When fears and insecurities threaten to paralyze me, one truth prevails.
Too often I forget the truth that first saved me. The truth that made me whole, changed my identity, forgave my sins, rebuked my shame, reclaimed my self-worth, renewed my hope, and filled me with child-like joy.
Jesus loves me.
There’s such power in those words.
Children accept with unquestioning innocence the lyrics “Jesus loves me,” and if you ask them how they know, they might respond with the rest of the verse, “for the Bible tells me so.”
The past couple of weeks have been challenging. I’ve mourned my shortcomings as a mom as I parent a strong-willed ten-year-old, and a teenager exerting his independence. I’ve lamented my physical limitations, my need to budget my time to manage responsibilities with my limited energy and a propensity for migraines. I’ve struggled through the gray days when my SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder) dims my mind to happy thoughts. And I’ve fought my fears: Do I have the strength to do this? Am I enough? Did God pick the right person?
All those issues can lurk malevolently in the background of my mind, but recently they decided to launch a united, frontal assault on my brain. The stress I felt left me feeling helpless to organize, plan, and act. In other words, my anxiety affected my ability to function.
One night I went to bed with the pressures of the day heavy on my heart, and I searched to find God in any of it. I was busy sifting through my circumstances and deeds to find some way that I might have pleased Him or some way I could see His love for me in the middle of my hardship, and the truth came to my mind like a whisper:
Jesus loves me.
With that thought, I was miraculously changed. The oppressive burden was lifted. The darkness scurried away. The truth once again set me free.
Too often we allow that truth to live only on the lips of children. We don’t claim the freedom, power, and security of knowing that the one who formed the universe and purposefully knit us together, loves us. These words are not trite, dated, or empty. Walking every day, every moment beneath the shelter of Jesus’ unconditional love is powerful protection against the attacks from within and without.
Remembering that “Jesus loves me” didn’t make me a perfect mom, but it reminded me that I’m His masterful work in progress, and I can’t ever drive Him away.
Jesus loves me didn’t completely erase my physical limitations, but it gave me the security to know that what I offer up to Him will be enough.
It doesn’t remove mental bombardment from SADS, but it assures me of my value regardless of what my darker emotions might say.
It didn’t answer all the “how tos” or provide me with a blueprint for organizing my schedule and maximizing my efficiency, but it restored my peace of mind so that I could get moving again.
I don’t have all the answers, but what I do have I offer you. Jesus loves you too.
Can you rest a moment in that truth? Can you consider how it might change your feelings toward yourself if you allowed yourself to accept it? Can you imagine the freedom you might feel if you realized that His love is not tied to your performance or your perfection? Can you fathom what it might be like to have the one who knows the stars by name and has the power to create with a mere word or thought on your side?
Jesus loves me, and Jesus loves you. Such a simple statement, but one that has the power to change everything if we let it.
When we live wholly loved, absolutely everything changes. Our fears are soothed by God’s power and grace, our deepest wounds begin to heal, and we’re freed to live, to rest, in who we are in Christ. No more worrying about whether we measure up. No more feeling like we have to have all the answers or do everything right. Simply leaning deeper into Christ and resting in His grace as we allow Him to mold us into the treasured masterpieces He created us to be (Eph. 2:10).
Join us for the next Wholly Loved Conference to learn how to rest in the Christ’s love, to embrace and live out your immutable purpose, and to discover then celebrate why your uniqueness, quirks and all, is all part of God’s glorious and beautiful plan.