I've begun collecting journal entries to put together and make a devotional. It started as just emails to my closest friends, telling them what God was up to in my life. Then it grew into a desire to encourage. Here is today's entry because I think everyone in the world needs to hear it.
February 28, 2013
My Dear O’Malley Sisters,
As y’all know, me and the “L” word have been at war the past two months. My boyfriend never told me he loved me but when he broke up with me, he very clearly enunciated, “I do not love you.” Those damning words are like a heavy hammer hitting my heart every time I remember them. I weep for brokenness every time I say it, but I thank God that I will never hear those awful words from Him. The past few days, I’ve felt prompted to figure out exactly what it means when God says to me, “I love you.” Because, honestly, those words have lost their impact. We throw I love you’s around quicker than we throw pennies in wishing fountains. I hear the words but they don’t mean anything to me. “I love you” has become like a tiny bug hitting my windshield: I hardly notice, it doesn’t slow me down one bit, and it barely makes an impression.
So yesterday I sat down and started this, what Jesus would say to me if we were standing at the altar together, what God means when He says, “I love you.” It is in no way a complete list! And the writer in me freaks out at the thought of sending y’all something to read that isn’t finished but the Holy Spirit is prompting me to send it on, to send it out.
Hear these words, beloved. Hear the words your God swears to you. See Him sacrificing Himself on the altar in order to ensure that these words will always be true.
“I chose you.
I will never leave you. I will stay with you forever. I will never give up on you. I will never stop working for you, for you to be better and for you to have better.
I will never compare you to another. I will never ask you to be anyone but you. I will never rush you. I will challenge you to grow. I will help you grow. I will always do things for your best interests so that you can better glorify Me.
I won’t be a jerk.
I will always desire you – all of you. I will always want all of you, every piece.
I will give you a bountiful harvest.
I will never hold a grudge against you. I will never be prejudice against you. I will never belittle or demean you. I will honor you. I will hold you up. I will not count your sins, mistakes, or strikes against you. I will bury your sins in the deepest ocean and never dig them up.
I will not indulge at your expense. And likewise, I will not let you indulge at My expense. I will be strong enough for the both of us. I will hold the demons at bay, always. I will not take from you. I will not be selfish. I will protect you from everything, including Myself, including yourself. I will not cross or blur lines that are set for your good.
I will always tell the truth. I will always act in such a way that reflects truth. I will always uphold, never tear down, and never smear the truth.
I will always empower you and equip you to do great things. I will always blow wind into your sails. I will always believe in you. I will never doubt you. I will never be suspicious of you doing evil. I will always protect you from evil. I will always keep you away from eternal death and a life void of Me. I will always draw you nearer to Me. I will always romance you. I will never stop wooing you. I will never stop doing things and being the Someone who makes you fall deeper and deeper in love.
I will always present you with better. I will always want more for you, for us. I will always put hope in front of you. I will always inspire you to love and live and dream and hope. I will never cause you to despair. I will always give you hope.
I will never fail you. I will never call you a failure. I will never let you be a failure.
I will never pass away. I will never let our love burn out or die. I will do everything it takes to keep our love burning. I will never let you fall out of love with Me.
I will consume your imperfections and make you perfect. I will always look at you face to face.
I will always give you the faith you need. I will do whatever it takes to help you have faith in Me. I will always renew you and restore you. I will always give you hope. I will be your source of hope. I will be your source of faith. I will always inspire these in you.
I will never leave you. I will always be with you. I will always guide you and wherever we go, I will always be with you.
I will always hold your hand.
I will always kiss you; not just once, but over and over and over and over again. I will always pursue you. I will always walk in front of you and I will always walk behind you.
I will do what you cannot. I will go ahead of you and prepare the way. I will come behind you and put brokenness back together.
I will run with you when you can run. I will walk with you when you can walk. I will carry you when you cannot.
I will never look after another and desire someone more than you. You will always be enough for Me. You will always be enough for Me. You will never disappoint Me. You will never not be good enough for me. You will always satisfy Me. You will never not be enough for Me. I will always be jealous for you.
I will always hear you when you cry. I will always wipe away your tears. I will never abandon you. I will never leave you in your weaknesses.
I will bring you to beautiful places. I will bring you rest and healing.
I will be with you in the ugly places. I will not leave you alone in the hard times.
I will never abandon you.
I will never take My love away from you. I will always love you. I will always cherish you. You will always be My prized possession, My greatest good. I will never look at you with disgust. You will always be breaktakingly beautiful in My eyes.
I will always call you by name.
I will never steer you wrong. I will always lead you in the perfect way. I will always bring things to be at exactly the right time. I will never be too late.
I will always provide for you. I will always give you what you need. There will never be a shortage.
I will always draw you back into My arms. I will never let you escape Me. I will never forget about you. No distance is too great because I will bridge the gap.
You will always be My priority. You are always in the forefront of My mind. You will always be most important to Me.
Not only will I die for you, but I will also live for you. I will lay down My life for you every moment of every day. I will always sacrifice for you…
THIS, all of this, is what I mean when I say, “I love you.” Three short words carry the weight of this heavy oath. This is My unbreakable vow, My everlasting covenant, My sure and steady promise to you, My beloved. It is not possible for Me to break this promise to you. I am committed to you for all of eternity. I have already paid the price and now there is nothing for Me but to love you. It is My greatest delight to love you, to show you love. I will never get tired of it. Yes, My beloved, this is what I mean when I say these beautiful, life-giving, never ending words…
I love you.”