When I think of that word in context of a woman…
I think someone who is begging for love, who is hopeless, who is driven to extremes - who is so far gone that she will do anything to get what she needs…
She is someone I do not want to be.
I want to be a strong woman.
I want to be self-sufficient.
I want others to look at me and know I do not need them.
I do not want to be desperate for attention.
I do not want to be desperate for love.

Yet, all too often...
That is exactly who I am.
And I have hated myself for it…
And I have hated those women who are just like me.
I see them everyday…
from young teenage girls, to young women, to older women.
Looking for acceptance and love in all the wrong places.
I see it in their eyes…
And I just want to cry out

But my lips don’t move…my mouth dries up…my heart stops…
Because I allow myself to hear the lie…
“you can’t say anything…because you are just like them.
You are no better than they are”
Oh god, wretched sinner that I am…
Then the smallest…tiniest whisper happens..
So small a voice that I must concentrate to hear it…

In him….in my Jesus….I have redemption through his blood!
the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
[Ephesians 1:7]

Yet the whisper is drowned out by the lies…
the lies that flaunt, that scream, that so position themselves as to capture my full attention…again.
And again.again. again.
And instead of love, I am filled with despise.
Because I see the women who are just like me
And knowing that there is a LOVE that is greater…
I have not allowed it to change me,
And…I become less than they are.
They are unaware.
I am just rebellious.

These are the thoughts that I struggle with… day in and day out.
I know the Truth.
It is all head knowledge

.…for God so loved the world…
…saved by grace…
…through Jesus Christ…
…more than conquerors…
…broken and contrite heart…
…Love that is stronger than death…

A Love…
That is…
stronger than death.
I am driven to find that verse again…
To let its balm heal the wounds of my soul

…Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.
[Isaiah 8:6-7]
Thank you, God….for a love that will never end.
As I sit and just again meditate on those verses…
timeless verses that never fail to bring me joy or hope…
The verse I memorized in conjunction with this…
Is stirred again in my mind…

A story of a prostitute…
Joined with a man of God.
She continually left Love
To sleep with lust.

A story of Israel
Forsaking their Love
For cheap wine
And short-lived pleasure.

Yet God…with a love that is not quenched…
With a fire that is most vehement…
Could not be persuaded from pursuing his Bride…
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
“ And it shall be, in that day,” Says the LORD,
“ That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’
And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’
For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
In that day I will make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth,
To make them lie down safely.
“ I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD.
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
Then I will say to those who were not My people,‘ You are My people!’
And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”
[hosea 2:14-20;23]

Oh that I would [know] the Lord, my God.
that the names of Baal would be removed from my mouth…
and I shall remember their names no more.
that no longer will i call him master...
but instead...my husband!
the celebration of my soul and the longings of my heart.

When I think of this word in context for God…
This is who I want to be.
Hopeless without God, driven to extremes to know His character, desperate for His love, and Willing to do anything to get to know this Love.
I want to be so consumed that the lies are drowned out by the whisper…

The timeless Truth will prevail.

I was bought with a price [1 corinthians 6:20]
He has engraved me in the palms of his hands [isaiah 49:16]
I am loved with an everlasting Love [jeremiah 31:3]

His Love is poured out freely.

I shall never stop saying…
Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you.

[how many times have I written about these verses, only to learn more and more again and again? Thank you, Shan, you are the one who first showed me these two in particular.]