My siblings and I loved to play make-believe games, our afternoons full of adventures on the seas and high up in trees, never leaving our front porch. My dreams were filled with fantasy, with flight.
As I've gotten older I have outgrown make-believe swordfights and dressing up like Peter Pan, but I've never stopped loving this idea of flight, this beautiful freedom, high above and beyond and away from everything. Flying free.
I love birds, I love feathers. In every questionnaire or get-to-know-you game asking what your superpower would be, I say flying. Wings or no, I don't care, I just want to fly.
A few weeks ago I was talking to God about this. My soul felt so heavy, I felt weighed down by the stress, drama, and unknown of life. I told God I just wanted to be free, just wanted to live and love and not worry and stress, but I didn't even know where to start.
He told me He wanted that too, for me to be free. He told me he wanted that for me even more than I wanted it for myself. And He told me what I already knew, but had never fully heard or accepted...
That the only way I could ever be fully free was to know His love.
Just know it.
Just be loved.
I know God's love is the most important thing, the driving force to my life. I know that. But I also tend to more use God's love as a means to an end. I know that God's love provides freedom.
By knowing God's love and accepting myself as loved by Him, I am free to unconditionally love others, because what they think, how they perceive me, whether they like or love me in response, ceases to matter. I'm loved for who I am, not because of anything I've done to deserve it, simply because of God's great grace, and so I am free to love others in return, whether they deserve it or not. But I often see accepting God's love as a means to do this. I have to know I'm loved so I can love others better, so I can serve better, so I can be more selfless. It's not about God, it's about me and what I do.
So God tells me, "Katy, you just need to know I love you!"
And I say, "Yeah! So I can love and serve and be a better person, right?"
God told me no. No, I don't need to know I'm loved so I can do things, so I can be a certain person, so I can accomplish goals. I need to know I am loved to know I am loved.
Here is what I know now.
It's not about accepting love so we can become something or someone. Yes, God cares about what we do and who and how we love, but that isn't the ultimate thing He cares about.
Quite simply, He loves us. And He wants us to know we are loved. Fully, unconditionally.
I believe our greatest desire as humans is to be fully known, and completely loved by someone who knows us fully. But I also believe that is our greatest fear. It is terrifying to be fully known because that means someone sees and knows every single flaw, every bad moment or tendency.
But when we have that love, we are really free. There's nothing you can say or do that will change the outpouring of love you have received because that person knows you can loves you all the same, all the more.
When we know we are freely and fully loved, we are free to be loved. And that's the point. That's what it's all about, being loved by Someone who knows every flaw, every weakness, every imperfection, and says, "I love you. You are beautiful, you are precious, you are Mine. And I died for you to know that, that I love you."
And so we live to be loved. And in that love, we are free.