Hi, I'm Maggie, and I used to fear love. But now I know that when you step out your comfort zone to do the things you fear the most, the things you fear the most will soon become the things you do.
I do love.
On Saturday, I celebrated my 29th birthday, and I'd like to share some birthday wisdom with you. This year, I only have two words: love harder.
Let me explain ...
I mentioned in previous blog posts that this season of my life has been the most challenging season that I've experienced in years. I lost my peace. I lost my sleep, And I slowly felt my sanity slipping away.
I never thought that I'd be here. How did I get myself here? The question that kept playing in my mind.
The truth is, I knew the answer to that question before I even asked it. I wish I could point a finger somewhere other than in the mirror at myself, but I've learned to take full responsibility for the consequences of my actions.
This downhill spiral began with me acting on my feelings instead of on my faith. I jumped ahead of God and winded up falling heart first.
I wanted things in my life to change, so I put myself out there knowing that the next chapter could end badly ... or with an exciting twist.
Well, things did change. Not the way I envisioned them to, though. My actions didn't just lead to me getting hurt, others around me were also infected by the poison of my impatience.
There's a reason there are so many scriptures in the Bible that talk about waiting on the Lord. We think we know what's best for us, but in all actuality, we don't.
I wish I could tell you that life is easy, but I'd just be lying because we all know that life can be a hard journey at times.
Life is going to throw us unexpected curveballs. We might expect for our actions to lead us to a fairytale ending and instead get a not-so-happily ever after. It happens.
These curveballs may be painful, but the hard things of life are what makes us stronger. Every good story has an obstacle. And often, the obstacle is the only way to the palace.
I once heard Les Brown say, "Life is like an onion. You have to peel it one layer at a time, and sometimes you cry." Life may be hard at times, but God offers His strength through each layer.
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." - 1 Chronicles 16:11
Let God use the hard things of life to mold you, build you, and make you better. Seek His face always, always seek His face.
I've decided that I'm going to love harder than ever before this year.
I'm going to love God harder. I'm going to love myself harder. I'm going to love my family and friends harder. And I'm going to love whatever path God has for me harder.
As I was reading 2 Corinthians 9 in church this past Sunday, the 5th verse really stood out to me. It says, "So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly."
Although the context of this scripture is talking about giving, the message I received while reading it is that God wants us to be open and willing for whatever He has planned for us. But before He shows us what's next, sometimes He must send people our way to prepare us and make sure we are ready to receive it.
Often, when we experience pain, we tend to close our hearts. We then justify our closed hearts by saying that the Bible tells us to guard our hearts.
It's true, there are many scriptures that tell us to guard our hearts, but not one of them tells us to close it. A closed heart can't receive God's best.
Sometimes it only takes one person to open our eyes and show us what's possible.
As we finish out 2018 and enter the new year, I challenge you to love harder. God is love, so the only way we can experience the fullness of love is to experience the fullness of Him.
There's always another level.
Go harder in love than you've ever gone before. Love yourself harder. Love those around you harder. Love God harder. Love God harder. Love God harder!!!!!
And when you're peeling the layer of life that might make you cry, don't close your heart. Always trust God over your feelings.
He is the God of peace, not of confusion. Trust that.
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all." - 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Did you enjoy today's message? As always, I'd love to hear from you. Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, questions, and/or stories. I look forward to chatting with you :)
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You were born to do great things. Love harder, not less.