God Knows More Than My Name

u_get_meA recurring theme in Contemporary Christian music is that God knows my name. Whenever I hear that lyric, I think, “Thank goodness that’s not all He knows!”

For people who feel disconnected from God, I’m guessing it’s reassuring to hear that God knows your name. However, I think about the many people whose names I know but who I don’t know a thing about other than what the tabloids tell me, much of which is likely untrue. And then the things that really matter about those people aren’t going to make it into the tabloids. Only their closest friends will know the information that really matters, and some of the most important information might not even be shared with them. So, yeah, I know their names, but I don’t know them.

Contrast this with the knowledge that God has of you:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

Even I don’t know how many hairs I have on my own head, but God does. That’s a level of caring that I don’t even have about myself!

Yes, I love that God knows my name, but I love even more that He understands the way I tick, which is something I don’t fully understand myself. Thanks to the child abuse, my brain developed differently from a “normal” brain, causing me to react differently than other people to particular stimuli. As I have healed from the child abuse, I have grown to understand some of my triggers (thanks to flashbacks), but others continue to perplex me. However, God is not perplexed. He knows exactly why I think and do what I think and do, and He loves me through it all.

I love that I have a God who knows me intimately … who knows where I have been, am now, and where I am going … who knows exactly what I need … who completely understands my peculiarities that I don’t understand about myself … and who loves me completely exactly as I am, even knowing me that intimately. Love like that is transforming and runs far deeper than simply knowing my name.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with her hands on her heart below the words, “U Get Me.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]

Four Fundamental Beliefs: God Loves You

lovedContinued from here.

The most important fundamental belief is that God loves you. I know you know this, but do you truly believe this in the marrow of your bones? I didn’t until 2013, even though I received Jesus as my Savior when I was eight years old. I sang the song Jesus Loves Me in Sunday School. I could recite John 3:16 at the age of nine. I was leading Bible studies in my church for years, but in the deepest recesses of my heart, I did not really believe that God loves me.

Receiving the reality of God’s lavish love for you transforms you in powerful ways. When I started tithing the first hour of my day to God, the first thing that God did was bathe me in His love. I was on a “God high” for months because God’s love is simply that transforming. Truly digesting the reality of how much God loves me made all the difference.

Before I truly believed that God loves me, I believed that I was fundamentally unlovable. I would have nightmares about my inner child that repulsed me. In one of them, I saw this disgustingly ugly baby alone in a dark warehouse, and I knew it was me. I forced myself to hug the child, and it started screaming. That’s the level of self-loathing I suffered for most of my life, and this is a common aftereffect of childhood abuse.

I used to believe that Jesus died for everyone else and that I was just an “add on.” Since Jesus was already dying for others (who I thought were loveable), he let me tack on to what he was already doing to save me as well. I believed that he didn’t really love me in the same way as he loves everyone else. I was the stray dog he took pity on since he was already making the sacrifice for others.

God placed heavily on my heart that He loves ME. If I was the only person who would ever have received Jesus’ gift, he would have made the same choice for ME. This was very difficult for me to accept because of my deep-seated self-loathing, but God was relentless in driving home this point: “I love YOU!! I died for YOU!! I value YOU!!

Receiving and believing this truth transformed me in powerful ways. I am not the same person as I was pre-March 2013, and the primary reason is that I chose to believe God’s love for me. His love is THAT powerful.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with a heart above her head. Courtesy Bitmoji.]