When I was just a little girl, there was only one thing my growing heart needed to be shaped safe and confident (and I imagine yours, too): the knowledge that I was loved, no matter what.
Well, my growing heart has grown up now, and if I’m honest, not a lot has changed. Except one thing: believing I am loved, no matter what. Because the truth is what we know often gets muddied by what we’ve experienced – by other frail humans and by our own faulty narratives.
And the knowledge of a pure and simple kind of love becomes a caveat that commends my performance, perfection, and pride…
You’ve been chosen, for your good name.
You’ve been seen, for your hard and hidden work.
You’ve been heard, for your passionate voice.
You’ve been celebrated, for your unique gifting.
You’ve been valued, for your hard-won wisdom.
And, friend, I believe these post-commas are beautifully true about you, and me, especially when our hearts are set on His. Being validated for what we do actually matters, and it can often be the difference between endurance and exhaustion. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:11.) Not to mention, our “good works” shine evidence of our good Father. (See Matthew 5:16.)
The Simple Truth of His Love
But what if instead of reaching for man’s empty praise, our outstretched arms are free to fall as we hear Him whisper:
You are chosen,
You are seen,
You are heard,
You are celebrated,
You are valued,
simply because I love you.
It is here, that our child-like heart stands steady in the knowledge of a pure and simple kind of love. A love where caveats become canticles:
For His good Name, known throughout the ages.
For His hard and holy work, anchoring our soul through any storm.
For His passionate voice, whispering worth and beauty over us even and especially on the ugly days.
For His unique giftings, bursting with joy, mostly in the unseen.
For His hard-won wisdom, unapologetically always pointing us back to the Cross and an empty grave.
Indeed, it’s an incomprehensible and undeserving grace to matter like this and to trust like this. Oh, for the faith to believe more and more in His unconditional, all-consuming love. A love that motivates why we do what we do – so that our everyday lives are lived loved, like the free people we are, for the glory of God.
Dear sister (or brother), I am praying for you now.
Take a deep breath and show up with nothing but your whole surrendered heart,
not because of what you do (or what you have or haven’t done) and
not because of who you are (or who you’re not).
simply because the Lord loves you.
“For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.
The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was
simply [because] the Lord loves you . . .”
— Deuteronomy 7:6-8, NLT