5 Stars Out Of 5
Feeling Discouraged? Read a Love Letter from God
November 22, 2013
I don't know about you, but times have been pretty tough here lately. It's easy to get dejected and discouraged when you find yourself working harder and harder and feel like you're just getting farther and farther behind.
I was watching my youngest daughter at our church's Thanksgiving potfaith last night. Arielle is a hugger. She loves to hug everyone. Everyone is her friend (whether they know it or not!)
When she was very little, we lived in Phoenix. Often we would be driving down a six or eight lane freeway going 65 mph and she would point at some random car whizzing past and say, "That's my friend!"
When we got home and I thought about that precious little love, it struck me_ I used to be just like her! I used to run up to everyone I knew, expecting to be accepted just as I was and loved_ no exceptions.
I'm not sure exactly when that changed_ whether it was the constant bullying in an inner-city public grade school_ a series of abusive relationships beginning in my teen years_ but at some point I stopped trusting other people_ and I stopped believing that I was of any value to anyone but my children.
A completely open heart and nature was somehow, over the years, transformed into borderline agoraphobia. At the very same dinner, surrounded by the very same loving and caring people, I found myself uncomfortable and panicky. The conversation that goes on in my mind says that it's better not to reach out and try to speak with someone_ you see, my mind says, it would just make them feel as if they HAD to speak with you. It's not because they really want to_ obviously they don't, because they haven't already. I mean, of course they would be polite_ these are polite and caring people, but they wouldn't really MEAN it_ Frankly, I need to learn to tell my mind to shut up, but I'm not there yet. I honestly believe that any friendly overtures made to me are done out of obligation and good manners. It takes years of interaction before I actually trust that another person might trulylike me.
So, imagine my joy when I got sent a free copy of "His Treasure: Gems of Love from Your King" by Sheri Rose Shepherd from Tyndale House Publishers. (Being on their review team is like year round Christmas!)
I've read several of Sheri's books before_ and I even got to see her speak at a Women of Faith conference many years ago in Phoenix. I was very excited to see what her latest book contained.
It's not a very big book. It fits easily inside a purse, diaper bag, or backpack. And it certainly isn't a hard book to read_ each "chapter" is a two page spread that includes a Bible verse, an important thought_ and a love letter from God. Each little letter contains one important point that is illustrated and reinforced by the Bible verse and thought.
For example, in the chapter on Identity, I read that God has an identity for me that is based on my true worth in Him.
"If you could see yourself the way I do, even for a moment, no one would have the power to define who you are."
Who is defining who I see myself as? Certainly not God_ When I still allowed Him to define me, I was just like my little Arielle.
The Bible verse listed along with the full-page letter on Identity is from 1 Peter 2:10_ "Once you had no identity as a people. Once you received no mercy, now you have received God's mercy."
This little book has traveled everywhere with me in my bag since I received it. I cannot imagine going anywhere without it. My 12 year old daughter will often pull it out of my bag and read a page or two at a time_ which makes me very glad. Maybe if my girls can have a firm grasp of who they are_ daughters of the King of Kings_ they won't have to suffer some of the isolation and self-imposed loneliness that I have dealt with most of my adult life.