it has been a busy season of life. i have been in loudoun a total of half a weekend this month. between YL trips, weddings and impulse trips to see my wonderful boyfriend, i have not been here much. that has left me feeling not ready to face the weeks on monday, and having a hard time catching up on being rested. this weekend i went and helped Josh and his friend Mike run program (the silly characters up front) at a weekend trip for some high school kids. josh asked me, "what do you think now that you saw your boyfriend make an idiot of himself?" well, he did wear a tiny muscle shirt and a silly wig, but i'm so proud of him. He loves Jesus and cares about kids to make them laugh. to point them to Christ. We got a few minutes to chat before I had to leave and it was good. we are different. we know that. both of our love languages are time spent, so when he came and surprised me for my birthday, i felt like the most important person in the world. and i hope as i drove down to vb at 10pm on thursday, that josh knew how important he is to me. he teaches me to be myself. to feel the freedom to be exactly who God created me to be. he helps me realize that i don't have to be perfect. that i am not called to perfection. that i am allowed to mess up. to own emotions that might be "unattractive" in my eyes. he is so free. i am so thankful for him. he has become my best friend.
another thing i have been reminded is that i can't earn God's love. sounds pretty simple, even as i type it, i'm thinking, "duh margaret." After hearing two YL progression talks on back to back weekends (person of Christ, our condition of sin, the cross, and the resurrection) i am so reminded of this. that sin wall between me and God, I have no power to break that down on my own. No amount of good things, going to church, or even working for the Lord in ministry can move that barrier. it's only Jesus. and what He chose to do for me on the cross. And he loves me as much as he possible could, right now because He made me. AND I CAN'T DO A THING TO EARN IT. I don't have anything to earn. He loves me. God can't love me any more than He already does, and God won't love me any less. I have been letting that sink into my bones. That I would know and live out of a response to how loved I am.
I can't wait for thanksgiving. I am excited to go home and to be with my sister and my dad. and my dear friend, megan, from texas will have a murphy/baker virginia thanksgiving. i will treat her to all things charlottesville like Bodo's bagels, meeting my dog Smooch, a walk around UVA perhaps, and sleeping in. and my dad will probably spoil us. And I am extra thankful this time of year. November is a hard month- would have been my parents anniversary, my mom has been gone for 12 years. It is sad. But I am being reminded to choose joy. to let myself feel all the emotions, that they are ok. But I choose joy.