There is no feeling so precious to me in the entire world. Nothing can raise my shameful head, lift my sinking heart, or quench my thirsting and weary soul better than this feeling.
Having this feeling and knowing this truth leaves me walking on sunshine and climbing rainbows. Not only do I reciprocate this feeling, not only can I say these three words back, but when someone else decides to give me this wonderful feeling, I feel empowered. I feel like I can change the world. I feel like I can be everything I have always wanted to be and so much more. I feel like I matter. I feel like I’m worth it.
I don’t feel broken and messed up, if only for a few seconds, after hearing those words.
This is one thing of which I am absolutely certain. An unending concept. A promise that always stands, to uplift, to uphold. And the concept is this: YOU ARE LOVED.
There is nothing so great, nothing so uplifting, nothing so reassuring, nothing so special to me as being told those three words, “I love you”. My world can crumble, my plans can fail; but when I know I am loved I am more than a conqueror.
Perfect love casts out fear; love lasts forever. We are given not a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. Love empowers, protects, forgives, forgets, has no regrets, and is unconditional.
When I know I am loved I will walk in the valley of the shadow of death. When I know I am loved I will fly with eagles and chase the horizon. When I know I am loved I will run on clifftops without fearing the precipice, for I am loved and will be caught should I fall.
When I know I am loved I’ll run on clouds and ride wild horses; when I know I am loved I’ll walk into the lion’s den. Love, the purest and kindest and truest and most perfect love, breaks my shackles and spreads my wings.
I am but a speck of dust on the face of a mighty universe, but when I know I am loved I am an unafraid speck of dust and perhaps even an important one.
I tend to forget that I am loved, but I am. Loved by my amazing family, who tell me every day and still don’t quite know how much I appreciate and am amazed by their unconditional love. Loved by the devotion in my German shepherd’s eyes as she bounds up to me laughing in the silent way that dogs have of laughing. Loved by friends too wonderful to describe. You know who you are and how much it means to me.
And I am always loved.
He promised His love for me with every letter of every one of the 783 137 words in the Bible. He promised His love for me with every promise of safety and peace in this world and the world to come. He promised His love for me, a love no angel or principality or power can separate me from, a love whose height and breadth and depth are so great as to be unknowable. He promised His love for me, a fearfully and wonderfully made person whom He created, whom He knows.
In fact, He didn’t just promise His love for me. He promised it to all of us. No matter who you are or where you come from. No matter how deep the darkness inside you is. No matter how deep your wounds. No matter how bruised, battered, bludgeoned and bloodstained you may be. No matter how much you hate others, hate yourself, even hate Him. He knows you down to the deepest blackness of your heart, the brightest radiance of your spirit, and He promises this: YOU ARE LOVED.
He promises it not just with words. He promises this not just with miracles. He promises this with every drop of His innocent blood. He promises this with every stab of agony that wracked His beautiful Body as it hung on the cross. He promises this with every sobbing breath He took on that cross, every heartbeat tearing Him slowly apart. He promises that He has done the dying for you, He has saved you and most of all He promises that He loves you.
No matter what.
YOU ARE LOVED.
I could go further on how big He is and how wondrous it is that He loves me. I’d give you hints on how to serve Him and what pleases Him, and even how to love Him back. But this is the truth that can save the world, the truth I’d rearrange the stars into writing, the truth I’d blaze across the sky with a pen of fire if I could. YOU ARE LOVED. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. Whatever you’ve done. Whatever you’ve left undone. YOU ARE LOVED. This I promise; and yet not I, but the Holy Spirit in me.
Jesus loves you, and He says you’re worth loving. Don’t forget it.