Does God really love me?
Written by: Rachel Britton
I didn’t understand how God could love me.
I was brought up in a caring and loving Christian home. I learned of God’s love at Sunday school and in church youth group. As an adult, I could talk about God’s love, but I only knew about it in my head, not in my heart.
Instead, I saw God as a stern divine presence not a loving heavenly Father. I knew I didn’t live up to God’s standards, even though the Bible teaches Jesus has done this for me. I felt I had to do my part as well, and I wasn’t very good at being a nice Christian girl. Other people did the things I should have been doing. They made eloquent prayers instead of being scared to pray out loud. They regularly read their Bibles instead of forgetting to, and they enjoyed going to church instead of finding it boring. I couldn’t be like them, and often I didn’t want to be either. So, I decided God couldn’t love me, because I wasn’t good enough.
I looked for acceptance in my career, my friends, and my social life. Gradually I left God, church, and his Word out of my life.
In any case, my husband and I had plans. We found the perfect home in a desirable London neighbourhood, and I saw the opportunity to take a break from my job and start a family. I had it all worked out.
Three months later I was pregnant. I called my husband to tell him the exciting news. From the other end of the phone, and the other side of the Atlantic, he announced his short trip to the USA had been turned into an offer of a company transfer to their office in Massachusetts.
My nesting instincts kicked in. I did not want to leave home. We waited six months for the visa to arrive. I half hoped it never would.
Yet, six weeks after my baby’s birth, we clutched one-way airplane tickets to Boston—a city I had never visited, in a New England I couldn’t believe would have anything in common with England besides its name.
I was miserable. I mourned for my old life back across the pond.
One afternoon, I couldn’t take any more. Life didn’t seem worth living. Desperate, I didn’t know where to turn. Then I remembered God. In my misery, I called out to him. Nothing fancy. Only two words: “Help me.” I had not spoken to him for years.
But, my heavenly Father responded. I felt an instant, overwhelming sense of peace wash over me.
My circumstances didn’t change that much. I still found living in America difficult. But slowly, I began to understand God’s overwhelming love for me.
I realized my losses were futile compared to discovering God had rescued me. It was as if God had literally lifted me from the little island of Britain and placed me down on the east coast of the United States. He didn’t do this to make me miserable, or because my behavior displeased him. God did it because he loved me too much to let me carry on running after things that didn’t matter compared to the value of knowing him.
I had been ignoring God. My career, my friends and my social life stood between him and me. They blocked my view of a God who constantly called out to me, waiting for me to notice him. God loved me too much to let this continue. With them out of the way, I finally turned to my heavenly Father and, regardless of how far I had been from him, he welcomed me with open arms.
The Bible tells us God longs for us to notice him. God says: “‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations.” Isaiah 65:1-2
I was one of those people.
God loves us with a passionate love. He is the best kind of jealous lover. God wants us for himself. God goes out of his way to get noticed by us. And when we turn to him he eagerly responds for he says: “While they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
Rachel Britton is an author, blogger and speaker. Raised on the east coast of England, Rachel now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children. Rachel is passionate about helping women become healthier in their relationship with God, with others, and with themselves, and to thrive from the inside out.
You can find out more about Rachel at http://www.rachelbritton.com