#fmfpartysnailmail Linkup – Encouragement

you are loved
It takes about an hour and a half to get there. Along the way, the usual twists and turns present themselves to me. But as I get closer to my destination there are secret messages that I find displayed.

Driving under an over past I see ‘I love you’ scrawled in graffiti marks, and my heart quickly skips a beat. There are several other encouraging messages scrawled on subsequent bridges but this is the one that lingers.

The next day, before heading to the funeral, I take myself down to the water’s edge. Water has always had a cathartic effect on me, and I know that today is a day that I can use its comforting. I make my way to a park I’ve previously never set foot on. Its the middle of a weekday and I’m surprised to see several people on the foot path and fishing off the pier. My eyes land on the sand along the shore and I make my way to the waters edge. I spend some time in prayer, seeking God’s peace as I anticipate the sadness and mourning to come. I take a moment to walk along the waters edge.

Stepping carefully around remnants of sandcastles and lake refuse left on the shore, I stumble upon a message scrawled earlier in the sand. ‘I love you’ it declared in vibrant, upper-case letters. My soul that had been so thirst for a word from God drank in these words and I took a picture to memorialize it.

Posting it on facebook, I hoped that the words would also bring hope and a bit of joy to those who viewed it.

After attending the funeral, I made my way back along the driving corridor from where I had come. Stopping off to get a drink and to take a bit of a walk, I checked my Facebook messages and saw one from a dear soul sister. Opening it up, my heartbeat began to quicken. And tears came to my eyes, and a couple escaped and made their way down my cheeks.

There in written form was a message that she said God had whispered to her waiting heart, and it was directly for me. I was attending a retreat in a couple of days. Gathering together with sisters to seek the Lords face in a quiet state park and I wasn’t sure what I was going for, but community and peace in the midst of nature called my name. My dear sister in the Lord shared with me that God had directly spoken to her words that needed to be shared with my heart.

The words – – YOU.ARE.LOVED.

and my friend referenced the fact that when she had heard that word from the Lord she had pondered it deep, and upon checking her own Facebook feed and seeing my post about the words written in sand, she had felt compelled to share those words with my heart.

I made my way to the retreat. Gathering together with several sisters who had been previously unknown to me, but who soon came to be near and dear. A weekend seeking the Lord and waiting to hear from Him can do that for you. And as we indulged in playing with our art journal’s on Saturday my heart was full with all the things that God was speaking to my heart. I had several amazing conversations where He was just pouring out his love and healing in my life. Sunday morning dawned, and sadly we were going to each make our way home. As we celebrated in worship, I felt compelled to work on some artwork and made my way to the craft supplies.

As my hands rifled through the implements, my eyes landed on some stamps that had previously missed my perusal. Turning them over to read the messages, my hand and my heart stilled as I read MY words staring back at me ‘You.Are.Loved’…and I knew in that moment and He was speaking to me…had been reaffirming this in me and in things that people had been sharing with me. I grabbed the stamp, slathered it with ink and laid those words deep onto a page. I knew they were mine, I wanted to leave an impression.

And so as I have stepped forward in this, I find myself being reminded in the twists and turns of life that indeed these words ring heart and soul deep true. I have shared these words with others, and have no idea the impact that they have had on their lives. But I know that when I see them, when I share them….that my soul breathes deep of the reality that this love is completely undeserved and yet lavished upon me in generous portions. I pray that in some part that by sharing this message that God has so deeply used to make a difference in my life, that perhaps those same words will speak deep into the soul of another.



1 thought on “#fmfpartysnailmail Linkup – Encouragement

  1. Yes, yes, you are, Janel. I’m breathing in this beauty, of all the customized ways and the seemingly small, quirky lengths to which God will go to send these messages – the ways he did for you. We cannot fathom the depths and ludicracy of a God who would go the cross for us, it’s so beyond huge. And yet, here he is, going above and beyond again, sending love notes through graffiti and writing in the sand, through a friend’s message and a rubber stamp – and though all this is so piddly in comparison with how he’s already shown his love, somehow our hearts melt at the intimacy of this. Because he still sees us, still reaches out for us, still goes after us. And this, truly, is breathtaking. LOVE you, friend.

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