"I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." Jeremiah 31:3
When God looks at us, his children, us who are fearfully and wonderfully made, He cherishes us as we are, His very own beloved children. If we could picture Him holding us thus, and looking tenderly at us, how differently we would feel in life. We would not worry what others thought. We would understand our great worth. We would treat others with more grace and acceptance for what we had received in our hearts.
When I gave away the 30 "You are Loved" books a couple of weeks ago, there were hundreds of comments. Most comments told of how much many of you feel inadequate on a daily basis, feel guilty for not doing enough, carry baggage from your past. Perhaps if Satan wanted to destroy one thing in our lives, it would be to cause us to doubt divine, unconditional, "everlasting" love that truly reflects the true nature of God.
From Genesis to Revelation, He is there creating beauty for us, providing for us, teaching us, dying for us, preparing a new home for us--ever the lover, ever the compassionate Father.
I have receive thousands of letters each year and I notice how many sweet ones there are who truly want to do the best and be the best for their children. But in light of all the burden of performance I see that so many of us carry, I just felt I wanted to tell you how very precious you are and how much your own personal life matters.
I awakened this morning with you on my heart.
I know there must be many precious moms out there who are reading these articles and are feeling inadequate or guilty or condemned--or just worn out! I have been praying for you all morning.
Motherhood is very precious to the Lord. As a matter of fact, the more I mothered, the more I came to understand Him, His love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness, His patience. Motherhood is not an easy journey. I kept feeling that I needed to have more children so I could do it right at least once!
And yet motherhood is a long journey, a hard and challenging journey, that will require much endurance with grace, much forgiveness, much patience and just a whole lot of energy expended. So many women have written me lately saying that they are finding the teen years sooooo hard and that they are worn out--both homeschooling moms and non-homeschooling moms find these years to be the place where they hit the wall and think they cannot hold up ideals any longer--their kids and life have worn them out--and still they have to try to keep going.
I so understand this feeling. Many times I felt like quitting or giving up or just wanted to run away, but somehow by God's grace, He kept me going towards my ideals one more day, one more child at a time.
You need to know, you are truly important to God in the midst of it all. He sees you and cares for your dreams and desires. And so I wanted to write this little post just for you.
When I had my first baby, I had never even changed a diaper. I did not know how to hold a baby. I was unprepared for the task. I also did not know how selfish and self-absorbed I was. And I have to admit that over the years, there were many times when I did not feel loving or feel like a good mother or even feel like I wanted to *be* a mother. I was always committed to my children and always committed to loving them, because I knew God wanted me to. But I did not always like them or feel like doing the right thing, and sometimes that made me feel guilty.
I just put one foot in front of the other because I thought that is what God wanted me to do.
So if you feel that you are not a "natural" mother, or you enjoy doing things outside your home, or you have other ambitions, please do not condemn yourself. I felt all of those feelings and had to learn how to balance the different pulls on my life. But God has loved me and led me through it all.
I know that there are so many of you precious ones with deep scars. Perhaps you came from an angry family, where you were criticized or rejected. Or maybe you were ignored and you still wish someone would notice you and love you deep inside in those places that only you can feel.
Many of you made some bad choices morally that have deeply injured your own heart. Or you have a passive and indifferent or mean and abusive husband.
You are not defined by any of these things--not by what people have said to you, not by your flaws (we all have them), and not by your past failures or present difficulties. God loves you so very much. God is with you. God is your champion.
We read that when He looked out on the multitudes, He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus sees our needs. He loves us. He cares for how each of you feel deep in your heart.
You are so very precious to God. He is on your side. He will be your warrior God in all the battles in your home. He will help you and defend you and pour out His unconditional love on you. He is the source of your strength and joy. Nothing can separate you from His love.
There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
The only way we can truly make it in this life productively is to tend to the garden of our own souls by dwelling and living in the reality of God's enduring and abiding personal love for us. The only way you can be a loving mother or friend is to have your soul filled with the deep, unchanging, unconditional love of God.
I love the picture above. I picture God, holding me, cherishing me, as the man in the picture is looking so tenderly at His child. We must invest in the truth and foundation of this God love. The godly women I have come to know, invested purposefully to become who they are and to live in His grace and freedom.
You may find criticism from the world. But in Christ, you will find love, deep, abiding, unconditional love and all that you need for your task. But you must choose to invest your time wisely.
We are starting to get letters from women all over the world who have read the book and are refreshing themselves in these important truths. Monday, Angela and I will be hosting our 8 week Bible study to ponder the importance of these issues. I hope that each of you will emerge from the study with the light and energy that learning about His great love will bring to each day of your life the rest of your lives-and that it will spill over into the hearts of your children, friends and all who are in your life.
But most of all today, please consider--You Are Truly beloved by your creator and Father God, as you are His very own.