Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Listen To My Heart

God has been putting something on my heart lately. It's about you, so I thought I would take the time to share it with you. It is not something that most people say, so I hope you won't take it the wrong way. But I hope you will know that it comes from the deepest, remotest part of me.

I love you. Yep, you read that right. I love you.

Yes you, the one sitting at the computer still in this morning's pjs. You who have coffee stains on the front of your shirt. You who are trying to figure out what to make for dinner... I love you all. You are adorable and delightful in my eyes.

Yes you, the one trying to find a moment's peace over the summer break, with kids running everywhere, whose hair is now shorter just from pulling it out.

I love you - the one who really can do all things, be all things to all people, the ones who really know who they are and where they are going. You give me hope that I too can achieve such lofty goals.

You, the one who sits at work, wishing to be somewhere else, I love you.

I especially love you working moms. I know the struggle you face each day of holding two jobs - full time employee and full time mom. It's tough, but you can do it.

You who are rich I love, not because of your money, for that doesn't define you. I love you because you are worth more than gold.

I love you who are poor and I don't mean the charity love, but the love that knows that even though times are tough, you smile and have faith that God will keep you in the palm of your hands.

I love you all. It makes no difference your religious (or lack of religious) background. I love you no matter your race, sex, political view, whether you are straight ot gay, whether you agree with my views or not. You are valued beyond measure to me.

You who are young and think that no one notices you, that you are unimportant - think again. I love you with all of your mistakes, all your growing pains, all your blemishes. (And just for the record, time can help you to forget the mistakes, pains and blemishes. You will be able to look back and see who beautiful you are now.)

I love you who look perfect but feel empty inside. Your beauty runs deeper than your pretty eyes and flawless skin. I love you for the being within you, the precious you that the skin and hair covers.

I love you, the shy one, the one who thinks "Nobody likes me" or "I'm not pretty enough" or "I don't look/act like everyone else." Those are lies that you need to remove from your mind. I like you, I think you're stunning and I'm glad you aren't like everyone else. How boring would that be!

Those who cannot love yourselves? I love you too, for you need to know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made. That it is only in receiving and accepting love that you can ever know true happiness. If you cannot love yourself, then you cannot accept that others find you radiant and cherishable.

Those who are single, I love you. You are so precious to me. Don't think that because no one is bound to you in marriage that you aren't important to others.

For those of you who are married and madly in love with your spouse, I love you. Thank you for the example you give to me.

For those of you who are in marriages that are loveless, please hear that you are loved by me. May you let God rekindle the fire within you that drew you together.

For you single parents, I love and respect your commitment to raise your children without the help of a spouse. Thank you for being such an example of strenghth.

I love you, you who have had an ugly past, who have made some bad calls, who regret decisions along the way. Those things don't define you. They just are markers that I call experience. I love you despite/because of them. (By the way, no one in this world today has had a perfect past. Please don't let yours keep you from loving and accepting the love of others.)

Unwed mothers, I love you and I praise you for taking the hard road and not the "easy" way out.

Those of you who are longing for children, I love you and pray that God will fill you with peace as you hope for a child of your own.

Those of you who are homeless, I love you. Having no place to lay your head doesn't make you less valuable that the person with one. May others who know you are there, see you and give you a helping hand of kindness.

Those of you who are sick, I love you and pray that your pain will end, that you will be healed, and that you will find comfort in the arms of those caring for you.

I love you my dear sister in Christ who is angry with me for speaking words of love to you. You didn't want to hear them, but that doesn't mean they didn't need to be said. I pray that God will soften your heart and see that you are not being judged, just being loved.

I love you who are struggling with your purpose, your reason for being, you who are wondering if you are important in this life. You are so important! You are so needed! You are loved more than you know, even if you cannot see it right now.

And for those who I have hurt or have not actively shown my love, for those I have judged and found failing, for those who do not equate Shalee with love, please forgive me and let me try again. I am just a struggling, imperfect person who wants so desperately to have a do-over to get it right.

To all of you, and to those who I did not name, I freely give you my heart and ask for you to accept it. You don't have to return your love to me. This is a love with no strings attached, no conditions. It's a gift to you whether you take it or not. If you don't want it, don't worry. It's not a limited, one-time offer. It will be right there if you change you mind.

People just don't take the time to show love - real, honest-to-goodness, you-are-more-important-than-me kind of love anymore. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. It needed to be said... and you really needed to hear it.

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