One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life: that word is love." ~Sophocles
When you think back on your childhood, what comes to mind? What feelings surface when you look back on your role in your family of origin? Maybe you were the star...the one that won all the awards, and you feel happy. Maybe you were the over-achiever who always got good grades, and you feel proud of your accomplishments. Maybe you were the trouble-maker, labeled the "black sheep" of the family, and you feel regret. Maybe you were a miracle baby, the one that beat the odds...and you feel deep gratitude and appreciation for life.
When I look back on my childhood, I remember being the one who made a lot of mistakes. I also remember times when I felt overlooked, like I was an inconvenience. I am not saying my family wasn't loving...they were. I always knew deep down that I was loved and cared for, but I remember feeling more like a bother than a blessing. Maybe it was because I was the youngest...a complete surprise to my parents who thought their days of conceiving were over. Maybe it was the age difference between my siblings and me. Whatever the reason, I grew up feeling unimportant. As I moved closer to adulthood, I was able to establish close relationships with each member of my family.
Why am I writing about this? Because I know there are others out there who grew up feeling the same way. I get it. I also know that my feelings were not based on fact. My family always loved me...through all of my bad decisions...even when I didn't feel it. But more importantly, the One who created me and breathed life into me speaks against those old feelings. He says He loves me with an everlasting love. He says emphatically that I am important to Him and His kingdom. He says He never takes His eye off of me or stops thinking about me, even for one second. Wow!
He says the same thing about you. Whether you grew up in an ideal home life, or experienced dysfunction or injury...whether you were the high achiever or the rebel of the family...God sees you the same way He sees me. He longs to lavish you with His love, to heal all those old wounds, and to use you in powerful ways.
Today, I can "overlook" all those old memories that aren't so good, and say that the way I felt is "unimportant" now. I am not going to let the old negative stuff "bother" me anymore. Why would I? I am so loved. And so are you.
If you read this and were touched by it, know that it is my gift to you. I did not want to write this, let alone post it. But I couldn't shake it off...no other message was coming to me. This was supposed to be yesterday's post, and I fought it tooth and nail. This morning, I knew I had to post it. If it speaks to one person, it is worth it.
"I've loved you the way My Father has loved Me. Make yourselves at home in My love." ~Jesus, John 15:9
"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." ~St. Augustine
"God is love. He didn't need to love us. But He wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing." ~Rick Warren
"Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is." ~Gary Zukav
"The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present." ~Barbara De Angelis