SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Rom 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I am so glad the Lord has brought you into my life. My life has been immensely enriched by knowing you. There are qualities in your life that I am lacking, and I am learning so much from watching you and being with you. I know the Lord has brought you into my life at just the right time because I am being challenged to be a better person in Christ. I seek to emulate your faith and character and be the best I can be for my Lord.
I know sometimes I’m flaky. But I can’t thank you enough for overlooking my faults and loving me anyway. You believe the best in me and that confidence brings out the best in me and assures me I am able to succeed in life. I know you know how insecure I am and how I try to put on a mask at times to cover it. But being around you disarms my fears and lets me be myself. I can’t believe how much I open up around you and even laugh spontaneously. I have had a tendency to restrain myself for fear of being misunderstood but when you’re around I feel safe to just be myself.
When you love me unconditionally I feel Jesus’ love through you. I’ve always had this idea that the Lord loves me but when I fail in my faith I have felt distant from God like He has changed His mind about me. But when you keep loving me through all my ups and downs and highs and lows I am restored in my faith that God loves me no matter what. This is a supreme gift that I have been granted through our relationship and has served me to no end. Just to feel loved by God at all times is so amazing and so healing. I’ve never known a love like this. I’ve always felt I’ve had to perform and could never measure up to other’s expectations of me. Now I know it’s okay to be human and to love Jesus at the same time.
I also like how you correct me and hold me to the standard of God’s Word. I initially bristle but then realize you are right and love me so much to challenge me to keep on the straight and narrow. You never have a harsh word and what you say in loving rebuke is the velvet steel I need when I am drifting off my course. Forgive me when I have been overly sensitive about correction. I guess I just always want to be perfect and get mad when I am reminded that I am not. This pride is sinful but how great it is to have someone like you to provide the context whereby I can own up to the fact that I’m not there yet and stand in need of improvement.
Something else is also changing about me. I not only feel God’s unconditional love in my life, but I am also now giving it to others. I used to hide so much in my skin and wouldn’t reach out to others when I knew I needed to. They say there are sins of omission and believe me I have committed many of these. But because I feel loved I am also extending love like never before. I used to be afraid of involvement or that people would take me wrong so I held back to protect myself from that. But now I don’t care. I feel good about who I am in Christ and this is giving me the boldness to risk rejection and make new attempts at seeing how I may be a blessing to others.
I have always struggled with a tremendous sense of inadequacy. I have learned how to cover this by certain techniques that I have developed and perfected. But God’s love through Christ and the cross is stripping me down to who I am. And you know what? It’s not so bad! In fact I feel more effective now in what I do and am getting more feedback from others than I ever used to. So thank you for your unending and unfailing love and how you accept me. I feel so much closer to the Lord and I am giving to others this beautiful gift!