Today I walked into a room. A large room. A room filled with people I admire. People I look up to. People who do the kind of work I do, who care about the same things I care about, and love well.
And it felt like a slice of heaven.
I love nothing more than being part of a something greater than myself. A community of compassion and ideas. A fresh breath of caring air. It’s the part of life I adore. I can’t thank God enough for the healing He has provided, the love that set me free, so I might get to play a small role in the life of someone else – with these people in this way.
It felt like a slice of heaven…but at the same time I wanted to vomit, my face felt like it was on fire, and I really couldn’t gather my breath.
It’s weird how the things we love and want the most can create the most anxiety within us. Like a gigantic spoon reaching into the core of our soul and scooping out the most vulnerable part that very much wants to engage, but is afraid of being seen as less than – all at the same time.
And as I decompressed and began mentally unloading my day, I went to God’s Word and found this…
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. Psalm 34:4-5 ESV
The KJV says it this way…
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. Psalm 34:5 KJV
They looked unto him and were lightened…just let that phrase soak in for a minute. It’s powerful. Life altering powerful.
Because we look to so many things and are burdened.
We look to a room full of others that we admire, and it’s an amazing place to be, but rarely are we lightened. In fact, in rooms like these we are often weighted, heavily weighted with the cold wet blanket of our own insecurities.
And we look to our accomplishments and the things we have done well. And we look to our failures and the times we have messed up. And we look to those we love. And we look to those we are angry at. And we look to this and we look to that, but rarely, rarely, do we look to these things are lightened. Maybe we are lightened slightly. But no one lightens the way God lightens.
When we look to God, not only are we lightened, but our faces are not ashamed.
The anxiety, the vacuum sucking insecurity, the embarrassment that we feel when we think I wonder what they really think about me, that cold stark feeling of loneliness in a room swarming with people – when we look to God and are lightened, He takes all of that away.
All of it.
And it’s you…and it’s Him…breathing…and there’s nothing to fear when that big gigantic spoon digs deep down inside because He has seen it all and chooses to love you anyways. And who does that?
Who loves the unloveable places of you? Who knows the unspeakable things about you? Who sees you at your very worst and never turns there face away?
Only God does that.
Today will be far from the last time I walk into a room like the one I did today, and that’s a good thing. Because hot vomity feeling and all, what really takes my breath away is knowing God lets me be a part of something I could never ever be worthy of. Not because I deserve it – but because He loves me. He could have left me in the trenches of my broken heart – all dirty and filled with shame – but He didn’t.
And it’s not just me, or my family, or my friends, or the girl down the street – this lighten-ing that happens is for all of us.He came to set all the captives free, each and every one. We all look to Him and are lightened. We all look to Him and are released from shame. We all experience the profound unconditional love that only He can provide. And I just don’t even know what to say about that other than I am so stinkin’ thankful.
Jesus, it’s my prayer every single day, that I never get complacent, dull, or less vulnerable to the power of your great love. Because I need it so desperately, and that’s a good thing. Thank you that you lighten us. Thank you that you have already taken away all of our shame. Thank for just helping us do these things that you have given us the authority and power to do. Just thank you for being God and for loving me anyways. Amen.