How To Live Loved: Advice to My Younger Self

Dear Younger Self,

Remember how as a kid, you loved going around singing Sunday school songs at the top of your lungs with “Jesus Loves Me” being your favorite?  Did you believe it then that Jesus loved you?  When did you stop believing it?  When did you let your insecurities and what others thought start dictating your actions?  

Living loved seems so simple yet so foreign.  Living loved is more than head knowledge.  It requires a knowing in your heart and soul.  It is trusting that what God has said is true all the time and in all circumstances.  

You almost got it when you read Lysa TerKuerst’s book Uninvited.  Your heart recognized the truth, but the roots didn’t go deep.  When Lysa wrote,

Here’s the secret shift we must make: Do I walk into situations prepared with the fullness of God in me, free to look for ways to bless others?  Or… Do I walk into situations empty and dependent on others to look for ways to bless me? (p.45)

Sadly, you saw yourself in the first scenario and tried to fix it.  The trouble was you couldn’t fix it.  You couldn’t just make it happen.  

“Living loved is sourced in your quiet daily surrender to the One who made you.” (TerKeurst, p.34) It comes from sitting quietly in your favorite chair  with listening ears.  It comes from drinking in the word and letting the truth grow roots deep inside of you.  Don’t give up.

One day, you will be listening to a marriage book and hear the author talk about how your greatest need is not to be loved but to learn how to love.   You already loved by God.  Somehow on that day, it will click.  You will start asking God to show you how to love others better.  The focus will shift off of you.  It will slowly become less about you and more about Him.  

Then the day will come when you attend a social event and realize that it was okay.  You were able to love because you are loved.  Your insecurities while not completely gone were not at the forefront.  You didn’t second guess each conversation.  You just loved.   Maybe you saw how you could have related better but deep down you know it will be okay because you are loved, loved by the creator of the universe who gave his only Son for you.

So hold tight to Jesus.  The light switch will turn on.  It could happen in a quiet place or on a long walk.  Or it could be when you take a step of faith and just love because… because God said love one another.  And in the loving, you come to see that you have been loved all along.

Your Future Self who doesn’t have it down perfectly but trusts in a God who loves perfectly.