I am SO excited about today’s post.
Renee Swope is not only someone I get to serve along side with at Proverbs 31 Ministries, but she’s also someone I really look up to. She’s been with me through thick and thin in ministry, always has an ear to listen and she makes me feel like I can do anything.
And today she’s HERE [squeal!] on this little corner of the world, to share an inspiring message with us and host a special Valentine’s Day giveaway!
The Things We Do For Love by Renee Swope
I had everything I wanted yet felt empty and confused. Although my life was full of relationships and accomplishments I’d worked hard to gain, none could fill or fulfill me.
Frustrated by my aching emptiness, tears streamed down my face as I thought about the guy I dated through high school and college. Our future plans had crumbled under the pressure of me expecting him to be all I needed. I had been crazy about him — a little too crazy.
I’ll never forget the time a friend mentioned my ex-boyfriend was heading to our hometown for the weekend. We worked near each other, so Friday afternoon I parked by his office and waited for him to leave.
We both “happened” to be at the same fast food restaurant, at the same time and bumped into each other. After getting my order, I got in my car and followed behind him, hoping he’d see me, realize he couldn’t live without me and signal to pull over so we could talk.
Seriously, what was I thinking? As you can guess, he never stopped. I was hopeless and humiliated.
A few weeks later, I was taking a walk around my college campus. My eyes drifted to the buildings, dorms and other landmarks of memories. Suddenly my mind filled with a collage of faces, reminding me of my efforts to win the approval of advisors, friends and professors — hoping their affirmation could fill my emptiness.
Although I was graduating soon, had a few great job offers and achieved success in many ways, my heart still felt restless. And I couldn’t help but wonder: Why was all that I had never enough?
A thought rushed through my soul, stringing together two words I had never put next to each other, and I sensed God answering me.
Renee, all you have ever wanted is unconditional love.
Unconditional love? I didn’t know there was such a thing. Then God whispered into my soul: You’ll never find the love you long for in anyone or anything but Me. I AM the unconditional love you’re looking for.
The thought of God loving me without any conditions was inconceivable, yet something deep in my soul told me it was true. I’d been looking for love that didn’t have to be earned. Love I didn’t have to fear losing.
Honestly, it was hard to see how God’s love could fill the emptiness in my heart. It took time, but I came to understand that God created me with a need for fulfillment so He could meet it.
Proverbs 19:22a, says, “What a person desires is unfailing love.” That word “desire” comes from the Hebrew word ta’avah, which means: to greatly long for, deeply desire or crave. Interestingly, unfailing love is mentioned over 30 times in the Bible, and not once is it referencing a person. It is only attributed to God.
God gave us a desire for unfailing love because He knew it would lead us back to Him.
His love draws us to Him. Only we can stop God from reaching the deep and hidden parts within us that need Him most.
Let’s invite Jesus to look into our hearts today so He can show us what, who and where we might be looking to be fulfilled. Then let’s ask Him to fill us with the promise and reality of His unfailing love instead.
When I say… I’ll never be satisfied.
God says… Let My unfailing love satisfy the longings of your heart.
“What a [woman] desires is unfailing love.” Proverbs 19:22
Wow Renee, thank you so much for sharing this!
Ok guys, and now I have some really exciting news. Renee has graciously offered to give away 2 signed copies of her new book, A Confident Heart Devotional.
Enter to win two signed copies of Renee’s new A Confident Heart Devotional book by sharing in the comments:
If you won 2 copies, tell us about the friend you’d give one to!
Winners will be announced here on the blog on Monday.
After you leave your comment here on the blog, head over to Renee’s blog to enter this amazing contest!
ENTER the Let God Love You Contest:
Find out how you can WIN a $50 gift card, 2 additional signed copies of Renee’s devotional book, and a beautiful 8×10 print from Emily Burger Designs at www.ReneeSwope.com