“Thank you for loving me, Lord.” I have used that phrase multiple times in the past few years. It’s funny how those words can change both my awareness and my feelings. Lots of people are talking about gratitude these days, claiming it can change your life and make you feel good. But it somehow seemed “wrong” to me to tell God I was grateful if I felt sad or disappointed about a situation. Being honest with God is very important to me. I can remember sitting and wondering what I could be grateful for at one point, when life seemed to be not what I wanted. And what I came up with was that I was grateful that God was with me and that God loved me.
Being grateful that God loves you sounds pretty simplistic—most people know that God loves them, right? But something happens to me when I say those words. I actually feel grateful, no matter what else is going on. I am reminded that I am not alone, and that no matter what state my life seems to be in, God still loves me. The big God who created the universe and can do anything still loves me. Me, just as I am; weird, scared, confused, disappointed, frustrated, lonely, tired, whatever. Even when other people don’t understand me or approve of me or include me or care about me, God gets it. Gets me. And loves me. And nothing can top that. Nothing can take it away, either. Sometimes I just sit in the middle of that love and weep. It’s that powerful.
So, a few words remind me of the truth, and the truth enables me to live freely in God’s love. Pretty simple, yet very powerful. His love is amazing.
Lori (Hoxie) Justice: sculptor, painter, graphic artist; HeartPaths graduate 2012; married Jay Justice on December 28, 2013