Several years ago, my dad sent a single pink rose to each of my sisters and me. He did this on HIS birthday! Yes, His birthday. Attached was a simple card that read, “I am proud of you. Love, Dad.” I still have this card, along with some others he has sent me over the years. It is not the cards themselves that I hold in my heart, but the motivation for sending them-to let me know that he loved me, was proud of me, and cared about me.
I did not have a perfect relationship with my dad in my teen and young adult years. There were many times our relationship was strained and distant. Our personalities clashed and I just didn’t know what to say to him. It was not until I was an adult that the relationship with my Dad was restored.
For many years I struggled with my concept of who God is. Yet my heart longed to serve Him and know Him as He knew me. When my husband and I started dating the Holy Spirit began to teach me, through my husband, what it meant to be loved as the Bride of Christ- unconditionally and without measure. That love pushed me to step outside of myself, my insecurities, and hard headed obstinacy to seek out time with my dad and to see him as someone other than who my mind had created.
Over time, I came to know the love of the Father who calls me to His presence and lavishes grace and mercy and love upon me. His presence is my favorite place to me. Worship is like breathing-only better. In His presence I am whole.
Sometimes our minds choose to see only the bad when God calls us to focus on what is good. Philippians 4:8 tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable; to “think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” I am not telling you to ignore the things in your life that have hurt you. I am saying, “Give it to Jesus. If you can find nothing good in your life to fix your thoughts upon, think on Jesus. Consider Him.”
You may have never had a parent, spouse, or friend tell you they are proud of you. You may, in fact, have even had someone say you were a disappointment to them. They may have called you a failure-or worse. They may tell you they never wanted you. I AM SO SORRY! This is not what God wants for His children. My heart aches that anyone would feel anything less than absolutely loved!
I am thankful for a Mom and Dad who were faithful to tell my sisters and me they were proud of us. There is something indescribable about being told by your parents they are pleased of you. It spurs one on farther than one could imagine! It created within me a desire to rise to meet the expectations and hopes they had for me and the ones I had for myself.
We were created to love and be loved. GOD IS LOVE! Therefore, the enemy will do all that he can to separate us from love.
I know what it is to feel unloved. I’ve been there; not because I was unloved, but because I allowed lies that said I was unworthy of love to become truth in my heart. I believed the outright fabrication of the enemy, so I had a hard time understanding how anyone could love me. I felt unlovable. The emotional pain was excruciating.
Somewhere in my journey with Jesus, His Holy Spirit began to speak to me in love. He sent His people to share His love with me. As I poured my heart out to Him in worship, He lavished His love upon me. My heart began to heal in His presence. I know without doubt that He loves me without measure! I can’t even tell you when, but over time the Truth uprooted and overthrew the lies in my heart. I’ve come to expect love. I began to believe I was not only loved but worth being loved.
Do you feel unloved? Do you believe you are unlovable? Are you unable to believe anyone could be proud of you?
If so, you have believed a lie from the father of lies.
The Truth says this:
Daddy God is proud of you!
He created you, formed you in the womb, stepped back, and said, “It is good!”. If you think “There is no way that He can be proud of me.”, think again. Now, He may not be thrilled with your behavior, but let me assure you-He is unquestionably proud of you! To not be so would be like Rembrandt declaring his work to be of no worth.
If you feel you have disappointed Him, remember that in our weakness He is strong. If you have failed, He is our Grace. And if you talk to Him about the things you have done that dishonor His name, then He is forever faithful to forgive you and restore you to relationship with Himself.
Grace does not hide itself from us. When we turn to look for it, God’s grace runs us over, embracing us in a swinging, spinning bear hug. It bowls us over and doesn’t let go. So, take hold of His hand and trust Him. Trust that He loves you and wants all good things for you.
Look with wonder at the depth of the Father’s marvelous love that he has lavished on us! He has called us and made us his very own beloved children.I John 3:1
I pray you will come to believe the truth of God’s love with your whole heart. The depths are unfathomable! Allow your roots to grow down deep into His love.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that the Father sent you the most perfect gift of all, better than any rose found on this earth. He sent His son, Jesus, who is called the “Rose of Sharon”.
Attached to that gift are His words to you, “I love you, my child. I have loved you forever. There has never been a time I have not loved you. There will never be a time I will not love you. Oh, and I am proud of you! Love Dad!”
Go a Little Deeper: Take the time to read Ephesians 1:14-19. Pray about these scriptures. Write them down. Thank Him for His love. Choose to believe His truth and vanquish the lies of the enemy.