What does love look like to you?
I’ve been thinking about love recently. Not the romantic kind of love, but the love that we extend to others and that others extend to us. The daily love and grace that we give and receive. As I’ve been thinking about love, I’ve been thinking about the different kinds of love I’ve experienced and while I have been so fortunate to receive unconditional love from some people, I, like countless others, have also experienced conditional love.
If you have never experienced conditional love, let me tell you that it isn’t a nice feeling. Essentially, love is withheld or withdrawn based on your actions. If you do what is required or expected, the love is given, but if you don’t, love is firmly locked behind a wall. It basically says, “you’re not enough to be loved by me because you don’t do this or do this..”
It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it can leave you feeling like you are un-loveable. Or, if you’re like me, it brings to the surface years of feeling like you are unworthy of love or not enough to be loved as you. And as I reflected, I realised that feelings of rejection and unworthiness had risen to the surface and were overflowing from me. My situation impacted how I saw myself. It made me question whether people really loved me. It made me question whether I was enough for the people around me; had I done enough and loved them enough. It made me second-guess myself. And the list goes on.
But as I lay in bed, my soul weary and hurting as these thoughts swirled around my head, I was tenderly reminded that God loves me unconditionally. The One that knit me in my mothers’ womb and breathed life into me, loved, and still loves me unconditionally. I don’t need to strive to make Him happy. When I stumble, He’s there to catch me. And when I mess up, which we all do, He doesn’t withhold his love. He doesn’t pull away from me. If anything, when I mess up, he loves me harder than ever before. His love is relentless and pure and endless and completely unconditional. And there is nothing like it.
God’s love is balm to weary and hurting hearts.Tweet
People may turn their back or withhold their love, but he never will. He will always pour out his love to us.
His grace is a tender covering that holds us and reminds us that in our Heavenly Father’s arms, we are secure. We are never as secure as when we are in His arms and in His will.
But as I rested in God’s words and peace, it didn’t change the situation. The pain and hurt was still there. People will still put their expectations on you. People will still withhold their love from you. Some circumstances won’t change at all or will get worse. We won’t always have control of the situation and in those moments, the only thing we can do is let God be God. Let Him lead and guide us in the way we should go. And let Him redeem and restore what only he can.
If this is you today, can I encourage you to let your Heavenly Father tend to your heart. Give him the situation and let him lead. And rest in His arms knowing that He will never, ever withhold his love from you, no matter what you do.