I am reading this book by Lysa TerKeurst titled Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Last night I read her statement “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.” This is such a beautiful statement, but, as Lysa goes on to say in the book, it is easier said than done.
What she is referring to is living each day knowing you are loved by God, by your creator. But it brought me back to a time when my husband and I kept having the same argument. It was as if I assumed everything he said was meant to put me down, for some reason, always on the defense. Now, I have been blessed with a man who can not only keep his cool but even spout something profound when he’s angry. What he said next was a turning point in our marriage… at least for me. Amid his frustration, he said something so amazing, “I love you, when you think I am trying to put you down, remember that I love you and give me the benefit of the doubt that I am not trying to hurt you.” Those words sunk in deep.
It didn’t take long before I was feeling defensive again. He asked if there were any tomatoes in the fridge because he wanted to make his signature spaghetti. Well there weren’t, and my mind started doing it again, assuming he was upset with me. As if he would be upset with me for not picking up tomatoes when I went grocery shopping. My mind started racing with my defense. His disappointment was showing through and I took it personally. Now rationally looking back, I can see that this had nothing to do with me. He had not asked me to pick up tomatoes and I cannot read his mind. His disappointment was not with me but with the simple fact that he couldn’t make spaghetti that night. No biggie.
As I went to respond, I remembered his comment during our last fight and decided to voice my hurt feelings with the preface of “I know you did not intend to hurt me, but” and then explained how it felt like he was disappointed in me for not anticipating his needs. This was a game changer, because instead of putting him on the defense and escalating a simple statement into an all-out fight, he just saw that he had hurt me. He knew he didn’t mean to and I knew it as well but I was hurt all the same. He hugged me and reassured me that he was not disappointed in me and it was done at that.
How often do we waste energy assuming another person’s intentions? Making up a whole inner dialogue that we think the other person is having when they say or do something? The reality is that we have no idea what they are truly thinking. When I voiced what was happening in my head, I gave my husband the chance to dispel all of it. Satan no longer had power because I believed a simple statement, that my husband loved me and wouldn’t try to hurt me.
It makes a huge difference to speak to the people you love from the mindset that they love you and are not intending to hurt you. It is easy to let Satan twist people’s words or intentions in our minds and feel hurt for something that was never meant to hurt.
Going back to Lysa’s quote “Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.” There are people in this world who don’t love you, who will hurt you. I think what Lysa was trying to get at is that when you feel hurt by people in this world, you need to go the place in your mind where you know that the Creator of the Universe loves you. That He sent his Son to die on a cross for you. If someone doesn’t love you, that’s ok because you won’t need their love if you know beyond a shadow of doubt that you are loved for exactly who you are and who you were created to be.
I hope this spoke to your soul as it did to mine and you go forth with your day reminded that you are loved!