Does God Love Me?
How many times have you heard this: God loves you. We hear it in church and we read it in books. My response, and perhaps yours, has been to wonder, “Is that true for me?”
Many of us see ourselves as ordinary women who are constantly messing up. We yell at our kids or husband and get frustrated with our in-laws. The house is a mess. On Sundays, we are surprised if we can put together a decent outfit before we leave home! We often arrive at church without an ounce of any kind of spiritual feeling left in our body.
I’m going to go out on a limb to state that, even though we feel so very unspiritual, God loves each of us. After years of struggling, I began to embrace this truth.
I grew up thinking that the only way God loved me was if I was a good girl and followed ALL the church rules. God’s love wasn’t on my radar. Life was all about doing it right, being perfect. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was five, and even then it wasn’t about love. It was about wanting to go to heaven.
I consistently feel there’s an elephant on my back (probably purple so it can’t be missed!). It’s the sum of all my fears, worries, insecurities and that “not good enough” feeling.
As He often does, God sent a book my way called Let Prayer Change your Life by Becky Tirabassi. The author suggested reading a Psalm each day and then writing a thank you prayer to God. I tried, but it didn’t work for me. What was life-changing was what happened next...
Instead of writing out a prayer, I started highlighting verses about God’s character: unfailing love (Psalm 13:5, NLT), lovingkindness (Psalm 25:6, AMP), peace (Psalm 29:11, AMP), unchanging (Psalm 110:4a, NIV) guide (Psalm 23:3, NIV), good (Psalm 119:68, NIV), and trustworthy (Psalm 145:13a, NIV).
For months, I read and re-read the Psalms, looking for references to God’s character and also His attitudes toward me. However, I continued to believe that most of the truths I read in the Word were simply not for me. I was too broken and imperfect.
As I continued on my quest, I highlighted verses throughout the Bible, and found more of God’s remarkable qualities: He’s consistent (Malachi 3:6a, NIV) and He never lies (I Samuel 15:29, NIV). He sees me! (Genesis 16:13, NIV) My way of thinking began to change: If this is what He is like, I can obviously count on Him. I can believe that He tells the truth when He says, “I will always be there for you, or, I love you, just the way you are.”
During a 1-year period, I returned to the Psalms each day, adding to my list of God’s qualities. Over time, and very slowly, I began to memorize these verses. The truth began to renew my mind (Romans 12:2, NLT). Little by little, I began to believe that these verses were for me, and they were about me! When God says He loves me, it’s true!
Eventually, a childhood memory verse began to ring true: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NLT) Though I could easily recite the verse, it had been impossible for me to believe that I was not condemned and that God accepts me and fights for me – maybe true for others, but not for me.
You know that voice in your head? The one that sounds like your mom or a teacher? Yeah, that voice. I began to hear it and compare what it was telling me against the Scripture I was memorizing.
The voice said: “You are invisible. No one sees you, you aren’t important. You’re not good enough.” I fought the LIE with TRUTH: God sees me. God is for me. He loves me. I’m His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
In my mind, I often would hear: “That mistake you made? It is beyond bad! It means you are not worth loving.” Having memorized the above verses, I would be able to bring up a truth. I would see that statement as a LIE! I reminded myself to believe God’s TRUTH: His love is never-ending, (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV), He sees me through Jesus (Romans 5:9-11, NLT), forgives me (Psalms 103:3, NIV) and loves me unconditionally (Romans 5:8, NLT).
Is this your daily battle, as it is mine? Join me in fighting back! Take up the sword of the spirit, God’s Word. Begin to memorize Bible verses so you are armed against the enemy’s lies. Ask God to make the truth of His word bear fruit in you (Isaiah 55:11, NLT) and you will begin to win the battle against the lies.
One day soon, in the middle of all the daily chaos, you’ll hear God’s voice: “Yes, you are my beloved. You are not condemned, even when you’re yelling at the kids! Just keep on turning to me. I see you, I love you and I will help you.”
Are you ready to see yourself the way God does? Are you ready to begin to embrace the truth? Go for it! Start with one verse.
Hi, I'm Judith Barillas. I grew up as a military brat, moving every 3 years, including to Spain. I currently live with my husband in Guatemala City, though I claim the US (CA and GA) as home. We met in Guatemala 36 years ago and life has come full-circle, bringing us back here for a season.
Although I grew up in a Christian home, accepting Christ at 5 years old, I never knew that God’s love for me was unconditional. I thought being a Christian was all about doing it perfectly, being a good girl. I believed this until I was in my 40’s. As I’m growing in God’s love, I have begun to have a passion to share this truth, especially with children. I don’t want others to walk through life not knowing how much they are loved by Him! You can find me on Facebook at Devotional Idea for Kids.