Category: Thankfulness


Daddy Loves Me

It was a day like most others for a seven-year-old. I was out on our front porch playing in the afternoon sunshine while my mom was inside doing “mom things.” As I enjoyed the day with the birds singing and the dogs running around the neighborhood, I saw my dad drive up to our house. He got out, walked up to the door, and without acknowledging me at all, knocked.

 

My mom came to the door and my dad threw a piece of paper at her, saying “here is your blood money!” He turned and stomped off. I didn’t know right then what had happened, but I knew he was angry and my mom was upset. I found out later, by listening to my mom talk to my grandmother, that the paper was a child support check and that my father didn’t want to pay to take care of us.

 

My dad didn’t want us? He didn’t want me? If Daddy didn’t want me, didn’t love me, then why would anyone else? This event affected the lens through which I saw the world and set up a sense that I didn’t matter … I wasn’t enough … I was unworthy.

 

This, in spite of a mother that loved me to the moon and back and consistently built me up!

This, in spite of a God who loved me so much that He sent His Son to die for me!

This, in spite of accepting Jesus as my Savior at about the same time as the “blood money” incident.

 

In my head, I knew God loved me … but until about a year ago there were days and seasons where these feelings affected my life causing periods of depression and sadness. I hadn’t been able to overcome the damage my father’s rejection had caused. But God could……….

 

 God wanted me to know, really know deep in my soul, how much He loved me and that He would never reject me … and because I hadn’t “gotten it” over the years with Him as my Lord and Savior, He got my attention in a very big way through a job loss – yet another rejection!

 

How can this be a good thing, you ask! Because even as our HR Director was giving me the totally unexpected news that my job had been eliminated, I knew God’s hand was in the situation. I felt His loving presence fill me with His peace and calm – I knew He had allowed this loss to show me how much He loved me.

 

Good Father

And it did – when I turned to Him! I clung to His promises and His encouragement – I felt my soul being healed and a sense of peace, in spite of the uncertainty of my situation. But God wanted more for me – He wanted to shift my perspective – He wanted me to see myself as He saw me – and He did this through a verse that would become a balm to my soul.

 

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us [me] in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us [me] into His own family by bringing us [me] to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:4-5

 

God chose me? God adopted me? Through the sacrifice and blood of His Son? He loved me THAT much? And He decided that when? Before I was even born? And it made Him, the God of the universe, happy to have me in His family?

 

Wow! In those moments, God wrapped His arms around me and He gave me the biggest hug – and suddenly, my perspective shifted. Even though my earthly father hadn’t treasured me, I had another Father who did treasure me – a Father that loved me so much, that sacrificed so much, just so I could be with Him. And it made Him happy to have me as part of His family! This realization is what began the deep healing process.

 

Worthy and Loved

I started to see myself as God sees me – as a beloved daughter. As one who is now worthy because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ – “once you were far away from God, but now you have brought near to Him through the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

 

Have those feelings of depression and rejection totally gone away? No. There are still days when I don’t feel all bright and shiny, but now when I feel that way, I meditate on God’s Word and soak in the magnitude of what God did for me. This reminds me that I AM good enough. I was chosen and I am loved and I am worthy!

 

Have you ever felt rejected? Unworthy? Unloved? Not good enough? If you have, then it is my prayer that YOU will feel God’s arms wrap around you as a beloved child, an adopted member of His family and really, deeply know how special you are to Him. It makes the God of the universe happy to have you in His family!

 

I encourage you to make this personal by inserting your name into the verse. Read it out loud and bask in His love – because He chose you, He adopted you, He loves you. No matter how many times you may have been rejected or overlooked, our Father in heaven sees you and adores you.

 

I am worthy and loved. You are worthy and loved. We are His chosen ones.

 


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God has an amazing way of changing our plans and pointing us in the direction He wants us to go — if we are willing and open to Him.  Even though it is Thanksgiving weekend, I hadn’t planned on writing a post about gratitude and thanksgiving – I was actually planning to talk about a Christmas song as we are heading into that season.  But my plans aren’t always God’s plans and He had another idea…….

I was listening to my church service this morning and the topic was on gratitude toward God and thanking Him for his blessings – for the good blessings and the darker things in our lives.  I was cruising along with the service, nodding at each point, confident I had been thanking God for these areas in my life – in fact, I had thanked God in my prayers last night for these very things – family, faith, friends, daily provision (new job), health and healing, my salvation, and His strength to get through the hard times.  This was the good blessing section of the sermon.

Then the pastor moved on to thanking Him for the darker things — “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”  Ephesians 5:20  and that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  I felt like I was still on track – I mean I had thanked Him for my challenges over the summer after I was laid off and my job was eliminated because I knew He had a greater purpose for me and He would “give me a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).  I knew God was growing my faith and a new depth in my relationship with Him during the challenging time.  So check.

But then whammy!  The pastor started talking about a verse we normally consider during the Lord’s Supper (and typically more around Easter).

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As the pastor talked about this verse and Jesus’ suffering, God broke me right there.  The Holy Spirit touched my soul and I just wept.  When Jesus was talking to His disciples during the Lord’s Supper, He knew the depth of the suffering He was going to be facing and He knew He was going to make that sacrifice to pay the debt of sin that we all carry.  I know this — I have known this for all of my life — but today, with the touch of the Holy Spirit, it took on a fresh significance.

Remember the 3 hours of total darkness that descended when Jesus hung on the cross?   Jesus was in hell — he was separated from His Father and suffering the torments of the damned for us — for me.  He suffered an eternity in hell for our sins — for my sin.  I am so humbled and so grateful that Jesus would do that for me.  I am about to start weeping again as I write this.

There have been many times in my life where I have felt unworthy, unattractive, and even unloved — but Jesus, My Savior, loved me so much that he suffered and died so that I could join God’s family and be with Him for eternity.  “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be  holy and without fault in His eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ”  Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT.  

As I was thanking God with tears flowing down my face because of what He gave to me, I thought about a song that I used to sing as part of the worship group.  We don’t sing this song much anymore in the churches I have attended or visited but it sums up what I was feeling and how my heart was overflowing with gratitude.   I hope you can sing along and praise the Lord God for His many blessings.

I wasn’t planning to write a post about thanksgiving — but how could I not write about my thankfulness for Jesus’ sacrifice?  How could I not overflow with gratitude that the God of the universe so loved the world (me) that He gave His one and only Son so that I would not perish but would spend eternity with Him (John 3:16)?

I did weep.  I did feel my salvation again in a fresh way.  I am so thankful for the many blessings God has provided.  My prayer is that you also know Jesus’ salvation and His provision and feel God’s loving touch on your life — in the good times and the bad.

Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart…..