Love is something special, kid.

“I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture.”
-Marc Norman, Shakespeare in Love: A Screenplay

My mom would be one of the first people to tell you that I am a romantic. Sometimes, she listens to my stories and says (and you can practically hear her rolling her eyes by the tone of her voice), “Loren! You are so in love with love.” Yeah…I might have a bit of a complex… but loving and being loved makes life so much better. Sometimes my love is misplaced, but at the best moments – it is aligned with acknowledging the best lover of all.
Our culture and entertainment industry, in modern day America, definitely circulate around and profit off of proclamations of love…songs, movies; even political rallies use love as a word they fight their battles with. If people are going to proclaim their love for everything else, then I want to share about a special love in my own life – but it is not mine alone. It is a love that is available for all who long for a deeply fulfilling love.
No matter what your story…whether you feel so much love that your heart feels like it is bursting…or your heart has been abused and mistreated, I hope that you can read this message for yourself and know that YOU are loved by the one who matters the most and loves the best.
A letter from my heart, to Jesus:
“You are the answer to all of the things I have ever wanted. You are loving: you loved me before I was ever born and crafted my whole body – every atom, with your own hands. No matter what I was going to do – you already loved me. You loved me before I could think my own thoughts, speak any words, or even take my first steps. You loved me before my parents even thought of me. And even now, despite the things I have done, you love me just as much. Your tenderness and loving mercy touch my soul, more than anything in this world could. The people you have put in my life have blessed me in so many ways – and you have shown me love in so many ways, through them. I can see, more and more with passing time, why you love your people so much – even when we are not perfect and sin. There is something about the human spirit and the dynamics of relationships between one person to the next…the way a person can feel a connection with someone they barely know…looking past the quirks, the oddities, or even the enraging moments of someone who might be a complete polar opposite to themselves…Those crazy dynamics! Your love is amazing and you modeled and continue to model a Love that cannot be competed with. You love despite it all. No matter what. Thank you, Jesus – most beautiful Lover of My Soul. No one will ever love me like you do and I am completely fine with that. You know me like no other and you love me like no other and that is my whole heart and soul’s deepest desire. Thank you for giving me the best gift I could ever receive. I love you, Jesus.”

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Waiting for What’s Best

“One day they’ll realize they lost a diamond while playing with worthless stones.”

~Turcois Ominek

Have you ever found yourself in a continuous cycle of chasing something that isn’t meant to be? Do you feel like it’s a habit?

It is rumored that Albert Einstein once mentioned: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” No matter who spoke it, the quote is definitely food for thought. When we continue in the same patterns, continue the same routines…we can’t really expect bigger things if we stay on the same wavelength the whole time.

This definitely ISN’T a “try harder” post. No. This is a voice that might hopefully inspire someone to think about the things they keep running after – even when they know in their heart that it isn’t what’s meant for them. Why not respect yourself a little more? …your emotions…your health…your relationships.

As far as relationships: If you know that someone doesn’t want a relationship/someone doesn’t value you enough/you feel like you are always performing to keep them around, why keep putting yourself in a position for your heart to be hurt, again and again?

Respecting yourself is a big deal.

Would you let someone else just take your heart and start stomping all over it? Well then…are you allowing yourself to get into the position where you let it happen to yourself?

Does someone keep talking you down…does someone keep verbally abusing you, but you take it? There is a difference between listening to constructive criticism and someone being verbally or emotionally abusive and beating you down. YOU know the difference. You don’t have to let it continue.

Respect yourself.

Pursue the things that you KNOW are worth it. Just like you probably wouldn’t start going down dead end roads when you already know what your final destination is meant to be, then why continue to pursue the wrong things?… especially when you already know in your heart of hearts what the RIGHT path is.

I, for one, don’t want to get so sidetracked with the pebbles, that the diamond falls from my hands.

Sometimes waiting for that diamond to show up is hard. I have definitely found myself searching for the diamonds, the special things, in all the wrong places. I thought settling for the jagged rocks and broken seashells could suffice for that precious stone, in the meantime…but, I am realizing that if I get so used to settling – I might end up thinking my diamond is an “almost-but-not-complete” shell.

Whatever it is for you: a relationship, who you hope to marry, the type of career you would like, the type of leader you want to be, your financial situation…well…there are a million different options, but no matter the situation – what do YOU want to end up with? The broken shell of a choice or the priceless diamond?

Well, that diamond might take a little longer to find – but it’s out there.

Sometimes, sitting in the middle of the ocean for a couple days can give you a little perspective. Just this past week, on an underway, I had a little time to think about how often I continue to settle – even when I know something better is on the horizon. I went though a situation where I was definitely tested and didn’t trust in waiting for the better option. It took a little bit of a slap in the face to come back to reality on that one.

I wasn’t trusting that God might have a better option out there. While in my rack on the ship one morning, I opened up my Bible to the book of Psalms. I happened to open up to these words, where the writer was telling God:

49 “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. 50My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”

That verse just made me think of Jeremiah 29:11, one of my longtime favorite verses in the Bible. God’s promises of the good things that are in store, are spelled out in his own words:

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Hope. Promise. Future. I believe that God has some pretty awesome things in store, and I want to start trusting in His promises.

Your Value is NOT Based on Past Events!

Your are not defined by your past.

You are not worthless.

Have you ever believed that your worth was tied to something you’ve done in your past or a mistake you’ve made? Have you ever believed a lie about your value?

Your value is not based upon the skeletons in your closet. Forgiving and forgetting IS a thing.

There have been moments, especially in the past year…where I wondered if someone could love me even if they knew all of the paths I had chosen. I have felt that the things I have done and the choices I’ve made, defined me. That is not the case. I just needed to be reminded by the one who had loved me from the start of it all…before, during, and after I made those decisions.

Although forgiving and forgetting is a universal message that I hope anyone reading this might be able to take away, I am also going to include some verses from the Bible that have been such breaths of fresh air. Sometimes we need the realization that redemption is available and we ARE valued – especially when we are at our lowest points, and feel depressed and even worthless.

1) “…for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34 (ESV))

2) “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (Isaiah 43:25 (NIV))

So know this:

You are valued.

You are loved and forgiven.

You have someone who cares to let you know that you don’t have to carry whatever guilt or fears you may have associated with your past…

And once again:

  1. YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR PAST.
  2. YOUR WORTH IS NOT BASED ON YOUR PAST!

So, what do you think about your worth now?

 

You Are Loved

“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.”

-Tim Tebow

Although the idea for this blog has been in the workings for a while, I am currently starting this first blog post at 10:10 p.m. A verse that pops into my head whenever I see the time 10:10, happens to be John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Although I wasn’t planning on using this verse to open the blog, John 10:10 and the quote above from Tim Tebow both have a common thread for the purpose of starting this blog.

Tebow’s quote explains exactly what makes every successful man and woman a true success: passion and impacting people. John 10:10 explains living life to the fullest. I believe both points go hand-in-hand. I am starting a blog, doing something new that I’ve never tried my hand at before, and I want to do this because there is a passion in my heart about an issue. If I can help one person through a tough moment in their life journey, give them encouragement from true stories of my own and others, and show them that they are valued and loved – if it is just one person, then I am glad I spoke out and did not stay silent.

This blog is for anyone and everyone who is willing to read, but I hope that every young woman, especially, can read these posts and find strength and find healing and love within the words.

Although I can’t define a specific aspect or genre for these posts, I hope that the following story from Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV) will give you a glimpse of what I hope to help convey:

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

I believe that the world would benefit greatly with more advocates who pursue discussing and encouraging the generations to value their self-worth, both emotionally and physically, and bringing awareness for a greater respect in regards to how easily hearts and bodies, emotionally and physically, can be given away. I would like to encourage help, healing, courage, and confidence in knowing #youareloved and just like the story of finding the pearl and selling everything for it, so should you know what amazing value you hold and how you should value yourself enough to invest in that treasure. Your mind and body truly are an investment.

And to end this first post, here are some wise words from Kathryn Stockett’s book, The Help:

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”