The Greatest Gift is love…

The Greatest Gift.

A dear sweet friend of mine attended the Allume conference back in October. When I found out she was there, I shared my excitement with her, and told her how I was hoping to go, but things hadn’t worked out. I told her, if she got a chance to hug Ann Voskamp that she just had to! And she had to hug her for me! It was a serious request! Heh.

The next week, my friend came to my office for a visit. She presented me with a bag. Inside the bag was my very own copy of The Greatest Gift, Ann’s new book. Then, my friend asked me to stand, and she very precisely gave me a hug. I mean, this was the most particular hug! As she had me pulled into her embrace, she said, “Ann told me to hug you just like this!”  I wanted to weep. Never. Not once has a hug been delivered with so much intent and it was just for me. Ann didn’t say to go hug Sally just like this. Or to go hug Mindy just like this. She said to hug me just like this. My dear friend was obedient. She did her very best Ann hug and it touched my soul.

In this season I’ve been walking, I find that I feel more broken and pulled apart than I am ever bound together. Like I’m always one good cry away from being totally undone. That hug helped. Not just the hug, but the heart of my friend for seeking out this woman for me and, in return, that woman taking the time for details. Just for me.

Oh! One of the best surprises was when my friend said to open the book. I did… and there it was… 1426456_10202368374269146_813038089_n

“Stephanie, You are so wildly loved. All is grace. Ann Voskamp”

Do you know what it feels like to be wildly loved? It’s unconditional. Unfailing. Unmoving. Unwavering. Undeserving.

There is nothing keeping His love from us, but us. He doesn’t withhold, we do. He doesn’t stop pursuing, we do.

He wants to have our hearts so that He can fill our hearts! When we have full hearts, we pour out for others.

We, you and me, are created by God. YOU are His masterpiece. YOU are His lovely. YOU are His very precious child. Think about that. Masterpiece. That can’t be taken lightly! We were created to be loved and to love.

1 John 3:1 (ESV) See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV) The Lord your God is in your midst,  a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness;  he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV) 4 But[a] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the “so wildly loved” phrase for quite some time now. Just think on it. Pray on it. Be still and listen. Listen to how He speaks to your heart when you just come to Him from your softest place.

Allow His love to penetrate your heart. Your broken pieces. Allow His love to hold you together.

Be wildly loved!

3 thoughts on “The Greatest Gift is love…

  1. I am so proud to call you my daughter, You have taught me so much about believing in God! I am hoping it started in your youth, took a brief vacation and now you are growing with His words…we all are blessed if we just let Him showered us with his words and love. Now I know why you sent me her 1000 Gifts package. Thank you so much for being you, Mom

    1. I love you, too, Momma! It’s been a long journey, for us both, hasn’t it? And, now.. here we are. Both standing WITH Christ! Praise God… He was relentless with His pursuit! =]

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