After I pushed the send button, this thought came to me, "Why did I say 'who you are'?" I realized at that moment that I truly do love this friend in Christ like a brother because his heart is so good. He does not have to "DO" anything for me to love him more.
The next thought in my head was about a conversation I had just recently had with a friend over coffee. She said, "I loved you from the first moment we met." I told her thank you, but in my mind really could not understand why she loved me in that way because I had done nothing for her yet.
Then it dawned on me. I had set up a double standard in my life. I freely loved those around me but was afraid to receive love because of what it would cost me in "Do" time - afraid that the "I love you" was connected to an "I want" statement. Too often, I would hold friends at arms length because of fear of not being able to "do" what they expected of me but had not spoken...YET.
This goes even deeper, however. I found myself at times 'hiding' from God, from fully receiving his love, from being afraid that I could not measure up to the 'DO' he wanted from me. I know what the word says - what I believed was different.
I am so glad for freedom!
Revelation is freeing. I know without a doubt that I am wonderfully loved by God. I know now that I can be loved by friends and fully receive their love with 'no strings attached'. I know now that old grudges that I was hanging on to because someone did not 'appreciate' something I did for them can be left at the Cross - fully forgiven and let go.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Father, thank you for forgiving me of pride that wanted to enslave me to unrealistic expectations of myself and those around me you have set into my life. Thank you that your love freely flows through and around my life, unencumbered by a mind that set up traps to capture what you so freely gave. Thank you for friends who love me despite my sometimes prickly nature. Thank you for my husband you gave to me 26 years ago, who loves me every moment and blesses me. My heart overflows and joy abounds. Blessing, Honor and Glory to the ONE who gave it all, thank you Jesus. Amen.