Loved.

You are loved.

Do you know that?

Do you believe it?

You are loved.

All summer, grief wraps itself around my heart and mind like a shroud, both sheltering and smothering at the same time.

I miss my dad. My dear uncle passed away; he and dad were so similar it’s like saying goodbye again.  People’s choices and actions directly effected the life of our family in profound ways and I grieve the the way things used to be. I said goodbye to my young charge and miss him. Both my older two children moved out–like, really moved out. I miss them. I grieve my kids not being little anymore. I miss their sweet voices and tiny hands in mine. I miss being young myself–gracefully getting older proves challenging. I grieve lost opportunities and abandoned dreams. I miss time to nurture friendships, old and new. 

Life includes loss. I get that. This season of my life feels like a season of loss and letting go. It’s not all bad and I see the hope and blessings both now and ahead. But what gets me through today and this season is not just a pie-in-the-sky hope of brighter days to come or the fact that everyone goes through it. No. What makes the grief and loss ok is the fact that I’m loved. Loved by family and friends–thank God. But even more than that, I’m loved by the Creator of the Universe. The God who governs the stars and moon and sun loves me. The God who formed the mountains and rivers and canyons loves me. He loves me and He loves you. Did you catch that? He loves you.

He welcomes and invites us to accept His love. And I don’t mean He loves us in a —ok, you can come in, but wipe your feet and stand quietly in the corner–sort of love. No, He doesn’t just put up with us. Many of us (for whatever reason) see God as a stern, un-approving father who wants to make us behave and all we do is disappoint him again and again. But I know that God’s love is an all-encompassing, selfless, doting parent, devoted sort of love.

He loves you…

Need some Truth to remind you? Here you go…

He loves us because He is love.  (1 John 4)
God loves us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
God loves us so much He sent His son to rescue us. (John 3)
And God loves us just the way we are. He doesn’t wait for us to change or get our crap together. He loves us in the middle of the garbage.  (Romans 5)
And because He loves me like that, I can grieve–both big and small things–with hope. (Lamentations 3)

Whatever you face today, I hope you know the Truth: you are loved.

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