About the Author

Christan Perona is the Director of Admissions at Central Christian School in St. Louis. Her deepest companions and most inspirational teachers are her husband, JD, and their two children.

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  1. Just tell me what to do, God, and I’ll do it. Tell me how to do it, and I’ll try my hardest once again.

    Oh the plan, I know it well. I want to dig deep and map out a new one now but God is clearly saying Be. That direction, to simply Be, is putting me at the mercy of another and God keeps reminding me that it is his mercy that will keep me. Thanks for the added encouragement today!

    • I love the picture of surrendering that you’ve given, Marcy. “Putting me at the mercy of another.” Yes, God seems to be reminding me in all sorts of ways and situations that His mercy will keep me. I just have to believe Him.

  2. I may BE. Be myself. I don’t have to change in order for people to like me. It is more important what God thinks of me and you than what other people think of you and me. Sometimes it is better to walk away and say nothing and then bring your pain at the cross. The answers will come to you then and you will know what to do next. What i have learned to do is look at myself and see if the behavior of the other person bothers me because i see myself in the other person. This might wel be a time that God learns you something that you have to change in your own life. I have struggled with it so many time’s in my own life and it is not a fun place to be at, but it will bring me closer to the person God want’s me to be. Thanks for sharing your story. It has helped me a great deal.

    • Yes, Thea73. It is often better to walk away and place our pain at the Cross rather than let it spill forth from our mouths. I’m learning patience… I’m trying to stop racing and instead step back from circumstances, seek Him in the quiet, and WAIT for His plan to unfold. And yes, I agree that we often are grieved at one’s behavior because we’re just looking at a mirror. Looking at the sin of the world reminds us of our own hearts… you’re right, this practice motivates us to offer yet another piece of our brokenness to our Rescuer. Thank you for your insight.

  3. Beautiful words!
    Oh, and I love puns/word twists, and God just showed me one as I read your post:
    “Beloved”, broken down into its component parts, is “Be Loved”. When we allow ourselves to be loved, the love will fill us and spill out.

    • Why is it so hard to allow ourselves to be loved?! Thanks for separating “Beloved” into “be loved”. I love how you said love will fill us and spill out when we allow ourselves to receive love. Great truth for being in relationship with family, friend, co-workers, anyone, really. Who will we spill love out upon today?! 🙂

    • If we could believe we are cherished and objects of God’s affections (as Scotty Smith says), just think how much grace and love we could extend to others. Every day.

  4. So true. If only we could really GET that our first job is to just be loved. He loves us so much but we try to work, work, work instead of receiving His love and just BEING His beloved. Only when we really get how beloved we are can we really find it in our hearts (His heart) to love others.

    I used to hate everybody. Then one day God helped me to see how much He loves me, and it changed my life. He took the hatred away and helped me to love people. Not perfectly, and not always, but still to love. I pray I will always grow in that: in the receiving of His love and in letting it flow out from me to others.

    • Jamie, THANK YOU for sharing this. This is an encouragement to me, for sure. Thanks for sharing your transformation with us. It’s so amazing how God not only removes sinful patterns in our hearts but then tenderly transforms us to do just the opposite when we’re walking in His Spirit. I have a similar story – not with hating others but in judging others. Years and years ago, I saw the world through the lens of judgement. In the past decade, I’ve seen how wretched my own heart is and how absolutely big the Cross is. It’s so freeing. Like you with loving others, it causes me to have mercy and compassion. The older I get, I’m less blinded to my own sin — I see it all the time now — and the more I’m desperate for Jesus. Thank you, Jamie.

  5. thanks for the reminder to look at myself and evaluate my own heart, even before I look at others and judge theirs!

    • And when you’re looking at your heart, remember God sees you through the blood of Christ – made whole and righteous because of our Rescuer. Remember God delights in you, His Beloved.

  6. Hey Christan, amen and Amen. God has spoken. Your story so pure and true. Thank you for sharing. God has given you everything you need for where you are. Be encouraged be blessed.

    • Joanne, thank you. I will try to remember God has indeed given me everything I need for where I am. May we forever rest in what He’s given us rather than running toward idols again and again.

    • Thank you, Karen. I’ve spent time on your blog and have found much encouragement and conviction through your writing.

  7. You wrote this to and for me. I am facing an exact situation where I so desperately needed to hear these words. Thank you. You are a blessing to me and many others.

    • Louanne, thank you. It is amazing how truth God whispers to us in our own situations can actually edify and heal other hearts and situation. His word never returns void, does it?! His Story is so very big and His ways are so complex. And beautiful.

  8. I love this. Not mapping out a process but letting God reach our hearts first! I am like that, always wanting to be better, asking God to show me how when things are hard… He is not always worried about telling me how to be better. When I let Him speak to ME, I WILL be better.

    • I love your name, Hope. 🙂 Love it. We are have much in common. May we forever put the pencil down and rest in His love for us instead of creating tasks and plans and directions for ourselves.

  9. Beloved, Thank you for those beautiful words. Yes there are always the moments of the beautiful let-down of our human weaknesses we so easily see in others yet…at times are slow to admit we carry.
    I feel this is total gift your words come in his perfect timing as HE teaches me about community. I so want to use disappointment to run from what HE is offering in the moment. But TRUTH would say something quite different, that if I am unwilling to recieve what this tension offers me which is the freedom to engage in life with others well then I reject engaging with the Savior because my LOrd is in the midst of these things good and small. HE is in the midst of our humanity and he wants to so much want to teach us of LOVE. WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT. And if we look thru his eyes we will see mercy, forgiveness, compassion and the desire to extend that to others will grow with us.
    PEACE to U-Blessings

    • Yes, I often feel justified in running from community when I’ve faced disappointment. But tension brings growth. Really, can we have growth without tension? I recently had a friend tell me it is the things we don’t choose for ourselves — the things that happen TO us — that shape us into who we are. And yes, Susan, if we all bear God’s image, we miss out on knowing facets of His character better when we don’t engage with others. Peace right back atcha. 🙂

  10. This truly touched my heart. It is a struggle sometimes, to remember just how much my Father loves me, and cherishes me, when I deal with many serious health issues every day, and have been for years, and . It is only because of Him, that I get up each day 🙂

    • Emily, may you sense His presence today and in the weeks and months to come. May His peace flood your heart and penetrate your thoughts and your body.

  11. So true, if we could just get women to believe this. I just gave a talk on this topic at a retreat, and I was moved to tears afterwards by the pain I saw on many faces. Jesus loves me, this I know! Keep this message flowing!

    • Yes, as we try to believe God loves us unconditionally, and then talk about forgiveness, it brings a lot of hurt to the surface. As Susan said above, we want to run from the tension. But He’s there, right there in the tension, right there on the faces of the women you spoke to. I have a friend who smiles with her eyes and says, Hmmm… What’s God doing? What’s He DOING?!” There’s such hope in her words and in her smile as she deals with brokenness. I’m sure the women you spoke to are still pondering your words…

  12. What other words can I say but THANK YOU for allowing God to speak His Words through you . . . JUST FOR ME. I am a day late reading but God planned it that way because HE knew I needed this today to encourage me to just Be Still and Let God Love Me.

    • Ah, Melinda. I love how His time is not our time (in these situations!). 🙂 I hope you’re still sensing today how much He loves you.

  13. Beautiful thoughts that refresh the soul, Christan. Oh the joy of knowing and living in relationship with our heavenly Father…so close that we can hear His terms of endearment for us: Beloved…cherished.

    It was refreshing to be reminded that as we walk with Him in this love-relationship, a God-focused life, love for others will naturally overflow to others because of His love and grace that continually is at work within us;

    Your writing is evocative, insightful, and challenges me to go deeper with Him. Thank you.

    • I love how you call it a “love-relationship” and a “God-focused life”, Barbara. Thanks for the reminder that His love and grace is CONTINUALLY at work within us. I forget that and beat myself up in despair. But He’s working; oh, how he’s working! Thank you for your encouragement. I appreciate your words.

  14. Christan, this gently rebuked me in such a good way. What a beautiful expression of the tension of community and our own communion with The Lord. Thank you for this. So powerful. So beautiful!

    • Jessica, thanks for sharing. The tension of community and our relationship with our Redeemer seems to be one we can resonate with — regardless of where we live, what our community is like, what our stories are. Thank you for your encouragement.

  15. Beloved…” “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God…” (I John 1:7)
    “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another…” (I John 1:11)
    Beloved. I find it very hard at times to grasp that I am God’s beloved. My attitude isn’t always what it should be. Like you I bark at people–the very ones I should love.

    Oh, how I want to be better, but He silences me first, reminding me I’m cherished.
    That truly resonates with me. I want to do/be/act better. A lack of sleep, stress, job I’m not fond of all add to my yucky attitude.

    God has a way of wooing his people–especially women back to Him. He wants us to understand that he realizes our stressors & tells us that despite our attitude or feelings He still loves us crazily!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Oh, Beth, the lack of sleep, stress, and circumstances that are hard — it all impacts how we relate to one another, causing us to bark at those we love. I hear you. It’s hard to believe He cherishes us when we act the way we do. And yet as we believe this more and more, He miraculously changes our hearts and transforms our words, actions, and communities. May you sleep well this weekend as you prepare for Monday and other work week. 🙂 What’s He going to do in your relationships next week?! 🙂

  16. I am God’s Beloved. It is important what God thinks of me , my family and friends then what other people think of me and. I have learned that sometime it is better for me to walk a way an not say nothing at all until later and after I pray for God to direct me. When I allow myself self to me love then I can let God love glow through me to others. We need to slow down everyday and receive his love in our lives so his love can come into are heart s and fill fully with Gods beautiful love he has for us and being to let our life shine to others by loving one another. God each into my heart first when I really needed him life he came in my heart and truly really love me and for gave me of my sin and save me. I am truly not perfect but always still in love and I want that love and I want other people to have that kind of love.

    • Tara, you have wisdom to walk away and pause before speaking. And you mentioned slowing down everyday, stopping to receive His love before going out into the corners of our world. Oh, to have that kind of patience and peace instead of racing around, approaching relationships like tasks to be mastered. Thank you for the reminder to approach my days in this way. Thank you for the reminder to be others-focused, Tara.

  17. Beautiful message, beautiful heart, beautifully written.
    Thank you for the encouragement to engage. I am so distracted this week.
    A God of tenderness that loves me despite my sin…Oh to love those in my care in that way.
    Struggling this week to live from a place of love and acceptance and not to live in order to get love and acceptance. Thank you Christan for your encouragement and the reminder that I am my Savior’s Beloved.

    • Casey, thanks for your words. I hear you with all the distractions of the week. My, what a week it has been for me, too. I absolutely love how you describe the struggle to “live FROM a place of love and acceptance” rather than living “in order to GET love and acceptance.” Such a great perspective and lens to view things through. Imagine how our relationships would be transformed if we lived this way. May you rest this weekend, knowing indeed that you’re God’s Beloved. My you have hope that He has much love to pour on you next week, too.