Totally Loved

Samaritan’s House Luncheon with my mom, Abby & Taylor Armstrong

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you had a fabulous 3-day weekend!  We were in Virginia Beach and had the most amazing, relaxing time.  It was one of those weekends where I found myself constantly thanking God for each little thing, because I felt so incredibly blessed. 

In addition to long walks with my mom and sisters, coffee, quality niece time, and some great beach days, I definitely embraced the “beach reads.”  I’m embarrassed to admit that I devoured not one, but FOUR trashy magazines.  My dad came downstairs and saw them all strewn about and said, “What is all this trash doing over here?!”  To which I replied, “Oh Dad, it’s not trash, they’re magazines,” totally missing his joke and thinking he was talking about literal trash, when he meant it in a figurative sense…oh, T-Rob! 

Another book that had me turning pages was Real Housewife of Beverly Hills cast member Taylor Armstrong’s new memoir called Hiding From Reality about her abusive relationship and the tragic death of her former husband.  Last Thursday, I heard Taylor speak about domestic violence at an event for Samaritan’s House in Virginia Beach and though I had my reservations, I was impressed with her poise, presentation, and strength.  I also expected to see an overly skinny, nipped and tucked Beverly Hills girl, but what I saw was a gracious, polite, and beautiful woman.

Anyways, this isn’t a book I would usually pick up, but since I got to meet her, I was slightly more intrigued.  Plus, we had to buy the book so she could sign it.  The book is by no means a beach read, it’s a sad, sad story.  While I’m only 100 pages in, what’s struck me so far is Taylor’s desperation for a man’s acceptance. 

She recounts warning signs of her husband’s abusive tendencies–even as early on as their first date, but she had convinced herself that he was perfect, he was her prince, and she had to do whatever it took to make it work.  And while on the outside looking in, it’s easy to point fingers and tell her to run for the hills, when you’re in the thick of it, it’s a lot harder to do. 

On a MUCH smaller scale I was once in a relationship where I completely changed myself to fit the mold of a girl I thought he would like–he said he liked black, so I wore black (even though brown is WAY more flattering on red heads), he said he thought girls were prettier in minimal make-up, so me, the girliest of girls, limited myself to clear mascara and concealer.  I even changed my music tastes and the books I was reading to try to impress him, so when things were finally over, I didn’t even know who I was anymore.  Girls, why do we do this?!   

As I’m continuing to read her book, my heart is sad, because Taylor, like SO many women, convinced herself that she needed a man’s acceptance to feel happy and complete, when what she really needed is Jesus.  Or we tell ourselves we need to change ourselves for full acceptance and love.

I say this often, but if we’re looking for a man to complete us, no matter how perfect they are, we are going to be disappointed.  Because we’ve been wired to need for Jesus above all else, and no man, no matter how good he appears on paper, can truly meet those needs.

In God, we are loved with an everlasting love, that will never be matched.  He and He alone sees us for who we really are and fully accepts, forgives, and loves us.  There’s no walking on egg shells, there’s no changing who we really are, He. Just. Loves. Us. 

That’s a truth that, no matter how many times I hear it, continues to blow my mind.  Sometimes I just can’t believe it, but be encouraged today, because you, my sweet friend, are incredibly loved. 

I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
   Expect love, love, and more love!
Jeremiah 31:3