[Note: I am not using anyone's real names.]
Dear, Dear, Dear Warrior...
It's weird, standing in a room where you know so many peoples' struggles. I was in a social setting the other day, in which I looked around and saw so many people whose strengths and weaknesses I know so intimately.
Here is what I could have said.
That's Isabel; she was rejected by one of the people she loves the most. That's Evan; he showed me the scars on his wrists. That's Kristin; she has an eating disorder. That's Taylor; he rarely lets me see his heart, but when he does, I see the monsters that plague his mind.
But, no. As I observed all those around me, I was filled with one of the most incredible feelings I've ever felt.
I don't know if this feeling has a name. "Love" is probably the closest thing to describing it that I can think of, but the mere word "Love" is too vague, too weak.
It was overwhelming. It was pure. It was beautiful. It was intense and immense and indescribable, and it came over me so quickly that suddenly, my eyes were filled with tears, and my heart swelled with...well, with Him.
Because, as I looked out over the sea of individuals, I was struck with a sense of we are His beautiful creations, and He is enthralled with us. How He Loves us; oh, how He Loves us!
And it was not a matter of That's Conner; he struggles with intense anxiety. No, suddenly, it became, That's Conner; he can find rest in God, Who Loves him so dearly and delights in him.
That's Isabel; she will never be rejected by God, Who Loves her so dearly and delights in her.
That's Evan; he can be healed by God, Who Loves him so dearly and delights in him.
That's Kristin; she can be filled - truly filled - with God, Who Loves her so dearly and delights in her.
That's Taylor; he can be protected by God, Who Loves him so dearly and delights in him.
Or you can even drop all the prefixes, all the labels, and simply say, "They are Conner and Isabel and Evan and Kristin and Taylor, and their souls are deeply cherished and adored and Loved by their Creator."
You can even say, "I am __________, and He Loves me; oh, how He Loves me!"
It takes Faith. It takes Grace. It takes Hope. It takes Trust. But I am His precious child, and He Loves me...oh, how He Loves me.
And as I stood there, basking in not only God's Love for me, but also His Love for them, I knew. As unclear as my future is, as much as I honestly don't know where I'm going to go after I graduate, I know what I want to do. I want to take their hands, whether literally or figuratively, and lead them to Him. I want to bind up the broken. I want to cast light on the shadows they hide.
They are beautiful, and I Love them. I must've looked ridiculous, standing in the middle of everything and fighting tears. But I care so much, a caring that only God can give. My heart ached with it. Seeing others as God sees them...it's powerful.
And that day, and ever since, His Love has been so real. I will never give up on them, and He will never give up on them, and He will never give up on me.
How He Loves us; oh, how He Loves us...