“But Mama I love her, ” she pleaded while I begged to throw out the tattered doll for the umpteenth time.
“But your birthday is coming. I’ll buy you a new one.”
“No, Mama. Please. I chose her because I love her.”
And that was it. There are moments when arguments with a stubborn, loveable, cute-as-a-button preschooler are simply unwinnable.
This shabby little doll continues to make her home in the usual comfy spot, just at the foot of the bed, lovingly wrapped in a seen-better-days blanket. Just where a sweet little girl placed her. Just where she was chosen to be. Her name is “Victoria,” a regal name for such a dilapidated dolly. A dolly with an uneven haircut, mismatched clothes, and her previous owner’s name scrawled onto the bottom of her foot. And despite her seemingly unfortunate situation, she was chosen for this. By one four-year-old girl who took note of her value. Chosen and loved.
There are moments when I feel like Victoria. Washed up, burnt out, and broken. The world can be a lonely place for a tired soul. It is easy to feel tossed aside and forgotten either because of something we have done or something that has been done to us. Sometimes those forgotten feelings are reinforced by others around us, barely standing through their own pain. There are moments when fear constricts and cripples when you least expect it.
Oh, to be chosen and loved all at the same time. That is just what God does. You, Dear One, were chosen for love. To Love. And be loved. Love is the very essence of who God is. He is the Father-God who artfully designed and created each person for greatness. For purpose. For love. 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love.” It is who He is. It is what He does. And He does it so well.
1 Corinthians 13 paints a beautifully simple definition of love. The Greek word for love in this instance is “agape” meaning “affectionate, dear love.” It is the love that loves when love is not returned. In it’s plural form, it literally means “love-feast.” (Wow.) In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul is absolutely clear when he explains what love is not.
Love is not envious.
Love is not boastful.
Love is not proud.
Love is not rude.
Love is not self-seeking.
Love is not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil.
And what is love exactly?
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love rejoices with truth.
Love always protects.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Love never fails.
Love is the GREATEST.
And when the fear creeps in? The anxiety that chokes the life out of you? When you can’t quite remember who you are created to be?
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ” 1 John 4:18 (NIV)
That’s God. Because only perfect love can do such a thing and love is only perfect in God. Fear and love cannot co-exist because they are simply incompatible. When we take hold of God’s offer of love, fear is dispelled. Love enters in and fear dissipates.
Even when you may feel like a shabby little “Victoria,” you have been given a regal name, too… Beloved. God has called you “Chosen.” God knows your value. His name is inscribed on your heart, because you belong to Him. On the darkest of days and in the moments of triumph, he longs to be with you and celebrate everything that you are.
You are chosen. You are loved. To love and be loved. And THAT, my friends, is the greatest.
Do you think it is easy to live as one that was “chosen for love?” What is your greatest fear? Do you think there is anything that God cannot handle? How can you press in to God’s perfect love today?