[about the author] my name is Emily. I am a 24-yr-old graduate student from Atlanta. I'm getting my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy with specializations in Christian Sex Therapy and Addictions. While not reading one of the never-ending list of books to read I blog over at www.emilylorin.com [blog is down for a little while...come back soon!], I nanny, and I teach Zumba. I write about Christ, relationships, sex/culture, girl things, kids [not my own], love, and my cute pup, Henry [he's just an added bonus]. I love art, photography, great food, music, and baking, which are also sprinkled throughout my blog. I write to understand and to share what I've learned and am constantly learning about love and grace and life and beauty. Twitter is: @emlorin ~~~ There is a kind of spot in life that I had never considered until now: the sweet spot.

What is the sweet spot?

It is a space, a feeling. It is a way of thinking. It is a belief. The space where you live out of love and not out of fear. Where you walk the tight rope between too much and too little. Where you live out loud and with passion.

Growing up Southern Baptist, in a small town, with plenty of rules to not break so I didn't go straight to Hell, I have spent the majority of my life living out of fear.  Fear of going to Hell. Fear of disappointing God. Fear of being rejected. Fear of disappointing...anyone. (Do you know how hard it is to live life and not disappoint anyone? ...It's a pretty difficult situation.)

The problem with living out of fear is that you never get to truly live. You are never allowed to breath for fear of doing something wrong. And when that's the place you live, you sacrifice living itself. You sacrifice loving. You sacrifice intimacy. Intimacy with others and with God.

No one ever told me I didn't have to fear. No one told me I was safe and free.

“I will lie down and rest in peace, for you alone, Oh lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Don't get me wrong there is puh-lenty to be scared of in this world. Disease. Heartbreak. Abuse. Being robbed. Being abandoned. Getting into a car crash. Losing a loved one. Being mistreated by people you trust.

The point is not all the reasons we have to be fearful, but the one giant reason we are given to not be fearful: Jesus.

In light of Jesus, all other things are bearable. (I'm not saying it changes the inherent negative, painful, or otherwise, wrong nature of these things.)

This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.

This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.

You are loved. You are so deeply loved and cared for that God – GOD, God of the universe, God who created air, water, God who painted the land with beauty, God who created you – He sent His Son, His own flesh, to die for you. He paid the price so that you could live free from fear. Dear sister, you are so deeply cherished and adored. You are a jewel. You are a precious gem. You are freakin' awesome. The King “is enthralled by your beauty.” (Psalm 45:11)

And that gives you much freedom...for there is no fear in love. You are free to live beyond the restraints imposed by others. You are free to be the girl, lady, woman you were created to be – the one you want to be. You were made for a purpose. A great purpose. Your life was created intentionally and not by accident. And it was made to be lived by You and directed by You. You and Christ alone are to set the standards you live by. Not culture. Not your parents. Not your peers. Not that cute guy in class. Others' opinions and words (although may cause real pain) are not the end-all sentence on your life. You will disappoint others. You will hurt others. You will fall short of others expectations multiple times throughout your life. And that. is. okay. Your life is not to be spent in earning others' approval. Your life has been paid for at a steep price. You are worthy.

So please live within the freedom you've been granted. Don't hide behind someone else's lies. Your inherent value can neither be upped nor degraded based on the actions you make. So live in the freedom of knowing you are loved. Live a life worthy of it. Don't take second best because you're afraid “best” won't come along. Don't sell yourself short. Take the risks. Be adventurous. Think outside the box.

Find the sweet spot where you claim your value, your beauty, your worth, your perfect imperfections, your imperfect perfections, and your life and live it boldly. ...because you have been made with sweet and good intent.