“My children were made to be loved.” — God ambushed me one night with these words.
I was brushing my hair before bed, not thinking of anything much (well… I was thinking about how much I was looking forward to snuggle in my soft, cozy bed after a hard day’s work and watch Gilmore Girls with Alex), when God broke in and interrupted my train of thought (as He tends to do).
We were created in God’s image, to be just like Him. And God has always lived being fully loved – the Trinity is the perfect circle of love to each other.
This means that we were created to live being fully loved, too.
We were intended for love.
Made for it.
Hardwired to give and receive love.
Love is the essence of who God is, and it is also the core essence of who we are.
We were created to be fully accepted – by God, by others, and by ourselves (hands up those who find this last one the hardest!). We were also created to fully accept others.
But life doesn’t always tell us that, does it? In fact, life sometimes seems hell-bent on telling us just the opposite. We were not born into a perfect world. We came into the world with pure eyes, seeing life and people as they should be instead of how they were… but had to learn pretty quickly that things weren’t as they should be.
The way that others treated us showed us that we weren’t worthy of love and belonging. We learned that we had to earn it, work hard for it. And when we had it, we discovered that we had to work hard not to lose it.
And then there was our own heart. In there, we found a propensity to reject and treat others with everything other than love and kindness. It was so easy, and came so naturally, to be rude, mean, selfish.
It may have distressed us at first to discover so many not-as-it-should-be‘s in the world, but soon enough we taught ourselves to adapt. We adjusted our hearts to expect less than perfect love – for ourselves and for others. And we slowly became OK with the way things were.
We built an armor to protect our mushy insides from getting hurt. But in that armor – safe, resilient, protected – our soul became our prisoner.
We kept our souls protected by hobbies and luxuries and attention, carefully locking it up with our fear and selfishness. We thought we were safer that way. But in that armor, safe, dark, motionless, airless, we stopped hoping, dreaming, caring, loving. We stopped living.
And this is why God ambushed me with those words, “My children were made to be loved.” He wants to be the hero who storms the castle prison, slays the dragon, and rescues the Princess.
You are that Princess, and He wants to set your soul free from that dark castle so that it can breathe again. He wants you to flourish, thrive, and blossom in the warm sunlight of love.
What the Lord showed me was a glimpse into the Cross.
I saw the agony of Jesus’ suffering, and then He told me, “The pain of His suffering wasn’t physical.”
I spoke back (rather impatiently, I’m ashamed to say),“I know.. His pain was spiritual. It was His separation from You that caused Him the most pain. He was rejected by You so that we could all be accepted.”
His gentle, loving rebuke blew me away —
“Yes, you are right. But do you know what happens when a human heart is away from My presence?
That heart slowly dies because it is apart from the Source of Love. The human heart was not made to function without love, and it cannot survive without it.
On the cross, Jesus took every single curse and sting of rejection that every human being from the beginning to end of time would be subjected to, all condensed into those few hours. It was a deeply emotional pain, and His heart was breaking.
But He did it so that no human being would ever again have to live for one moment under curses and rejection. He did it so that every person could have access to a life lived in the fullness of love, because human beings were made to be loved.
My children, including you my daughter, think that a life of love is a luxury. A possibility rather than mandatory. A practice rather than an intrinsic reality. A way of life rather than the core of being.
You were made to be loved. And there is no other way that you can live. There is no other way of living. Remember that.”
Let’s remind ourselves and each other daily that there is no other way to live. I was made to be loved, and so were you.