A string of what I thought were broken promises pushed me farther and farther away, until I found myself in the arms of depression. Too ashamed and embarrassed to admit I had slipped away and needed help, I pretended to be okay. I looked in the mirror and saw a familiar face but I really didn’t know who was staring back at me.
Tired of pretending. Tired of fighting. I needed a break from myself. A break from trying to be the perfect version of myself I thought everyone wanted to see. Always in conflict with what the world wanted, what my flesh wanted and what God wanted. Realizing the perfect version of myself didn’t exist, I cast myself aside. Staying in the room but hiding in the corner, I peeked out to reveal my secret to a couple of trusted friends but they fell silent and slipped away. I was alone. I slithered back to my corner and I decided to do whatever made me happy. I didn’t care if it was wrong or right. To my surprise, I was happy. No lightening struck me down, no plagues befell me. I only felt a sense of something missing. I missed the intimacy I had with God. I wanted to tell Him everything but I was ashamed and felt too far away from Him. Eventually, I found that the longer I went without talking to Him, the easier it was to live without Him, or so I thought.
Finally, one day God gently nudged me and whispered, “do you love Me.”
My heart answered, “yes, Lord.”
Then He asked me, “do you miss Me.”
Again, I answered, “yes, Lord.” With tears pouring down my face, I asked Him, “God, do You still love me. People who I trusted and thought loved me distanced themselves from me when I told them about my sins. People who represented You in a way that I had only hoped I could be like. If they, representing you, can turn away from me, how can You, who are Holy and Almighty still love me? Do you really miss me?”
His answer knocked me to my knees and flooded my heart. “I Am Love. I don’t ever stop loving My own. You only thought you were lost but you never left my sight. Now, beloved, are you ready to come back home?”
Yet again I answered, “yes, Lord.”
Even now that I have repented, received God’s forgiveness and been restored I still ask God if I am still loved. Whenever someone that knows about my past sins looks at me or even avoids me, I still feel unworthy of love. Instead of trying to hide my feelings, I take them right to God. He always kindly and patiently reminds me that He still loves me. Not only does He love me but He loves every single person He has created. We humans have a tendency to cast people aside and deem them unworthy when they look, speak or behave a certain way but God loves us all just the same. He can look beyond our anger, rebellion and hardness and see the pain, brokenness and shame that fills our hearts. Everyone matters to Him. He sent His Son, Jesus, to bear all of our sins. He died for us and took our place in hell all because He loves us. No one is beyond His salvation if they want it nor are they beyond His love.
If you have felt like you don’t have a place in God’s family because of who you are, what you did or how you’re currently living your life, please know that you are loved. No matter what anyone has said or how they have treated you, God loves you and wants you in His family. Those who have cast you aside may not know what to do with you but He does. You are not a mistake, surprise or an anomaly. You are His creation. He knew you before you were formed in the womb and He loved and treasured you. You are so precious to Him that He even knows the number of hairs on your head.
I know it’s not easy but call out to Him. Tell Him you’re hurting, scared and not quite sure if you can trust the love of someone you have neither seen, heard, nor felt. He will meet you where you are and provide whatever you need to heal. It’s not too late. He has been patiently waiting for you because you are still and forever loved.