I went through old photos back in November. The snapshots of me and my husband’s lives before we met were all mixed together in one giant storage bin. Despite the fact that we didn’t have any ancient “throwbacks” of us two in there, it still felt right… seeing all of our individual memories blended together as if we had been in each other’s lives from the very beginning. It filled my heart knowing those two completely different people eventually found each other, formed a family and began making new memories together.

I smiled as I journeyed through my husband’s childhood and adolescent years. I also laughed at his horrible hairstyles and texted photos to our teenage daughter so she could join in the laughter with me. As I watched him grow and evolve through each photo, my love for him grew even deeper. The front row glimpse I got into those precious moments of him serving at Teen Challenge and other various churches and events was all of a sudden so precious to me. When I once asked him about a statue he owns, he shared with me that he was recognized by his former college as “the senior who served the most.” Therefore, he was awarded with the servanthood statue as a gift. Taking a trip down the memory lane of his life showed me just how fitting it was for him. My heart is so proud of the man he has become, in spite of the dark seasons he’s faced in the past and even the ones we’ve faced together. The intensity in his pursuit of God’s heart is so deeply and powerfully inspiring to me.

As I went through my own photos, the laughter continued. I was taken back to the little pink foam curler my mom would put in my bangs every night for school the next morning. Oh, and how could I forget her flat-ironing my hair every Sunday evening as we watched Touched by An Angel? My thoughts set out to focus only on the good things and the memories, one after another, danced through my mind. Ahhh, the beautiful simplicity that lies in our youth.

Anyhow, back to present time – I found a few photos with several old friends and decided to post some of them to their Facebook walls. Soon after posting a particular photo, I received a message. The sender, a friend I use to be very close with, stated that they were involved with a relative of someone in one of my photos. They then went on to say they could use some prayer for the person they’re in a relationship with. My spirit instantly became exited for two reasons. One, because they felt comfortable enough to bare all with me in great detail after all these years. I love how they knew I would not judge them one bit no matter what they shared. It was so very encouraging to know they trusted me to take the need to God on their behalf. If there’s anything I want in this life, it’s for my love for Jesus to be reflected through my words and actions. I’m not perfect and I don’t always get it right, but when I have these moments where I realize people actually see His love in me, I could just cry. It’s such an honor to be used by our Creator. I couldn’t take that lightly even if I tried to.

Now, as I said, there were two reasons I became exited over their message and this is where it gets crazy. Prior to going through the photos that evening, I had to drop my oldest son off at the barber shop to get a haircut. On the way there, God very randomly put that same person on my heart. The right thing to do in those cases is pray, but I just brushed it off and thought nothing of it (bad little Christian, I am hehe). Nevertheless, God still brought them to me. So, I haven’t talked to them in while, then they are randomly placed on my heart and not even a full hour later, I receive a message from them. Let that sink in for a minute.  Who would have known that diving into a bin of old photos would have led to me getting to tell an old friend about how special they are in the eyes of God? I even got to share with them how He brought their name to me soon before they reached out. As I chatted with them, I was so blessed by God’s passion for getting their attention.

Just tell them how much I love them….

As I type this, the song reckless love of God plays through my mind. In fact, I can’t even listen to it without crying. The lyrics just refresh my spirit in the most indescribable way.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away….

What a beautiful moment it was for me to witness God’s love personally chasing this friend down. I’d be here all day if I shared all the times He’s put someone on my heart at just the perfect time, given me dreams and visions that came eventually came to pass and so on.  I don’t say that boastfully either… it’s all by His hand and without Him, I am absolutely nothing.

I want you (yes you) to know this: That overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God is after you too. Even if you already have a flourishing relationship with Him, this is still for you too. Let it be a reminder of what He did to get to you. Not to mention all the things He did that we don’t even know about. He is always moving, out in the open and behind the scenes.

So smile big today.  He says you’re worth it….

The bible is rich in powerful wisdom, beautiful analogies and inspiring stories that help us to better understand God’s character and successfully grow in the midst of life’s ups and downs. There are so many more scriptures that tie into what I shared today, but I will leave you with this one for now.
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?” – Matthew 18:12
I encourage you to mediate on it throughout your week. Study the context. In addition, pray for God to show you exactly how you can apply it to your life now. Nothing is too small for Him to use; you just never know what He’s up to! And as always, I am on this journey with you so let’s do this!