I sat in a tall chair in the middle of the room surrounded by women’s faces smiling back at me. My heart was knocking with nerves even though I knew over half of the women by name. A few of them were even good friends of mine. But it was the first time I had ever been invited anywhere as an author to speak about my book, so my hands shook with anxiousness my body could not hide.
I was speaking about my book, You Are Loved and Free to our churches book club who had chosen to read it as their latest endeavor. Attempting to give them more, a behind-the-scenes view of the author per se, I was sharing personal stories about myself. Aspects of my life that were not already in the book.
Midway through our allotted hour, I found myself sharing a story that had not even registered to me was locked away in my heart. My voice hitched and grew thin as I shared what it felt like to be a twin. I was not just any twin, I was the messed-up twin.
You see, I have a fraternal twin sister, and we look nothing alike. When we were little, she was the popular one. She was the thin one with long thick chestnut hair, kind brown eyes, and lots of friends. I was the chubby kid, with cropped hair, a horrible sense of style, and had become increasingly quiet and reserved in my ever-deepening belief that something was truly wrong with me.
I felt born messed up and genuinely unlikeable.
So, when I heard God tell me He not only loved me, but He liked me, just a week later on my typical mid-summer Saturday morning bike ride, I was rocked to my core.
The revelation came with such emotional force, I had to stop mashing down the pedals to put my foot down on the ground. Like a sudden gust of wind, the shock nearly blew me over. From the deep, in a tone edged with laughter, God chuckled, “beloved I don’t just love you, I like you too”
Wait, what? I mean, I knew God loved me, but I had always equated His love to an obligatory type of love. Well, "you made me this way so you kind of have to like me" kind of love.
Straddling my bike, I stood with tears rolling down my face, while my overwhelmed spirit tried to catch its breath. It had never occurred to me that God wanted to be my friend as much as my Father and my God. He did not just want to help me grow and become better, He wanted to hang out with me right where I was.
He loved these Saturday morning bike rides where I chose to hang out with Him. I had not even noticed this was what I had been doing, but it was precisely what I was doing as I chose to ride into the forest alone. I had been hanging with my best friend. The one who likes me, and the things I like to do even when I am a hot mess. Which I so often am.
You see unlike the people we want to like us, who are often so hard to please and want us to change into whatever the current definition of cool is, God is easy to please. He already knows everything about us. He made us with all our quirks, which He calls His unique handprints, and He wants us to be that. Being the person He created us to be is when we reflect His glory.
The same glory that made each one of our 7 billion fingerprints different, purposely gave us unique personalities as well. He likes us that way.
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” Hanging out with Him is like drinking from the living water, "It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within [us], giving [us] eternal life" because we lay down our striving to be something we are not and finally start truly living just the way we are. John 4:14
Knowing that He likes us on our good days, and our in our worst moments, and choosing to hang out with Him, inviting Him into something we truly like to do can and will break us free from the yoke of slavery seeking their approval chains us too. So, let's figure out what our hearts need most during this time in our lives, and pencil in some intentional time to be in His company each day. Let's tell him about all the things going on like we would with a friend. Let's allow Him to speak into all things in our hearts and make it known to us that He likes to be with us more than any other thing. And let's allow that liking and loving to fill up our hearts and give us the glorious life we were saved to have.
Father and friend, help us to know that you like us. Show us that you like all of our quirks, even the ones we try and hide. Fill us with life as you show us how much you are pleased with the real us and where we are today. Help us to be intentional about spending time with you and soaking in your loving and liking. In Jesus's name amen.
Join the Journey to Freedom!
It has been a long journey to realizing God really likes me. A journey I am so glad I took.
If you feel any less than God's beloved daughter, truly loved and free to be yourself, will you join us on this journey? The journey to knowing you are Loved and Free?
Micah weaves her story as inspiration for you to embark on your own journey of freedom and discovery. Devotionals, journal questions, and practical application prompts provide opportunities for you to remove your armor of self-reliance, grow in your faith, and reflect on your story. You Are Loved & Free also includes resources to help you discover your gifts and purpose while you cling to your newfound identity as a beloved and free child of God.