I was struggling before church this morning with feeling totally unloveable. Sometimes I think I get in my own way, and I need to keep the focus on God and not me.
But then in church our worship band leader was talking about this amazing, incredible God that doesn't just love us all collectively, but each of us individually as well. Ron said, "He loves Paula, and Anne and Carman..." and tears immediately sprang to my eyes. It seemed as though God used Ron to use my name and my son's to remind me that I am indeed loveable in his eyes.
Lee was discussing impulses during the spiritual talk and asked us to grab someone and talk about an impulse we've had in the last week. I saw a young man sitting alone across the aisle from me, so I went over and sat next to him. I told him kind of tongue-in-cheek that I'd had the impulse to make my son go out and mow the lawn one night. And then Ken told me that he'd had the impulse the other night to open his Bible and read it for three or four hours, and that he was going through a divorce. I felt like God sent me to Ken as another reminder to just keep my eyes on Him alone, get out of his way, and let him work. I told Ken that I had been through divorce myself and he asked me if I could give him some spiritual advice on how to get through it. My heart was touched that this man who'd only known me for less than five minutes would trust me with such deep and open questions. I told him I'd come talk to him after church, which I did. He left with my phone number, an invitation to lunch, an offer to find a man to talk with if he preferred, and my prayers for the coming week.
Then a large group of us meet after church for lunch, and a young teenage girl I'd just met told me that she's struggling with her faith. Another deep and soul touching conversation, and a promise from me to continue our talk in email.
I cannot dwell on feeling unloveable when God sends me out to love people. I just didn't expect that he would take a 2 by 4 and hit me over the head with it quite so dramatically in such a short time.