I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 CSB).
Friend to Friend
God brought our daughter, Lovelle, into our lives when she was twenty years old through Saving Grace, a home for girls aging out of the foster system or who would otherwise be homeless. She got married a year or so later but we did have a brief window of time when she lived in our house.
One night Lovelle got in late and I heard a loud crash come from the kitchen. Concerned, I got up to check on her and found my beautiful daughter on her knees, frozen in fear, pieces of ice from the belligerent machine on the front of the refrigerator scattered all around her. Lovelle, after going from place to place, felt sure we were going to kick her out because she had bothered us.
I hugged her tight and told her no, of course not, I’d only gotten up to make sure she was okay. When I went back to bed I lay in the dark for a long time asking a single question, “How can I convince her that she’s really, truly loved?”
I thought then of God asking the same question and all the ways He’s answered it. He spoke the world into being. He wakes us with a sunrise every morning and scatters the stars into place as we go to sleep every night. He sent His Son to die on a cross for us.
Yet I’m often like Lovelle, living in fear that one wrong move will make God change His mind about me. I need the words of Paul, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Years later Lovelle stood in our kitchen again. We’d just finished family dinner and she held a big glass pan in her hands. It slipped and shattered like a thousand diamonds being thrown across the room. It seemed time stood still as I waited to see what she would do. She hesitated, looking at me for just a second, then threw back her head and laughed. That laugh sounded like church bells, a symphony, a here-and-now miracle.
“Finally!” I thought, relieved and giddy. I didn’t care that she broke a pan. She could break a million of them and I’d help her clean up every one. What broke my heart before was that she couldn’t let herself trust the love and grace freely being offered to her.
When I blow it, when it seems I’m surrounded by my failures, when fear tries to tell me I’m not worthy, I think of that moment with Lovelle and how much joy it brought me. As we celebrate love this month I find myself thinking of it as well. It has taken me a long time too but I’m coming to understand what our Heavenly Father wants most from us isn’t to be perfect. It’s to believe we’re really, truly loved.
Dear God, thank You for loving me no matter what. Sometimes at Christmas we say “Love came down.” That’s true, and it’s a gift greater than we can comprehend, but I’m so grateful that You love me every day of the year. Today I choose to trust that there’s nothing I could do to lose Your love.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one way you’ve seen the love of God in your life this month? Thank Him for that gift today, and then spend a moment asking Him to empower you to show that love to others as you go about your day.
More from the Girlfriends
Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. In her book You’re Loved No Matter What, Holley shares how God wants to set our hearts free by revealing the lies we believe and reminding us of the truth: His love has no limits, His love has no expectations, His love has no requirements, and His love is not dependent on us.
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