You Are Loved

Gina Butz identity, loved 0 Comments

you are loved

photo by Mona Eendra

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? Mine was less than stellar. In the morning I woke up feeling off, and by afternoon I had a fever, aches, a head that felt like it was going to explode, and what sounded like a case of tuberculosis. All this added up to making me the lamest Valentine’s date ever. We spent the evening eating Tijuana Flats in bed watching videos on our phones. Just how everyone dreams Valentine’s Day will be.

Tis the season to talk about love, think about love, hope for love, cherish love. But I can’t help but think how many people, even those of us who are married, even those who have deep relationships with others, long for something more.

We long to be loved. Our hearts ache for a love that is solid, never-ending, secure. We want to be fully known and at the same time deeply loved for all our good, bad, and even ugly.

Oh yes, please even for the ugly. Please tell us it’s possible to be consistently loved even at our worst, so that we can stop hiding our less-than parts behind closed doors and be fully ourselves instead.

Tell us it’s possible that there’s someone from whom we never have to fear rejection, abandonment, for whom we are never just too much, too hard to love.

I’m here to say today: it’s possible. It’s more than possible. It’s true. That is how we are loved. As I thought about what I wanted to share this week, every part of my being wants to tell you this truth:

You are loved. Period. The end. No ifs, ands or buts. You are deeply, without hesitation, loved, with an all-encompassing love.

How do I know? Because the whole of scripture tells me it’s true. The Bible is a love story, friends.Twitter It’s one long epic tale of the hero who stole into enemy territory under cover of darkness to rescue the ones He loves, because the thought of eternity without us was unacceptable to Him. We were worth everything. We are worth everything.

He first loved us. That’s important to remember. He doesn’t love us because, or when, or if. He just loves us, with a love that is unshakeable, unchanging, unconditional.

I can’t think of a better way to phrase it than how Henri Nouwen put it in Life of the Beloved, “My only desire is to make these words reverberate in your being, ‘You are the beloved.'”Twitter

Seriously, if I have one prayer for all of us today, it is that we would live loved. We would stop wandering, searching for lesser loves to satisfy our hungry souls. We would stop doubting, stop believing the lie that there’s something we can do to get us voted off His island. We would stop listening to the voices that tell us to prove our worth, and we would just soak in this truth today:

You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

So maybe your Valentine’s Day was a bust. Maybe loneliness gnaws at the corners of your life and causes you to question your value. Maybe you’re feeling let down by people in your life. Maybe you’re feeling the sting of rejection. We’re all hungry for just a little more love.

So let me say it again: You are loved. May this thought echo off the walls of your hearts today. Repeat it to yourself until it becomes the place where you live. He loves you. 

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The Lies of “Too Much” and “Not Enough” 

 

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