Weekly Devotion 10/28/22

Here's part two of the devotional message Kim Wu shared at the recent women's retreat:

Our lives are messy and complicated.  Frank Bruni, in his book, “The Beauty of Dusk,” asks us to imagine a scenario in which “our hardships, hurdles, demons, and pain were spelled out for everyone around us to see.  Each donned a sandwich board that itemized them.”

The thing we need to realize is that everyone would have something written on their sandwich board.  Illness, loss, broken relationships, financial uncertainty, loneliness.   We’re all struggling with something, whether it’s a current situation we are dealing with, or the remnants of something in our past.  Cloaking ourselves in a disguise of normalcy – or what we perceive as normalcy - is a lonely place to be and magnifies our struggles.

We need to know that regardless of what’s on our sandwich board, we are worthy of love and belonging right now, as we are at this very minute.  Not when we are a couple of sizes smaller, not when we find our soulmate, or have a baby, or when we have that perfect job, or a perfectly organized house, or when we finally feel like we are “winning” at parenting.  Or any other measure of where we think we are supposed to be.  We are made in the image of God and we are enough.

And as branches tangled up on the vine together, we are inextricably linked to each other.  It’s part of God’s design, which is why there are so many “one anothers” in the Bible:

Love one another

Be devoted to one another

Build up one another

Accept one another

Care for one another

Forgive one another

Be patient with one another

Be kind and compassionate to one another

And the list goes on

Take time to encourage each other.  Pray for and with each other.  Speak life and affirm each other, enabling the other person to see themselves from a different perspective.  In hard times, help each other remember when God has been faithful in the past.  And share scripture, as the Word of God is powerful.

Abiding in Jesus brings love and compassion into our lives, allowing us to be our authentic selves with each other - seen, heard, and valued.

I love shopping at thrift stores, and I recently found this sign with the message, “I’m Kind of a Big Deal.”  We ARE kind of a big deal.  Each one of us is made in the image of God, and as we find in John 15 verse 16, Jesus tells us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.  Go and bear fruit.”  God chose us.  God knows everything about us, and He chose us.  Don’t be afraid to claim your identify.  Don’t make yourself small.  Because you are kind of a big deal.

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