Surprised Love

I have only been thrown two surprise birthday parties and one surprise party in my life.  The first was when I turned 20, the second was on my 25th birthday, and the third was when I won the title of corresponding secretary for Student Senate in college.  Another best gal pal of mine planned, Gemma. Despite loving surprises, there is always a little part of you that knows….something is going on.

My first birthday surprise was thrown by one of my best gal pals Tiffani.  Out of all of my friends, she is top two in the most organized planner I know. If you are thinking that I am number one, you are sweet but no…not me.. that would be Meghan. ( I mean the girl graduated from college with two degrees in three years! Amazing!) Anyway, Tiffani organized this shin-dig in the basement of our dormitory with cake, ice cream!, music and fun-loving friends! I had no idea and I felt so loved! I actually shared the surprise with our friend Clover since we are born ten days apart. Thanks so much Tiff!!!

My second surprise birthday party was crafted by my (incredible) Mom!  All I remember is my sister Natasha saying I needed to get dressed to look “cute” because we were going to my Aunt’s salon and then to hang out.  I remember walking up the steps and seeing shadows of people with the lights turned down low. (hint…hint) I, of course, had a look of extreme surprise on my face when I opened the door!  It was an amazing night of dancing with my sisters, laughing, and hanging with my family.  The place was crowded!  The third surprise party was a real surprise.

I was absolutely deceived by another one of my best gal pals and my Bible Study partner for three years, Rebekah!  She dooped me into going over to one of the dorms because they were have a worship service there that evening.  I love to sing and to worship…so basically she had me!  We always have so much fun singing and practicing songs together.  Anyway, I walked down into the basement and through the corridor thinking I would hear piano…guitar…singing…only to hear….SURPRISE!!! I was!  People were jumping out from everywhere to wish me congratulations on my new position!  I felt very supported and truly loved to see so many people in attendance.  The room was bursting with friends, freshmen students I had mentored, bible study participants, and classmates who came to celebrate me.  I felt so encouraged, supported, and loved.  Even though I know that the people that have supported me over the years love and care for me, it was shown even more in the action.  The thought that was acted out…the planning to ensure that I knew this was all for me!

(Side note: Don’t I have some of the BEST gal pals in the world!!!)

Surprised love? Surprised love!  That’s how I feel about God’s love towards me…surprised!

Psalm 18:19-20 says: He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved–surprised to be loved! God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. (MSG Bible)

I read this passage over the weekend and these verses just stood out to me.  In my journal I began to write:

I am not overlooked but sought after.  God’s chosen is His beloved. I have a private audience with the King…the King of my Heart <3! My free and freeing God!  Regardless of any of my faults, God has set aside what He desires for me!  My God sets things right for me!

I can think of a zillion reasons why I am unworthy of His love but He loves me with an everlasting love.  There’s nothing I can do to stop His love…except NOT to receive it!

What do you do with that? A love that comes out of nowhere but its sole intention is to ensure you that in His heart is your heart. I am thankful for His love.

His love causes me to love others.

His love causes me to show others how to love.

His love causes me to love myself.

Sometimes in this human experience we are broken only to be put back together by the one who loved us first.  I’d rather be cultivated in God than left to my own devices.  When I am cultivated in Him, I can live out my purpose, love His people, and leave a legacy of love behind.

My hope for all who read this is to know that you are LOVED by the Father.  We are never without His love…of this we can be certain!

Thank you for sharing this MOMENT with me!! I look forward to sharing more moments with you as you meander through my little snapshot of the world!!

Smile,

Shayla ❤

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