Why You Were Meant to be Loved and Remembered (A Lenten Devotional)
Bonnie Gray is the soulful author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. An inspirational speaker and retreat leader, she has touched thousands of lives through storytelling, visual arts, nature, prayer and meditation. Bonnie’s writing is featured on Relevant Magazine, DaySpring (in)courage, and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons. Visit Bonnie at www.thebonniegray.com and connect with her @thebonniegray on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
- 2016 Feb 23
"Jesus knew that the time had come for him
to leave this world and go back to the Father.
Having loved His own who were in the world,
He loved them to the end." ~ John 13:1
What is the one word in today's verse that speaks to you?
I could just sit and wait. I could just hold onto who I was once was and stay here -- safe, but unmoved. Unchanged.
But, there's something inside me that still remains, something so quiet, that if I ever gave myself the chance to stop -- if I ever paused long enough to look at a flower or see the winter tree branches glimmering in the sun against a blue sky -- if I ever stopped to listen, I would hear this fragile whisper in me.
This whisper is hope --
hope that I can feel something again.
hope that I can be beautiful again. from the inside. where everything that has hurt me on the outside has somehow not been able to break me.
Deep inside, you and I long to remember. We long to remember what it feels to like belong to Someone. Someone kind. Loving, Gentle. Faithful.
Deep inside, no matter how many broken twists or turns, somehow we know we were meant for more. We were meant to be loved and led. Not left to our own. Lost, confused and alone.
We were meant to be cherished and remembered. Jesus tells us He is that Someone.
Jesus whispers to your name and mine --
Let me. Love you. Beloved.
A New Journey
Today, a new journey begins for you and me. I'd like to invite you to take one step to join Jesus on a journey he walked 2,000 years ago -- a journey of the soul He is mysteriously walking new again with you and me.
It's the week two of Lent today. Do you know what Lent means?
Lent means "The Way of the Cross". In short, it means "The Way". In other words, Lent is "The Journey".
Today, you and I are going to go where Jesus is inviting us to journey. Jesus is whispering to you and me --
It might seem safe to forget what once made us happy. Or what once made us sad. Jesus understands this. That's why He whispers his story to you and me. Today.
Listen. God's Words For You. Remember.
Listen as he whispers to you now, just like he did one night in the upper room, lifting a cup and broken pieces of bread:
Remember me. Remember how far I'd go, just to be with you.
Let go of whatever you're holding onto.
Let me hold onto you instead. I'll love you to the very end. Today.
As we lower our heads in prayer tonight on Ash Wednesday, picturing Jesus staring ahead at a trail he had to walk alone one cold day, stop and listen.
What is Jesus whispering you to remember?
What Jesus is telling me today --
I understand you want to stay within the walls of safety,
where no one can hurt you, where you don't have to feel pain.
But, I want to change you. From the inside.
I want you to leave these walls that once protected you.
So you can be free to let me love you deeper. Today.
Can you feel it? Jesus is quietly, gently drawing you near to him today.
What is Jesus whispering you to remember?
Jesus invites us to remember his broken stories, so we will find the courage to step forward and journey ahead with him in new ways.
For six Wednesdays leading up to Easter -- starting this week -- I invite us to share what God shares with you during Lent. To inspire you, I'm inviting you to step into a Scripture and share one word that speaks to you and share it in the commnets. This is a soulful and creative 7 week journey to open our hearts and journey together in the Scriptures.
Our #OneWordLent Prayer Today
Lead me, Lord.
Help me to remember the journey you want me to go on.
Help me to remember you. I don't want to hold onto who I once was.
Change me from the inside.
I want to leave these walls of safety.
So I can let you hold onto you only and let you love me instead.
"Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." ~ John 13:1
What is Jesus whispering you to remember -- about yourself -- about him?
What is one word that speaks to you in today's scripture?
* Who can you share today's encouragement with?
For more encouragement, get a copy of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.
Bonnie Gray blogs at Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith in the daily grind. She has been named Top 6 Notable New Religion Authors by Publisher's Weekly and writes for DaySpring (in)courage, Revelant Magazine, spotlighted by Christianity Today and Catalyst Leadership. A UCLA graduate, Bonnie served as a missionary, ministry entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. She lives in California with her husband, Eric, and their two sons.
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