If the enemy can convince you that your loneliness means that nobody loves you, then he can get you to do things to experience the semblance of love that will keep you from really understanding the substance.
She had just had her seventeenth birthday three weeks ago. There was no big celebration because her mom had been gone on business and her dad never did much with her or her younger sister anyway. He was always busy with work or glued to the ballgame on TV. He hardly knew that she had turned seventeen that day.
Her friends didn’t seem to do much more than a passing mention when she walked into homeroom that morning. It had been a lonely day. But then again, it had been a lonely semester. She had failed to really connect on a deeper level with anyone again this year. She found herself sitting alone in the cafeteria most days because she felt like an outsider.
But prom was coming up and she had hoped against all hope that the new guy would notice her and ask her. He seemed to be fitting in so much better than she had when she was the new girl. In her thinking, if she could go to prom with someone like him…she would be accepted by all the right people for sure. If she was dating the new guy, her life would be perfect. After all, he had spoken to her twice and even smiled the last time.
Miracle of miracles! He walked up to her locker between classes and asked her to prom. For a week now she has been planning out the night, rehearsing every detail over and over in her head in anticipation of her first prom.
The night finally came. Things were going almost exactly how she had planned. All his friends had even been nice to her. It was almost perfect.
Then he wanted to leave before the last dance. What had gone wrong? Had she said something wrong or done something to make him not want to be seen with her any longer? She was confused. But in the car he seemed fine. He even put his arm around her and pulled her to his side. He detoured into a park and leaned in to kiss her. There it was…their first kiss. She couldn’t believe it. He was kissing her. Her life had just gotten better.
And he said, “If you love me…”
How could she say no?
The semblance can keep you from the substance.
We all know that wasn’t real love. Loneliness had lied to her and told her that no one loved her and this guy was offering her lies in the name of love.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
That kind of love doesn’t seem obtainable. It seems fairytale-ish.
Or is it?
When we pursue love from the Love of God, it allows us to obtain the real thing. It allows us to love and be loved the way God intended.
The takeaway from this story is…
Because of God’s Love, what happened that night doesn’t have to define who she is today. Poor choices made because of loneliness is not how God sees us.
He is the God of second chances.
God doesn’t define you today by what happened when you were seventeen.
The divorce you went through when you were thirty doesn’t define who you are when you’re forty. The parenting mistake you made when you were forty doesn’t define you when you are fifty. God refuses to allow what happened to you to define who you are. He loves you.
How do you define yourself today?
Choose to see yourself as God sees you – through His Love.
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is ten years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 38 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.