post; I tried to add it right under the image as a caption, but I think this site doesn’t allow that.

      It’s a section of the Berlin Wall and I was literally MOVED by it when I saw it. It’s a way people mark that they were there. That heart stood out to me, reminding me you can find Love anywhere if you look for it…even in the darkest of places.

      I started to change the image but left it because of what it meant to me; but thank you for sharing your thoughts; I’ll consider them as I add future pictures :).

      • Amy

        Thanks for replying, Robin. Knowing the context of the image really changes the impact!

  • Laura

    Praise the Lord for this post – He has been teaching me this very lesson in recent months and it is so HUGE for women. It gives us such freedom to know we are loved by Him as is. We don’t need marriage, education, success or fame to validate our worth. Our worth is God-given, innate, inherent from our creation in the image of God. This was such a blessing, and I will be sharing it with other women!

  • kim

    Wow…Wow…>Wow…that is so beautiful…Thank you so much for sharing this today. I believe I need to save this in my email and read this every day. I know I am HIS Beloved, although many days I dont think I believe this due to circumstances in my life. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak thru you my dear Sister in Christ. Thank you Jesus to speaking to all your daughters. We love you and Give you Praise.

  • http://www.Christiansugaraddict.com alyssaz

    I am going to print this off and read it every day. I have always wondered what Body Part I would be and I came to a conclusion: the appendix. Useless. No one knows why it is there. I am that invisible cloak. But I realized that when I think that I am telling God His Gift is not good enough!! Yikes! I still think appendix but am working my way out of that. Sloooowly

  • http://www.belovedinbluejeans.com Amy

    Thank you. Although I have written for years, I just recently launched my blog named beloved in blue jeans. My parents named me Amy which means beloved. I am a slow learner but trying to claim this title given to all of us from our Heavenly Father. Thank you for the reminder once again~ Many blessings.

  • Jeannie

    I know this in my head but reading what you said struck my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much!

  • http://epistellein.blogspot.com/ Jen

    I’m one of those “I thought she knew” girls….in fact, the very theme of the book I’m writing hinges on knowing that we are beloved. And yet I spent the whole morning crying, pleading, despairing because I felt I wasn’t making enough progress on sharing that message with others….you know how the laundry piles call and the phone call from the school nurse can turn a whole day of planned prayer, Bible study and writing on its head…… I asked God for encouragement, for a reminder and for fresh peace and then I popped over here (truth—-it’s been weeks since I’ve visited. ) No doubt this is the answer to my prayer. Thank you :-)

  • Mandy

    This is so perfect! It’s a great message any day, but divine for me today…it’s my birthday. Thirty-nine years ago today, my parents welcomed me into the world and named me, “Mandy.” And my name means “Beloved.”

  • Mary

    Wow! now if I could just get that all the way from my head to my heart. I’ve even given sermons on it and still need reminding! I have a wonderful little book I got several years ago called, “Come away my Beloved”. It really helped me start to feel like God was my beloved, when I was a widow and needed to feel loved. I am grateful God decided I needed physical love as well and sent me a wonderful new husband! But either way, I am still HIS beloved. That impacts everything!

  • http://www.christyfitzwater.com Christy Fitzwater

    I tell you the truth that this blog post was a direct answer to prayer for me today. I’m a fellow blogger and have really been struggling. I prayed all morning that God would show me what I need right now. As soon as I read this I thought, “Oh, I forgot that God loves me.” I just forgot. And I’m the one blogging, telling people I want to help them grow closer to God.

    Thank you for the reminder, for saying it out loud to the person you would think wouldn’t need to hear it.

    I hope God turns around and blesses and encourages you as much as you have encouraged me today.

  • Joey

    After a really bad day and doubting EVERYTHING, this has made me feel better!!!!
    Thanks!!!

  • Beth Williams

    Wow! Such poetic and prophetic words!!!

    Thank you for your wisdom and reminders. Like you said we know it in our head, but the devil is soo out there and he whispers to me daily “you. are. stupid. ; not smart enough, good enough”. I fall for these lies almost daily.

    God is so good to keep reminding me how very important and beloved I am of everyone around me.

    Thanks again!

  • http://jeansblogs.com Debra

    Great post. We are His beloved. Since we are flesh, we need reminders often.

    Thank you for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

  • Tiffany

    Robin, wow!! This was especially profound today (although I love all your word crafts!)! Sometimes those 18 inches between our heads and our hearts is the longest journey on earth! Thank you for this beautiful reminder! Love you, lady!

  • Tiffany

    Robin, wow!! This was especially profound (although I love all your word crafts!)! Sometimes those 18 inches between our heads and our hearts is the longest journey on earth! Thank you for this beautiful reminder! Love you, lady!

  • http://www.BriannaRWasson.com Brianna R Wasson

    I wish it weren’t so easy to forget this. Such amazing truth. Such beautiful words. My heart needs to remember. Thank you for reminding me.

  • http://www.ourstoriesgodsglory.com Elise Daly Parker

    Just that…We are His beloved. Yes, it is everything!!

  • Erica

    I understand this statement but I also have a very hard time with it. I struggle with scrupulosity sence going to a cult like Christian church. I want to be loved by God for me and who I am. I want God to see Erica. I understand my identity is with Jesus but there’s also a part of me that gets angered about the fact that God doesn’t love me for me and doesn’t see me for me – he sees Jesus through me and I guess it’s difficult to accept that.

    • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance

      Erica,

      I hear your frustration; there are MANY things I DO NOT understand about God, many things in my wisdom I’d like to change. This probably explains why one of my favorite verses is Is. 55: 8-9: ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways my ways,”
      declares the Lord.
      9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so are my ways higher than your ways
      and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

      He knows more than I know….

      Erica IS known and loved. God loved you before you knew Christ and he cares about the minute details of your person (number of hairs of our head, for goodness sakes! http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A7&version=NIV).

      God loved you and called you “while you were yet a sinner”.

      Sooo, he’s big enough and compassionate enough to deal with your anger. In his mysterious way, he loves you as you but all that is good, holy and eternal is seeded in Christ in you. I wish I understood better to explain better, so I just cling to the truth I’ve discovered, trusting that what I don’t understand isn’t the most important part. (I’m praying for wisdom for BOTH of us right now!!)