Friday, June 10, 2011

What's Love Got to Do With It? ©

The year was 2005. I'd been asking God to awaken me to my true identity. I wanted so desperately to know who He saw me to be. I knew the things I believed about myself. I truly hoped that He didn't see me that way too. I frequently asked Him for pictures that would reveal His heart to me. On this particular day I asked again. Suddenly a vision flashed into my mind.

I saw a woman dressed in a beautiful free flowing skirt. She was in the parking lot outside the church we were attending. I couldn't see her face. I didn't know who she was. With arms raised she twirled around in dance. There was freedom and beauty in the way she moved. She didn't care who saw her. She only cared about the One who watched. As the vision left I began to ask God what it all meant. Who is that? "It's you!" What is that? "It's the dance of freedom." How do I get there, God? "I will take you there." "It is for freedom that I came."

I remember a piece of furniture my mother restored. Layers of paint hid it's raw beauty. It wasn't a quick or easy process. One coat of paint was stripped away at a time. I remember the steel wool, the sharp tools, the strong smelling solvent. Underneath the years of history the beautiful, original wood found it's way out. Sandpaper was used to smooth off any remaining rough edges. Afterwards stain was rubbed in bringing the piece to life. The grand finale was the top coat applied protecting the work that had just been completed.

I am like that piece of furniture.

For God so loved me He sent Jesus to restore me back to my true identity. Layers of lies brought on by my own sins and the sins done against me are being stripped away. Their coatings of shame cover me no more. Religious mandates are falling by the wayside, no longer holding me captive. He is peeling away the layers allowing me to receive what's been there all along. Love... just love.

The finished work of Christ now sets me free. The beauty of the original is making it's way out. I am free to live as one who is loved because I am.

No longer is there need to dance the exhausting dance to be acceptable. I no longer have to strive to be holy. I can believe that I am. He will never use the words, "after all I've done for you, what will you do for Me?" The lists are over, the plates can stop spinning. It's not about getting everything right or being enough. It is no longer imperative that I keep watch on my behavior for it does not prove my godliness. I now see His arm wrapped around me as we look at my sin together. It's not about the sin. It's about living in who I am.

He's known me for a lifetime. All that was has been removed. He sees me free from the layers, dancing in liberation. He invites me to see that too. Embracing love freely given brings me to an abandon unlike I've ever known. I am free to be just as I am knowing He will show me who He knows me to be. To the extent I trust I am loved, I will be loved.

The vision makes sense to me these days. It's breathtaking. I find myself dancing in the beautiful freedom of the free flowing life of Christ in me.

What's love got to do with it? Everything.
©copyrighted 2011: Julie L. Todd





9 comments:

Rebekah Grace said... Reply to comment

Why in the world did this not come through as I'm subscribed?

I LOVE THIS! I love the picture of the woman dancing in a church parking lot, without a care in the world, dancing in His freedom. And also the visual of His arms around you. A beautiful grouping of words that bring a picture to my mind that make me want to know Him even more!

Your words, they have an authenticity behind them, I can sense through this screen that you have lived what you write.

Spectacular! Truly!

Thank you!

Terry B. said... Reply to comment

Julie, I've missed your blog posts but love the journey that you must have been on to write this beautiful letter of love. I embrace every word of it and my Spirit soars with the Truth in what you say. I celebrate with you and I thank God that He will continue to take each one of us on that same journey towards love. I LOVE the line "TO the extent I trust I AM loved, I will BE loved"
Thank you for sharing your heart!

Bek said... Reply to comment

Oh how much I love this post!! I am still learning all that God sees in me and I have my days where my focus turns to my shortcomings instead of his mighty victories. Thank you for getting my mind back on the right focus!

Katie said... Reply to comment

Good to see you found something to write...and such a wonderful encouragement for all of us (and I hope you as well, to remember).

::hugs::

BARBIE said... Reply to comment

My heart resonates with this. I struggle so much with my identity and believing that the things God says about me are true. I once had a vision of me dressed as the Bride, and when I got to the alter God asked me to lift my veil so that He could look at me. I turned my face and tried to hide. But the scripture says in Song of Songs that my eyes underneath the veil are beautiful. I know He sees my sin, my weakness my ugliness, yet He calls me beautiful. "I am dark, but lovely" in His eyes. Thank you for sharing this!

Amy said... Reply to comment

This is such a beautiful portrayal of the freedom of living in the love of Christ. It's Heaven on Earth to live as a fully loved woman.

His love makes life "PERFECT" no matter what is happening around us.

I love you, Julie!

Jo Princess Warrior said... Reply to comment

This is exactly how I am feeling right now:
"No longer is there need to dance the exhausting dance to be acceptable. I no longer have to strive to be holy. I can believe that I am. He will never use the words, "after all I've done for you, what will you do for Me?" The lists are over, the plates can stop spinning. It's not about getting everything right or being enough. It is no longer imperative that I keep watch on my behavior for it does not prove my godliness. I now see His arm wrapped around me as we look at my sin together. It's not about the sin. It's about living in who I am."

Your words always inspire me and tell of His great love.....your words speak freedom to my soul. xo

emily wierenga said... Reply to comment

oh, so beautiful. i love this: "i will take you there." ((thank you))

Cindy said... Reply to comment

:) How are thinks going? Any job finds?? Praying for you all!!