For me, there is nothing more loving you could do for someone than writing them a letter and buying them dark chocolate almonds from target (I’ve scouted out all of the brands and target is the winner, trust me).
Chocolate covered macadamia nuts have a special place in my heart though.
I didn’t realize it while I was in it, but for the longest time, I didn’t believe I was loved, and just until recently, I realized I didn’t believe I was valuable. No one on earth can actually make you believe you are loved, no matter how well they love you. It took me 20 years to learn it, but the truth is even if you feel loved, appreciated, or accepted by others, believing you are loved is a whole different animal.
The feeling of being loved is quite different than the identity that you are.
Your husband will die one day, your friendships could be separated by different life paths, and people sometimes just leave just because they want to. Peoples’ love is the cherry on top, but the sundae is God. I have tried to put it the other way around, and trust me, it just does not work.
For the first time in my life, I am so excited to go back to California. I realized that if I had not gone, I would be a desperate, depressed, dependent girl who would be so incredibly attached to her friends and community that she would never be able to truly follow God above all.
God is really jealous for my heart.
In California I came face to face with myself. I had to sit down with no friends, no family, and no one. I had to realize who I was when no one was there.
Did I have value if people didn’t need me? Apart from everyone else, who was I?
Everyone has a different question that they have to come face to face with.
Your question might be something like this:
Do you have value if you aren’t doing anything?
Do you have value if you don’t contribute anything?
Do you have value if you aren’t making people happier?
Do you have value if you don’t do it perfectly?
Do you have value if you aren’t enough for everyone else?
Do you have value if you aren’t successful?
I remember sitting on a plane on the way back from Kona to LAX, finally finding the answer to these questions.
I remember the thought popping into my head ever so softly, realizing it was God ushering it in,
“Lisa, I will love you in all the ways you’ve always desired from people, even the physical things.”
In that moment, the flight attendant taps me on the shoulder, “Would you like a dozen more chocolate covered Macadamia nuts?”
I almost started to cry.
God got me chocolate.
I often hear friends say something along the lines of, “Yea, I know God loves me, but I just want someone who can hold my hand, buy me flowers, and I can’t put my head on God’s shoulder.” And I get it. God is not here in the physical, but I think that is part of it.
We’re always going to long for God to come back.
We’re always meant to realize that a part of our hearts will always be unfulfilled because we will want him here, now. Within that, however, I think we will find that when our hearts are truly filled with his love, his love will invade the physical.
We will start to experience it, when we start looking for his love more than others.
We will start to see his steadfast love in it all, the good and bad, and everything in between.
Yes, get to know him, but also don’t forget to enjoy him. Talk to him, go on adventures.
Life is thrilling with God.
I once asked God what that season in my life would look like and I remember the thought popping in my head, “free coffee and healing.” I didn’t pay for single coffee for three months and within that time I saw two sprained ankles healed in moments, cancer disappear, and a dozen other healings that to this day I could never explain. I look back on that season and realize that God doesn't want his love to just be abstract, he is constantly showing it.
Back in May, I had my flight home from California. I was reflecting on my year, realizing that this was the year that I learned to truly believe I was loved, and learned to truly love. All of a sudden, the guy I had chatted with in the seat next to me hands me a box.
It was full of chocolate covered macadamia nuts.
God loves me, and I know it. I see it when I jump wake in a jet boat down the St. Croix river, when I hop on a plane to South America with a ticket I didn’t pay for, or even when I cry over rejection on the couch in my dorm. I feel it to the fullest. God’s love is real. Don’t get me wrong, this year was a year of rejection, heartbreak, letting go, and many tears, but at the end of it all is freedom. I still fight some days to believe it, but at the core of who I am, I know it’s true.
It just is.
Because he said so.
And if we let him in, God shows his love with actions that speak just as loud as his word.
"the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord." - Psalm 33:5