Am I Loved

All my life I’ve struggled with feeling loved.  Maybe that’s common to all women and we just don’t talk about it.  But there it is.  I’ve told myself that I am not loved or I am unloveable or that I have to earn people’s love.  The result is often working too hard to earn it.

When I first got married I thought, perfect, this is the answer to all my problems.  Here is someone who will love me so much that all my broken places will come back together.  Here is my other half.  Surely when you put to halves together, it makes a whole person.  A complete person.  And I looked to him for my self worth.

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And that worked for a while until I realized that we were actually still just two sinners living together instead of a magical whole.  I started asking, why do you love me?  It became a sort of joke/irritant in our marriage, because I happen to have one of the most unromantic husbands in the world.  Said with the upmost affection, of course.  He would say things like, because God told me to, or because I said I would.  Just what every woman dreams of hearing, am I right?  

Until one day the Lord showed me something important.  I was not asking why he loved me, I was really asking, how do I earn your love so I can keep earning it?  I suddenly realized the fundamental lie I had been believing my whole life.  That I have to earn love.  

And if you’re only looking to people to fulfill you, then you might starting feeling this way.  Because people are people and they stop loving other people, don’t always offer unconditional love, and they fail us.  

And when my husband failed me, I started to wonder again.  Started working too hard to earn love again.  I had forgotten all the lessons I had learned studying the Bible and learning about God’s fulfilling love.  As I am wont to do.  But when I came out of the fog and especially during some counselling sessions, I realized that I had believed the lie again.  That I had to earn love and that I should be looking to people for it.

I had to remember again.  Other people and my good deeds are not what makes me feel loved.  That’s God’s job.  Not saying that its not lovely when other people do it too, but that can’t be what we depend upon.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Eph. 3:17

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday and we have Good Friday and Easter Sunday coming up.  Between services at church and practices for our cantata, I have had much time to dwell upon what Christ has done for me.  The breadth.  The length.  The depth.  The height.  And although Paul tells us here that we can never fully comprehend just how much God loves us, we can be rooted and grounded in it.  Its as though God knew that I would struggle with this one day, and maybe you would too, and we would need to know that our deep feelings of security and being loved could only come from God.

That we would need the truths of God’s Word to combat the lies we tell ourselves.  I am so loved that Jesus went through the events of the Holy Week for me.  For you too, but for me.  As I walked behind the cross in our practice two days ago, dressed as Mary Magadalene, and was reminded once again of what I’ve been saved from, how much Jesus loves me… I wept.  Real tears streaming down my face in the middle of my church.  And it was horrible and beautiful all at the same time.

The truth is, I am loved.  No matter what.  To lengths that I can never comprehend.  And if I root myself and ground myself in that truth, it doesn’t matter how many people love me or how many times people fail me.  I am loved.