Known & Loved

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4: 16-18 

About a month ago, I  took a trip to Santa Barbara, California to visit with one of my {almost} lifelong friends, Amelia. Not only was I looking forward to this trip because well hey…California. But I was anticipating the ease and sigh of relief that I would feel when I finally reunited with this friend. The moment where the long day of travel filled with hustle, bustle, strangers, and soul searching (I don’t know about you but that’s what I do when I’m on an airplane) came to an end, my guard came down, and all the truth could come billowing out. You see, Amelia is one of my “home” people. She is a place where my heart feels at home.

I was thousands of miles away from my reality in Charleston: and the reality was that I had been feeling a lack of connection to the people around me. A lack of understanding and mutual trust. And the reason for this was my distrust. Not my distrust in people. But my distrust in the Lord. You see, I needed to be reminded that I have a Savior that I am able to cast my deepest fears upon. I have a savior that is my fortress when my heart is afraid, my confidence and security, my guidance when I am so so lost and confused. We are fully known by a perfect savior- he knows every little nook and cranny of our hearts and yet we are still loved beyond our imagination.

We are blessed with relationship here on this earth so that we may be reminded of what it looks like to have raw, transparent relationships. The first morning I spent in California, the words that I kept repeating over and over in my head were KNOWN & LOVED. When we are not afraid to be known- we have the freedom in speaking out lies, expectations, anxieties, and worries without fear of being rejected or turned against. In fact, the more we are known, the more capacity there is for us to love and be loved. The relationships that are defined by knowing and loving are the most restful and honoring relationships we can have. 

Donald Miller states in his book “Scary Close” that when you are with God, there is no darkness, no hiding, no pretending. When you are with God, you have the freedom and courage to be yourself. 

When we are abiding in Christ, we know that our identity lies in the love, grace, and mercy of a perfect Savior. He has covered us and knows all things. We have NOTHING to hide when we are living in step with our God. My prayer is that all of my relationships would reflect this truth. That heaven would come here to Earth and be reflected in my community. This is abiding. This is rest in the Lord.

-Em

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