Looking back at my life, I see now that I spent so much of it looking for love.
As a little girl I wanted so desperately to earn my daddy’s approval, but he never seemed to be pleased with me. In my preteen and teenage years I wanted a boyfriend, because I thought I would finally feel fully loved and accepted. It didn’t.
In my twenties love seemed to be unreliable. Men said they loved me and yet never called again. People around me were getting married, but there never seemed to be someone right for me. People started getting divorced. I wondered if true love even existed anymore.
Once I had children I felt loved, a love that only moms can feel from their children! It’s also a love that requires more giving than receiving. It’s wonderful, but it won’t fulfill your soul–especially once they hit 12 years old, suddenly seeing you as uncool and completely incorrect about everything!
Getting married held the allure of love. It’s like a mirage that promises this wonderland, but once you reach it you realize the sand is still burning your feet and you are still thirsty. I wish I could say that marriage brought unconditional love and happiness to my life, but no. The first one left me broken from watching him destroy himself from substance abuse. The second left me fearing for my safety and that of my kids as his anger turned to violent rage. My current marriage is a daily struggle, like living with chronic pain. We are working on a cure, although love requires constant sacrifice on both sides.
Love has never been easy, never been like a Disney movie. Family has never been as happy as the Cosby Show. No matter what situation or whom we are with, we will never feel our souls are completed by human love. There are wonderful moments of romance. There are, “Mommy, I love you!” hugs that fill you to the brim with warm fuzzies. But none of it lasts forever. No one can love us completely: all our scars and secrets, our mistakes and regrets. No human can put up with everything, especially when our selfishness causes us to lash out at them or ignore them or not return their phone call because our favorite show is on.
But God can.
He is the only one that knows everything (yes, even that secret) about us and still loves us. He is the only one who doesn’t resent us when we act passive aggressive or hate the way our breath smells in the morning or get annoyed when we mess up and do that same thing AGAIN.
He is the only one who loves our very souls.
In Psalms 139 it says:
“You made my whole being. You formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old.”
God designed you and me before we were born. He had all of our lives planned out. He cared from the beginning.
To make it even better, Romans 8:35-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing. Not even us.
He delights in me.
I’m the past several years I have been on a quest to understand God’s love for me. As a child I sang “Jesus Loves Me” in church, but I never really believed He could love ME. Other people were lovable–me, not so much. But in the last several years I have been learning that His love is higher and wider and more overflowing than anything I can imagine. Here are some places in the Bible I’ve found that have opened my eyes:
Psalm 103 says He heals me, blesses me, forgives me, has compassion on me, and more.
Isaiah 43 says He chose me, calls me by name, and never abandons me when life gets hard.
Zephaniah 3:17 says He delights in me!
John 8 tells about a woman caught in adultery. The religious leaders want to kill her, but Jesus stands up for her. He loves women and treats us kindly. (Read more about Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to see how He was kind to every woman He encountered).
The Bible is full of messages to us about how He loves our souls.
He is the lover of my soul. Of your soul. He created you, designed you, and delights in you. You have a unique beauty to give to this world that no one else can give. Your creator put it in you, and He is waiting for you to turn to Him and let Him fill you to overflowing. He wants you to shine with a reflection of His love.
He is the Lover of your soul. Let Him love you.
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