Confession: I am an incredible coward sometimes. Seriously! I'm not ever afraid to make friends, and I'm certainly not afraid to love them with as much love as I can muster. I'm not even afraid of looking like a big dork in front of them because I know that's who I am, and it's cool. But I can sometimes be afraid to share the deeper parts of my heart because of an irrational fear.
Those of you who know me best will be surprised by this because I'm usually a pretty open person. There's not a topic that you could ask me about that I would flinch at opening up about. What I've realized is that I won't usually offer to share. If someone else brings it up, sure, but I won't actually start the conversation. I'm not afraid of rejection, really; I'm more afraid of being criticized. I know it's ridiculous because the friends I have are way better than that, AND there is no amount of criticism that can change who I am. But it doesn't change the fact that being criticized hurts, and the fear of that pain makes me afraid of sharing sometimes -- not all the time, but definitely enough that I've decided I want to be better about it.
So today's post is a little more personal than just updates and the usual fluff. I write it because my heart has been moved to share, and because I need to face my fear (however irrational it may be):
I think that God knows us so well, He knows exactly how to communicate with us specifically so that we will be impacted by His love perfectly. Each person hears His voice in differing ways, and I definitely hear Him through music (as most of you know), but the funny thing is that, I hear him best through narrative. I cant count the number of times I have been reading a book or watching a movie (totally unrelated to God), and His still, small voice spoke into my soul and brought me to tears. It happens at the most random times and always moves me significantly.
Last night was one of those times. Stephen is out of town for a week, and I am terrible without him. He has literally become my other half, and I hate it when he's gone. The worst is at night when I have to go to bed sans my darling. I will just lay awake in bed for hours without catching a wink of sleep. A while back, I discovered that if I fall asleep to a chick flick I can get at least a little bit of sleep, and last night that's what I was doing.
I was watching a movie called "Beastly," and for those of you who haven't heard of it, it's a modern re-telling of "Beauty and the Beast." It's set in a high school, and yes, it is ridiculously "angsty" and cheesy. However, it's beautifully shot, and the two leads have great chemistry. AND it has a happy ending, so I was cool with it.
What I was NOT expecting was to have God move me so greatly during my attempt to simply fall asleep. That's the way He works in my life, though, so I guess I couldn't really be all that surprised. I think He moves my heart the most when He has to interrupt me.
Anyway, in the Disney version of the story, the Beast is really a big, hairy...beast! In this modern version, the "beast" is a guy named Kyle who is made to look "as aggressively unattractive on the outside as [he is] inside." His heart is ugly, and so his body reflects that. He has a year to find someone to love him, or he's stuck like that forever. Eventually, he finds his "beauty," in a girl named Lindy, who isn't bothered by his ugliness, and you can probably guess the rest.
One significant change to the story, though, is the ending. In the Disney version of the story, Belle tells the Beast that she loves him after he's died. Of course, this makes it all the more magical when he comes back from the dead, and all is well. This newer version, on the other hand, didn't take the story in quite that direction. Kyle, doesn't die, but he DOES think that he's run out of time. Lindy tells Kyle that she loves him just after his year is up. The amazing thing about this portrayal is that Kyle believes that his ugly looks are now permanent, but it doesn't matter to him anymore. Love has changed his heart. Lindy loves him no matter his looks, and thus, he no longer has to look good. It is then that his body changes back....but it changes as a reflection of what has taken place in his heart already.
As I watched Kyle's heart transform, and then his outward appearance transform, God quietly whispered, "That's what I did for you; I loved you even when you were at your worst, even when you thought you were ugly, and MY love transformed you." And when Kyle asks Lindy, "Can you imagine that kind of love?" it was as if God was directing that question my way.
Last night, God gently reminded me of His powerful, amazing, and yes, magical Love. I was reminded of how He changed me, and how He sees me as beautiful. I guess I needed that reminder more than I thought I did because it really blew me away. I'm so very blessed to be loved by "that kind of Love."
Anyway, just needed to share that. Love to you all!