You know the friend who always answers “how are you?” honestly but non-intrusively? That’s how Jeanne writes. Her blog, Where Faith and Grace Hold Hands, bids you welcome, shares an experience, and then turns the “how are you” into “How God is.” Grateful to welcome her today!
Since I was a girl, I’ve struggled with the effect of rejection on my identity. Being teased and bullied in elementary school left permanent scars on my heart and self-concept. After becoming a Christian as a teenager, I still struggled with the lie that acceptance by others—especially the popular kids—would erase the fear that I really, truly was not enough . . . that I was “less-than” most of the kids I knew.
After I married and my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family, we crafted a timeline and waited . . . and waited for a child to come into our family.
Our walk through infertility, as painful as it was, also freed me from many of the lies I’d carried from girlhood into womanhood. Lies that said, “You are less than.” “You are not enough.”
One day, as I was driving around town and lamenting to God about how much I wanted a baby, I said something to the effect of, “You must not love me as much as you love others. You give teenagers who don’t want babies a pregnancy. You give women who have four children one more. And You haven’t given me any children. Even though I’m ready to be a mom. I want to be a mom. You love them more than me.”
I could almost hear God’s response audibly. He said something to the affect of: “I love you, Jeanne. I can’t love you anymore than I do, because I already love you completely.”
My thoughts stopped, amazed.
Tears began to flow, even as I drove . . .
. . . as I absorbed His words spoken straight to my aching heart.
The biggest truth I took from that conversation is:
God loves each of His children passionately, perfectly, and completely.
As I spent time with Him in the Bible, He showed me verses that proved just what He thinks about His children.
Jeremiah 31:3—“The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.’”
Zephaniah 3:17—“The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
Psalm 139:17-18—“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with you.”
Isaiah 49: 15-16—“Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
As I meditated on these verses, I came to realize that to say He loves us less than another is to call God a liar . . . which, of course, we know isn’t true.
I suspect I’m not the only who has doubted that God really loved me. The thing is, when we take the truth of His word to heart, it revolutionizes our understanding of Him, and refreshes and deepens our relationship with Him. To know that there is nothing we can do that will cause Him to stop loving us? That is a life-truth right there. It’s when we grasp this truth that we can walk free of the condemnation that accompanies so many of us.
As I began to embrace His words to me, I released the tight hold I had on my dream for motherhood. He revealed to me the idol that it had become. I chose to trust His love for me and His plan for me. I began to see that I am His girl. We are all His children. His precious treasures. He loves us.
If you’re not sure about this, ask God to show you in His word what He has to say about you and the inestimable value He places on YOU.
What about you? If you have trouble believing God loves you no matter what, what’s holding you back? What is one life-changing lesson God has taught you?
This post is being shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup and #LifeGivingLinkup.