by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Not feeling very loved today? Perhaps circumstances of life have left you feeling trapped or unworthy – or even far from the God who made you and loves you.
My favorite love verse in the Bible occurs when God’s chosen people have strayed far from Him. God reminds the Israelites of His great love for them through the words of His prophet Jeremiah, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV).
This is God’s promise to you and me today!
Then why don’t more women choose to see ourselves as deeply loved? One reason became quite clear to me a few years ago when I gave this assignment while speaking at a women’s retreat. I had no idea it would end up being such a challenge:
- Write a love letter from God to you.
While I didn’t actually plan to read their letters, I’d hoped it would be a great exercise for the attendees to better understand what we had been studying on God’s everlasting love.
But that evening when I asked for a show of hands of those who had actually taken time to write such a letter, I was shocked to see only one person raise her hand. Several protested their excuses:
- “Well it was hard to think of words of love God would say to me. All I kept hearing were words of indictment for all my failures.”
- “I started writing the love letter but I couldn’t think of anything to say. Perhaps it’s because I don’t really feel loveable?”
- “I know I could have put down some of the love passages from the Bible since they are God’s words, but somehow I couldn’t believe those words were actually meant for me.”
I certainly understand my sisters’ hesitancy. Their honesty, using words not all that foreign to my own experience. Because seeing myself as God’s beloved has been a lifelong journey of fits and starts.
The one woman who wrote a letter said she was guided by her experience as a mother. Our children tend to bring out our deepest emotions of celebration, protection, fear, joy, frustration, gratitude, disappointment—all of which are encompassed in our love for them. A love many of us feel is endless and unconditional. Even those who are not parents can understand this illustration as most of us have invested in the life and growth of another.
But even our well-intentioned parental love pales in comparison to God’s love for us.
Because there are times with our children when our love does fail, we do let them down, we aren’t there, or we offer advice instead of a listening ear.
I first became a mother when I adopted three children ages nine, seven, and four. So, the whole concept of adoption rings true to me. Once they were not my own, but now they are. I would literally give anything I have (even my life) for these precious ones God has entrusted to me for thirty-six years. Unconditional love. Well at least as best I can in my own imperfect way.
Do you live as an adopted child of God, or do you still run around like an orphan — like it’s all up to you and you have no Heavenly Father to provide and protect? Perhaps you had lousy examples of earthly parents and so are soured on the whole image. You may need to experience an inner healing in that area of your heart so you can receive the love God offers.
Romans 8:15 says, “You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father,’” meaning we can cry out to him, “Daddy!”
Now it’s your turn. Write a Love Letter from God to you today. If it helps to remember your own experience of parental love, let that guide you as you hear from your own Heavenly Father:
Dear ______________________ (your name),
Your Heavenly Father
Life changes constantly. Yet, as you name Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, know that you are and will forever always be truly His beloved.
And believing you are already loved, already accepted, already chosen, will give you both courage and confidence to live as a soul strong woman.
©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell, from “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life”
Lucinda Secrest McDowellis a storyteller, international speaker, and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping you Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the award-winning author of 15 books, including Soul Strong, Life-Giving Choices,andDwelling Places.Lucinda, a member of Redbud Writers Guild and AWSA, is known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways as a spiritual mama. She co-directs reNEW writers and speakers retreat in New England, and blogs regularly at www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
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