Enjoy the audio version here. 🙂
It was days before last Christmas. A dark season for sure, swarming with the enemy pecking at my identity, questioning my confidence, leading me to believe that stupid “I’m too much” lie. Sitting cross-legged in our reading nook, I got real with my Heavenly Father. Because that’s where I’ve learned the best conversations come. When I do more of the listening and welcome His holding and speaking.
When He surprised with this question, I held it for a bit, tempted to over-eagerly answer with an automatic response.
Do you believe you are unconditionlly loved? came His tender voice.
Ha! Of course, I laughed. I mean, yes, I totally…
um, wait. Am I unconditionally loved?
I paused. I sat for probably ten minutes, warm lines dripping down my cheeks. I know the answer is yes, but to be honest, don’t most of us doubt we are enough unless we feel loved.
My heart clenched tight. I didn’t really believe I was unconditionally loved because the moments I let my guard down, when I messed up (often), when there was tension, it seemed love was withheld.
And then it hit me.
I’d believed my worth was based on people’s response, not a deep.faith.gut trust.
Am I alone?
When there’s awkwardness or hurt, isn’t our natural impulse to withhold love, even if we are unaware we are doing so? I can pull up too many memories where I’d jumped in the game of ‘You hurt me so I’ll hurt you.’
In that game, no one wins.
That reading nook conversation lit a spark from experiencing His love to spreading His love. He reminds daily with beautiful truths.
And I wonder if you could use an unconditional love nudge today.
Has the truth of Jeremiah 31:3 seeped deep in your marrow? Do you know without a shadow of a doubt, whether people surround or you stand alone, you are “loved with an everlasting love?” That He has “drawn you with unfailing kindness?”
Knowing you are loved because of whose you are not what you do transforms any distracting lies into a confident knowing: YOU.ARE.LOVED. Always. Unconditionally.
It doesn’t matter how you feel about your parenting.
Whether you make rockstar dinners or nuke frozen chicken nuggies in the microwave to feed hungry mouths.
It doesn’t matter if you take home an impressive paycheck, or find payment in knowing you are giving your best to your family in this season, and that your best is enough.
Whether your home is fit to eat off the floor, or afternoon sunlight catches every.tiny.dust.bunny crouching in corners, you are unconditionally loved.
Whether you are in a season of celebrating or in the pit, you are unconditionally loved.
This week I asked Him to show me His love in out-of-the-box ways.
Have you ever done this? Oh please, please do. Then go about your day and Friend, take.it.ALL.in.
God, would you wow me with your love?
Sunday night, He sat me around a friend’s dinner party and lemme tell you, I was honored to be in such company. Inspiration. Pain. Authenticity. Depth. One specific gal intrigued me. Bright. Funny. How could anyone not love her? And then she shared about a family member who is not her fan and I sensed God hug me from within. Here I was enjoying this person and someone else doesn’t? In a way, it was reassuring to realize we win some, we lose some. Through it all, His love covers our shortcomings.
He is loving me through warm honey glow hugging Pasadena mountains, smiling as the heat greets my window. Safe, glowy comfort.
He is loving me through a new friend’s tears at missing her dad, when Ty holds my hand on a neighborhood walk, through vibrant purple paint splatters on dirty concrete, and three random people texting Ephesians 3 straight to my soul. When He brings this song and this blog post and this friend front and center.
And He is whispering. Love, because I first love you.
Spread it. Offer it without expectation. Love when it’s not easy, when it’s not reciprocated, and when it’s welcomed in humble acceptance.
You see, when we know we are unconditionally loved, we love unconditionally.
Praying for you as He speaks love over and through and in you today.