13 Roses

Like many girls, I grew up enamored by the kind of love seen in fairy tales, the happily ever after endings; good always winning out over evil. But in my own life, as the childhood years passed, I grew less and less sure that ‘happily ever after’ endings really existed, it seemed each time love came my way –the enemy was hell bent on stealing that love, or at least trying to rob me of the joy of it.

 I remember when I was in the 8th grade; I was the new girl in school. I was nervous about whether or not I would fit in and make friends. As it turns out, my newness made me very visible; I made friends quickly and even had caught the eyes of some the good-looking boys. When Valentine’s Day rolled around, I was surprised to receive 13 Roses from an assortment of admirers, more than any of the other 8th grade girls. The roses had been orderable through the school the week prior to Valentine’s Day, and I had no idea I’d receive any, much less so many! I was on cloud 9. By the end of the day though, I was in a totally different place…a few girls who didn’t appreciate me getting so much attention, spread a rumor that I had bought all of the roses for myself. I was crushed. The joy of the moment was gone, and I think I cried off and on for three days.

 It’s a cute story now of something that happened many years ago, but the pattern of it has repeated itself in different ways through out my days, and until I realized a valuable truth, each painful experience seemed to close my heart a little more to love; driving me to unhealthy ways to try and fill the void I felt.

 The roller coaster reactions to the ups and downs of love from imperfect people, and the unhealthy things I did to try to fill the voids created by a closed off heart began to change when I realized at a heart level something critically important – that truth I mentioned earlier – I realized that I am loved perfectly, unconditionally, unfailingly by the creator of the Universe, and His love is more than enough! It’s the only source of love that can satisfy the deep longings of our hearts and promise a ‘happily ever after’ ending. I also found total freedom in the fact that nothing could separate me from that love; no one could rob me of it – just as it says in Romans 8: 38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 Whatever you are facing today, I just want to remind you that God loves you. His love is enough for you. No one can take it away. He wants the best for your life. For those who come to him through Jesus, he promises to work all things out for good. He wants to mend and repair the hurts in your heart. He wants to meet you in your place of need and lead you from there to paths of victory.

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