"I Am My Beloved's

and my beloved is mine." SOS 6:3, this is such a famous verse, but what does it really mean? Reading Henri Nouwen's book Life Of The Beloved a couple of years ago changed my life, truly! I have read it 4 times and have listen to all the 8 sermons on youtube over and over. He is so cute! If you get the chance, either read the book or watch the sermons. There are 8 short ones, so you could break up your time.

There is a reason this verse and truth is life changing for me. I come from a broken home, (not entirely, but there was a lot of dysfunction), that did not live for Jesus. My dad was an alcoholic and life was tough for us because of that and financially we struggled. My parents divorced when I was 18. I still did enjoy a lot of my childhood. I have fond, happy, fun memories!

My issues with self worth began way earlier, at the age of 4 to be exact. I was sexually abused when we lived in California by my babysitters brother. It is not necessarily easy to share this but I think it's essential. Because I hope that my openness in sharing my stories will offer courage and hope to others.

I also was bullied in grade school, so much to the point that boys would punch me in the stomach and try to set my hair on fire. Girls would also hunt me down at my flag corner and want to beat me up. I remember countless days leaving my corner early so they wouldn't get me.
Ever since I can remember, and even still today, I have felt misunderstood and like I don't have a place in this world. Almost like I wander around wanting to feel loved and accepted, and looking for a place to belong.

I experienced a few other sexual abuse situations, and they have all rocked me to my core. Abuse is an extremely tough, detrimental thing because it basically says, "You're garbage, you aren't good enough to be treated properly, you are trash and worth nothing in this world." And that is exactly how I have lived until I met my Jesus. And this is exactly why Henri Nouwen has changed my life so so much. God used him to communicate His love to me in a way I might not have ever gotten through the bible alone. Meaning, I am/was so scarred, that I needed more, I needed any ways I possibly could to get the Truth of who I am. Because it was taken away from me at such a young age.


Being the Beloved of God means we first claim this as Truth. That is the first step. Because throughout life we are constantly trying to figure out who we are. But we are only ONE thing, the Beloved.

We are not what we do, we are not what we have, we are not our accomplishments or educational background. We are not our health. We are not what people do to us or what they say about us. None of this is who we are. We are simply and profoundly God's child and He fully defines us and loves us.

We have to hear this not only with our minds but with our whole hearts. We have to daily bob and weave the Deceiver's lies. The more we do this the more and more we will become who we were meant to be.

As we start to accept this and believe it, we will eventually stop searching for our identity in numerous other places/people. All of our identity will be met in Christ. We can only live it when we re-claim it continually. Rejection in this life in all forms is the perfect opportunity for us to keep re-claiming our Belovedness. God is the only One that can satisfy. Any other love or thing will fall short.

I am not bound to what the abuse did to me, I am not defined by it. And I actually have forgiven the crimes. That took me years of therapy and hard work. But I have. Because God forgives them.

When I claim the Truth that I am the Beloved of God, I am free! It's simply knowing, accepting, believing, remembering and living in the Truth of who we are in God. Being the Beloved means we are Gods and Gods only.

We find all of our worth in Him completely. We live under that Truth, day in and day out. It's like I'm covered in this so I can live, because otherwise I am paralyzed by what has been done to me and what is misunderstood or thought of me. And I do not want that kind of life. I only want to live in the Truth of who I am, and that is loved, unique, beautiful, and more precious than rubies, in God's eyes.


I even treated myself to my first tattoo when I was in Greece last Fall:


This might seem so simple, but I wanted to share it with you just in case you hadn't quite heard it this way, because I know I am not the only one out there that has been abused physically, sexually or even verbally.

It wasn't until realizing this Truth that I believe I had special place in this life. I honestly believe I didn't up until just a few years ago.

We are constantly, everyone, needing to call to mind that we are the Beloved. Life is so confusing and painful that we all need to hear it. We can know this of ourselves and we can bless others with this Truth. I have told so many people that they are the Beloved, and they have literally cried! It's a blessing to be able to bless others with the blessing of knowing this. Tell anyone you can, honestly it will bless them and you.


24 comments:

  1. Gina your words and encouragement are so beautiful.
    love you beloved.

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    1. Kelly I so appreciate you and thank you for reading, it wasn't easy to share, xo

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  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. Your tattoo is beautiful.

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    1. thank you kate, so so good to hear from you, i so appreciate you!

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  3. Thank you for this post. So so much.
    Ngaio May xx

    PS - if you haven't before, listen to the song Beloved by Tenth Avenue North. It is so beautiful.

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    1. Thank you so much Ngaio for the song suggested, wow!

      thank you for reading xo

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this Gina. It is beautiful, precious and so, so TRUE! The funny thing is that I have been planning to get a tattoo and have been looking for just the right word to either put on my wrist or top of my foot. As I was reading this post I was overwhelmed with "this is it!! Beloved!". Then to scroll down and see that you got it tattoo'd was so awesome! What a wonderful reminder of our identity in Christ.

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    1. Oh Erin, I hope you get the tatt!!! Go for it! And thank you for your comment ;)

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    2. I'll send you a pic of it once it gets done. I'm on a weight loss journey right now and my reward to myself will be the tattoo. 25 more pounds to go.

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    3. Oh Gina, this song just came to me as I was looking for tattoo design inspiration for "beloved". It's by Tenth Avenue North. Have you heard it? I just love it and it fits with this beautiful truth.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-Nbt8lCJrk

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    4. Erin, yes please do, I'd love to see it, and Yes oh yes I have heard that song, boom boom pow!!!! So have you read this Henri Nouwen book I'm talking about?

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    5. No, I haven't. But, I will definitely be looking for it soon!!!

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  5. Gina,
    Thank you.
    THIS is why BR exists.

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    1. TFE (tear filled eyes) YOU are a blessing.

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  6. Yes! I am His Beloved One and He is mine!

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  7. this is sweet. in the best, sincere way. thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Julia! I appreciate it and know what you mean :)

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  8. Thank your sharing so beautifully. For your openess and truth. Yes we must bob and weave and hold dear to our belovedness. You are beloved and cherished..thank you. Ai

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    1. Aimk, thank you for reading and for encouraging me...you are so right, hold on tight and near to our Belovedness, how else would we get through?

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  9. Praise the Lord for your testimony of redemption. Thank you for sharing, Gina!

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    1. Ruth, I thank you for reading, it's not always easy to share, but our suffering is our story, and God calls us to share and with His strength and our willingness, we are able, because He is able!! I so appreciate your encouragement and support!

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  10. Thank you Gina for being real! I love the look on your face as you're getting your tattoo, it says IT ALL! Beautifully written!

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  11. Thank you, friend! You inspire with your courage and faith! We have so much to be thankful for as his Beloved!!!

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  12. Gina,

    Wow sister! Thank you for sharing your heart and your testimony. You are such an inspiration to me and the Lord shines so beautifully through you. I pray that someday we get to share a cup of coffee or tea in person. I am so blessed that the Lord brought us together as friends.

    I love you,

    shelley

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