I loved this chapter…starting out with the description of Kelly’s front porch and the hodgepodge of funky furniture. Won’t you come join us on the sofa and share your favorite part?
The Fitting Room – Chapter 4 from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.
I can’t help but smile that I have read this through a second time and I feel like I am already seeing different things than I had the first time around. This sentence jumped out at me, “Just the reminder that I am beloved of God gave me the nurture and confidence to put the trifling would in its proper place and get on with my day…(p.56).
What would our lives look like if we walked in the knowledge that God’s love is unchanging, and that I am His beloved…always.
Maybe that comment your coworker made wouldn’t have stung as much, and maybe you wouldn’t be so disheartened by the disappointment of a friend. Agape is a shift in perspective; a game changer that should help us feel settled deep down in our bones, believing in the One to whom we belong. And as Kelly says, once we know this love we also feel inspired to wear His garments with joy instead of a sense of obligation.
Is this how you come to the Father? Or do you come, as Kelly says on page 60, “waiting to be leveled.” I know many times in my life I have been tempted to believe that His love for me was conditional, and knowing the state of my heart in those seasons, I fully expecting a punishment. Instead, He met me with His arms wide open, with nothing but the kind of love a Savior could lavish His daughter with.
It is so important that we heed Kelly’s advice about praying to see God’s love and understand it more fully (Mt 7:7-8). I agree with her when she says He delights in answering these. I also love that she says to “look for the sightings of His love in Scripture, and highlight the words that speak most powerfully to you.” (p.62)
What a fantastic idea! To pray that God’s love would be shown to you in a tangible, glorious way, and that you would become a “love-searcher” as you travel from page to page in Scripture. That is our prayer for you, ladies! That you will spend time there, and that you will pray in eager expectation of what our Lord will reveal to you about His love.
We sang this today out at the very last Deeper Still event, and it makes me teary every time…It’s a David Crowder song and the chorus, so simple, wrecks me every time:
“He loves me, oh how he loves me…”
I don’t know what it is, but the rhythm of the song and the rhythm of my heart collide and I allow myself to believe it in a new, precious way. That is our prayer for you this week..that you will sense His love in a tangible, beautiful, sacred way.
We’ll see y’all soon…keep in touch here so we know how to be praying for you all.
Angie, Jess and the (in)courage ladiesLeave a Comment
Finally realizing how He loves ME has been an overwhelming and joyful way of thinking. Thank you for your book. It has been very inspiring to me.
Erin @ Wild Whispers says
I have to say that before I read this chapter, I had never really considered praying “that God would help [me] see His love and understand it more fully.” I pray for attitude changes, I pray for more grace… but never have I thought to ask Him to not show HIMSELF to me, but to make His Love evident. I know a JR. His name is Jim, and he has been the biggest influence in my life to date when it comes to gentleness, peacefulness, turning away wrath and the like. He is never harsh, he always has time for you. And his prayers… oh… his prayers! Like talking with someone in the room with him. He KNOWS the love you speak of here. He gets what I am still striving for.
This week, my desire is to REST in my Father’s love. Not just say I am loved, but accept it. I am DEEPLY LOVED…. I have had moments in this fleeting life when I felt it, and I can say unequivocally that this is a tome when I need to know it deeply.
Work in me, Lord… teach me to see your love… Amen
This chapter spoke to my heart and soul in many good ways. I heard the David Crowder song on the radio after I read this chapter. God’s timing is perfect isn’t it. Our sermon in Church today was on, “Why I can trust God.” Such profound truths today that went so well with this chapter. It just melted together. I can fully trust God, in the plans He has for me, when I fully know how much HE loves me. So, so, good. Trust and Love. Love and trust. Thank you for sharing your heart in the book club!
Amy B. says
Nicole, I so agree – I love how God gives us the same message or even pieces to the same message in different places all at the same time! I was just doing another study where the author encouraged the reader to find a verse that correlates to your name & its meaning. My name means, “Beloved!” What an awesome reminder to me that I am loved by God – it’s right there in my name and I don’t think my parents were thinking that when they chose it. 🙂 Trusting His love for me has not always been easy, but I cannot escape the fact that He does love me – it’s right there in my name! I loved that I was reminded in this book again to seek out those verses that proclaim God’s love for me so I can hold fast to them when I’m feeling doubtful. Nothing can separate me from His love!
bev smith says
I teach in church ‘God loves you, God loves me, God loves everyone no matter what we do or who we are. I bear testimony of God’s love, who i see as Father too and then i come home to my battered, broken life and i think why? I just need you (Father) to tell me why? If you love me then why? When you are too scared to let your daughter go out the door in case she doesn’t come back, right now there is no peace. I love the book it speaks to my heart, to my soul but its going a bit too fast and i like to saunter.
This chapter is absolutely beautiful, as is the video above. I loved the way Kelly handled the situation with the woman who was not nice to her…asking for His Love to show up…the way she let Jesus lead her through that situation…absolutely beautiful!!
Looking forward to the next chapter!
Kelly encouraged us to let God’s love “wash over us anew” (p. 56).
I skim read through all the verses on LOVE using Bible Gateway today, and one that stood out to me today was at the beginning of Titus 3. Here are vs 3-8 in The Message:
“It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. ”
Oh, how he loves us!
I have to tell you about a way that God has shown me the beauty of his love in such a tangible, precious, touching and… hilarious way last week.
I’ve been having a REALLY hard time at work, feeling very scared and panicky, in a very physical way. I very rarely get ground down by things and dwell on them but I just couldn’t shake this fear and sadness off.
One night I was very upset and my husband was away for the night. I went to bed and read this chapter of Kelly’s and prayed for God to show me his love, now when I was feeling so sad and scared and in need of Him.
My husband being away made it worse because he always makes me laugh and takes my mind off things, but as I was by myself there was noone to do that and I just spiralled down….
The next morning I woke up and read my Bible. I prayed that God would really speak to me, show me something that would really help and encourage me that morning. I’d been reading through 1 Kings and each day it was about a new king and the battles and ways they’d turned against the Lord. I was expecting another king story, but I’d arrived at 1 Kings 17 and suddenly it was a whole different type of story – it was Eijah. In the passage I read, first of all God sent birds to feed him bread and meat when he was in hiding, then He made it so that the widow’s flour and oil never ran out, even though she thought they were about to die, and THEN God brought the widow’s sone back to life when he died! I was really amazed that this passage, showing God taking care of His children when they were in much worse situations than mine, came to me at the moment it did. I was powerfully reminded how God cares for me.
But then… the funny part. After having got up, made the children breakfast etc etc the passage wasn’t at the front of my mind – but God knew it needed to be. So, as I walked out the door, a seagull flew over my head and dropped a huge chunk of bread at my feet!!! God reminded me again of the story he’d shown me that morning, but the bit that really really touched me was that He knew that I was missing my husband’s way of taking care of me, by making me laugh, and so God made me laugh! He knew all the different things I needed. A really spot on, encouraging word from the Bible, a huge nudge to remember it before I went to work, and a joke to cheer me up and take my mind off things for a second.
God’s love was made so very real to me in this – not only does he love me, as I know in the abstract, ‘God loves me’ kind of way, but he DEARLY loves ME and knows me as an individual and knows my personal needs and sense of humour. He loves me and knows me like my husband does, but so much more. I was just blown away by this.
Thanks for sharing this remarkable example of God’s amazing, personal, & immediate love for you. Wow! It was indeed an encouragement for me.
This is so beautiful, Emma. Isn’t it amazing how He gives us exactly what we need at just the right time? Now THAT is love. Hearing God say that I am not just loved, but DEARLY loved has been so freeing. I don’t have to strive, because He is God and He loves me. His love is unchanging and forever. Oh, how I love Him!
thank you for sharing — you didn’t even ask God for a sign and yet He sent one right to you. We have an amazing Father.
Now I can’t stop saying love-ed. 🙂
Loved the video and appreciated Angie saying that if we smile and agree that her, Kellie and Jess definitely know the love of the Father that we have indeed missed the point. I love the word of God and often smile and weep at how He uses it to administer directly to me. My father lives in Alpine, AZ and was evacuated 2 weeks ago from his home. This home was to be the home he and my mother shared in the golden years. My parents lovingly planned, funded and decorated this cabin in the woods of Arizona. They finally retired and two years into that stage of life my mother was diagnosed with ALS. Two years later she went home to the place that Christ had lovingly planned, funded and decorated for her.
For my father to even contemplate a fire taking away all they shared is hard. We don’t currently know the shape of his home. But, weeks before all this happened, the Lord had ministered to me and laid on my heart to memorize Is 40:28 “have you not known? have you not heard? God, the Lord, the Creator of the edge of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
Where can I turn in this situation that this verse doesn’t cover? I love knowing, not feeling but knowing, that I serve a great God who is personally interested in loving me.
Oh Tonia…I just love that verse from Isaiah. I’ve read it before, but as I read it just now I felt a stirring in my soul. Though I may be weary, exhausted, overwhelmed…He will NEVER grow weary. And the fact that He is the Creator of the edge of the earth…that pit that I too often have found myself falling into…reminds me that He is here with me, always, and that He loves me dearly. Thank you for sharing this verse – I needed that reminder.
Tonia, I am just getting caught up on this –and I’m wondering how your parents are . ..did they lose their home? They are in my prayers.
Thank you so much for these videos! I am really enjoying the book as well as your commentary. May I make one minor suggestion? I am having a hard time hearing the videos. Maybe it’s just my computer?? Or, the fact that I have a 6-month old babbling in the background 🙂 LOL Anyway, I just wanted to mention that in case future videos could be recorded slightly louder. Thanks again for everything you’re doing in this ministry. I truly appreciate your dedication!!
I agree, I have trouble understanding what is being said sometimes, and I am in an office with the door closed!
I am loving this!!! The videos just seal the deal =)
I love, love, love the song by David Crowder. When it gets to the part where it says, “And we are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, and if grace is an ocean, we are all sinking. Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way…” I get goosebumps and tears in my eyes almost everytime. To think about His love, a love so big we could sink in, grace and redemption that is free… we are dearly belov-ed!!!
This week, I am praying that God will continue to show me His love in new ways, and help me demonstrate that love to others. God is so good!
Ii qpthink that there are so many parts to this chapter that resonated with me that I barely know where to begin. I think that familiarity of knowing God loves me has in my heart produces that numbness where I am cold to this fact. Oh how I want the change of this truly penetrating my heart. Thank you. How I need to continue looking for revelations of his love for me all those daily gifts. This was a great reminder.
One of the quotes I underlined in the book…..
These interwoven threads of prayer, Scripture, meditation and fellowship will bind our experiences of God’s intimate love for us. In the meantime, the thought of living the virtues will strangely grow from duty to delight.
I know that when I am praying, reading and meditating on Scripture and fellowshipping with God on a regular basis, it is so easy to feel His love for me, even when I am being unlovely. And it is definitely easier to live out the virtues we are called to live out daily.