“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:26
I thought God hated me. For over seventeen years, I lived in my own hell of self-loathing and unworthiness. Somehow I didn't love myself, and I didn't feel that God loved me either. Sometimes I wish someone would have saved me a lot of anguish, depression, and despair by helping me to see the good in myself...by helping me to love who I was and how God made me to be...by helping me understand that God's love for me was unconditional...by helping me see that God was loving and good and not just punishing and "out to get me"...and more importantly, by helping me understand what God's love was really all about!
|After 40 years, I finally "get" God's love!|
But I now know that all of that was part of my own journey...a journey God used to help me understand His love! You have your own journey too. God wants to show you His love too!
Are you ready to receive it?
Over the past month, I felt the Lord calling me to write about being blessed in the basics---a breath, a smile, and even just plain being alive. After battling with infertility, depression and fear and after almost losing my marriage, God has taught me to be grateful for even the most basic, simplest things in life. And this week, I want to focus on God's love.
What a great week to focus on that, right? I would love for you to take a minute to stop shopping...stop wrapping...stop baking...stop cleaning...stop preparing for Christmas--the gifts, the food, the cookies, the stockings, the decorations, the songs, the shows, the movies, and the traditions and start preparing for what God wants us to focus on this Christmas...His love!
Don't get me wrong, I love all the festivities and family fun that go along with this time of year, but I also know that they can be very distracting. Warning! Warning! Cliché coming...cliché coming!
They can all be very distracting from the "true meaning of Christmas."
Seriously, though, this year in particular, after everything I've been through, I've really been in tuned to the very special reason why we celebrate Christmas! It seems that every Christmas song makes me cry. Like never before, I can't listen to Hark the Herald Angels Sing without becoming a blubbering mess. Why? Because my heart is so open, vulnerable, and truly ready to receive My King...to receive why He came to the earth as a baby...so humble...to receive why He lived in human form...to receive why He healed and encouraged and taught and prayed...to receive why He was and is the light of the world!
HE LOVED ME! HE LOVES ME! HE WILL ALWAYS LOVE ME!
Let me say it again...all along, My Father was just simply wanting to show me His love!
It's like for the first time in my life, I get it! I finally get it! I finally understand the magnitude of God's love for me! I finally understand that Christ was sent for me! Not just for everyone else...not just for the perfect people...not just for those who don't make mistakes...not just for those who have lived a flawless life...not just for those who have it all together---Christ was sent for me.
A sinner...a mistake-maker...flawed...and broken. Me!
Why? Because He loves me! God came because He loves me.
Whew! I'm so glad God doesn't hate me! He never has...He never did...He never will. He loves me so much. He loves you too! Do you know that? Do you really know that?
Let me share what I've learned about Christ's love to help you understand how much He loves you too...
His love for us is unconditional, unshakable, unmovable, undeniable...His love for us is full of grace, mercy, forgiveness...His love for us is beautiful, wonderful, good. His love for us is wise, tender, tough. His love for us is amazing, astounding, awe-inspiring!
His love for us never changes, never waivers, NEVER ENDS!
There is nothing we can do, say, think, or feel that will stop Him from loving us! His love endures forever!
Through His perfect love, I am able to appreciate myself...I am able to have confidence in who I am...I am able to love myself more than I ever have before!
I get it! I finally get it! Do you get it?
Father, thank You for helping me to finally understand that Your love endures forever. Thank You for teaching me through my trials. Thank You for helping me love who I am and for never giving up on showing me Your love. Even when I didn't want to believe it or receive it...even when I wanted to deny it and turn away from it...even when I felt unwanted or unworthy, You never let me go. You held me tight and held my hand through so many dark times in my life. I am so overwhelmed right now with gratitude because I finally accept and receive Your beautiful love! Thank you for shining Your loving light into the darkness of my life. Help me to shine, Lord, and be even more grateful for You and Your love this Christmas season! In Jesus' name. Amen.
SHARE WITH ME! Do you get God's love for you?