by Karen DeArmond Gardner
The moment revelation hits you. You didn’t see it coming, which makes the impact more powerful.
I’d been doing life with bits of whining and complaining, wondering why others were moving into some great destiny while I wasn’t. Then my pastor’s words stunned me: “Millions of people die every day without ever reaching their destiny.” How can that be? And, oh my word, that’s so true.
He continued, “We were designed to be satisfied in God’s love, not anything else.”
I knew he was right. Only God can give me lasting satisfaction. With Him I can be content where I am, even if my circumstances never change. As his words continued, I came to the realization that I’d made an idol of my hopes and dreams.
God created me to be satisfied in Him alone, not my calling or accomplishments. It’s not about things, circumstances, or age. Just because I am now 65 (did I just say that?) doesn’t mean I will realize every goal that I have.
Hard words. True words. Words to bring me to my knees.
The only thing that truly matters is that I am a beloved daughter. He loves me just as I am. And just where I am. He loves me naked, wrinkled and gray, even the gray hidden beneath the red. He likes and delights in me. I have no need to prove myself to Him. He has already forgiven all my past and future mistakes. He thinks I m completely adorable.
Just as I am.
Just as you are.
He doesn’t care that I’m not perfect. Why? He knows me inside and out. All the striving I’ve done in my life to present a perfect image was for naught.
A few weeks after this message I am purposefully dwelling in the presence of God before church begins. The Holy Spirit says, “Whatever Pastor Nancy asks you to do, do it. Without hesitation. Just do it.”
“Have you given your whole self to God?” I knew this was the question as soon as I heard it. And I knew the answer was no. I hadn’t. I’ve held back parts of myself from everyone around me, including God. The next question was obvious, “Will you give your whole self to Him now?”
Just as I am.
Naked, wrinkles, gray and all I think I’m not. Laid bare and open for all to see. Here you go. All of me.
Just as I am.
Maybe you have lived your life watching others get what you want? If only I could be like her. If only I was a better writer, speaker, or artist. If only I had thought of her idea.
Do you remember pulling the petals off a flower while chanting, “He loves me, He loves me not”? But God isn’t playing that game with us. Though I thought He did. I thought He was keeping score.
He loves us. He loves us. He loves. Us. You. Me.
No check marks. Just love. Let that sink in.
Paul reminds us: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 ESV
Nothing. Absolutely nothing can separate us from His love. His love is our source of contentment.
Grasp the truth of His unrelenting love for you even if your circumstances aren’t what you’d hoped. And know you are completely loved and adored by your Heavenly Father.
About the author: Karen DeArmond Gardner is a 30-year survivor of domestic violence. She has spent 15 years on her own healing journey and nearly that long helping others find freedom, restoration, and redemption.
Karen is a facilitator in Freedom Ministry/Sozo and directs the Women’s Ministry at Catch the Fire DFW Church. She also facilitates Mending the Soul, a group that leads women through the trauma of their past into healing and wholeness. She serves on the Board of Directors for Arukah House, a transitional home for women coming out of sex trafficking and abuse.
Karen blogs at Crack the Silence and can be found at her Crack the Silence Facebook page. She continues to be a helpful contact and resource for abused women in her church and community.
Join the conversation: What causes you to be discontent? How can God meet that need?