John's birthday was yesterday (September 7th) and in honor of his 30th birthday, I have written a list of 30 random reasons why I love him and am posting one reason each day on Facebook for the whole month of September (and it just so happens that there are 30 days in September, so bonus!). I had written a list of 20 a while back as part of the journey of reading The Love Dare, so adding 10 more reasons was not so difficult :) I was looking over the list on Saturday to choose which reason I would post for that day when I came across this reason: "he loves me for me." My mind instantly re-wound back to a day when I was working in a church office and was called in to review a letter to the staff that was to be sent out the following day. I began to check the letter for grammatical and spelling errors and was surprised to find that my name was in the letter. As I read on, I realized that my name was classified among a list of "miracles" that God had performed that year in our church...the miracle related to me being that someone actually wanted to marry me. I laughed it off and acted like it didn't bother me, but inside I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach.
Now I will be the very first to admit that it was a miracle that John wanted to marry me - at that time, especially!! I was ultra-high-strung and ultra-rigid in my work, and was super-protective of my stuff and my "territory." John somehow broke through my intense work persona to find the real me hidden underneath all of that defensive exterior. It absolutely crushed me to realize that while he loved me for me, there weren't that many other people in my world that did - and that simple letter delivered that reality to my door!
Since that time, God has used so many circumstances and people and has broken through my defenses and turned my heart into clay and molded it to be a lot more flexible (Praise God!) and a lot less protective and threatened. I don't worry so much anymore about what people think of me or what they think I am worth, but I am definitely a lot more concerned that people see God in me - not me trying to be like God, but actually seeing God's transforming power in me! God has used so many people (John, primarily) to gently show me what I am worth and where my worth comes from - and it's not from a job title or how many pats on the back I get or even the size or brand of my jeans.
So thankful, Father, for Your love, protection, and power in my life!