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