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Chosen for Love — Erica Barthalow


I like to introduce you to dear friends who share beautiful words through the occasional guest post. I’d like you to meet Kelly Havemeier, a wonderful friend and writer of sweet, encouraging words. Enjoy her thoughts and then follow her for more (you can find all her details at the end of the post).

"But Mama I love her," she pleaded while I begged to throw the tattered doll out 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 the end of it. There are moments when arguments with a stubborn, loveable, cute-as-a-button preschooler are simply unwinnable.

I chose her because I love her.

She is eight now and this shabby little doll still makes 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 little 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.

There are moments when I feel…washed up, burnt out and broken.

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 its 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?

Remember this:

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

— 1 John 4:18 NLT

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 lean into God's perfect love today?

Meet Kelly…

Kelly is a homeschool mom to four girls, pastor's wife, ministry leader, and a lover of Jesus. She loves to encourage women of all ages, but especially women who are well within the throes of a busy family life. When she's not writing or playing chauffeur to her children, you can find her singing at the piano or cozied up with a good book. She also believes in strong coffee and good chocolate.

Kelly shares encouraging faith stories at coffeeineden.com and reflects on the joy and humor of family life at bluejeansandcoffeebeans.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

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Erica BarthalowFebruary 1, 2022prayer, prayer challenge, talking with god, praying, when praying is hard, when prayer is a struggle

This content originally appeared on www.ericabarthalow.com.

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