Although it’s been years since I’ve believed in Santa Clause, I think that the whole ‘naughty vs. nice’ thing has embedded itself deeply into my heart.
The question at the front of my mind for the past few months has been “God, do you love me?” And even when He says yes, I’ve felt this deep dissatisfaction with myself and my ability to be the kind of person that God would want to love.
The deepest desire of my heart has been to know that God loves me- not just on surfacey level, the kind where you nod with holiness and whisper ‘thank you’ (because thats how holy people talk)- but the kind where you walk tall with this deep sense of approval. The kind of knowing that permeates all of you, leaving no part untouched by His total, game-changing love.
I’ve been missing this so much- wanting it so badly- but somehow, no matter how much time I spend with the Lord, no matter how many good deeds I do, and no matter how many sarcastic or frustrated comments I bite back, I can’t get there. I can’t seem to feel worthy of His love- not HIS love, not really.
I walked into church yesterday feeling like an imposter. I felt like God and everybody else could see the hypocrisy trailing behind me like a stray piece of toilet paper stuck to my shoe.
I look like I have it all together- my life looks holy- I work for a missions organization after all. But underneath all of that is a deep fear of not being good enough- not being chosen- not being loved by God because I just don’t deserve it.
I’ve been asking God over and over again if He loves me, then plugging my ears, afraid of the response.
But then Christmas showed up- a bright, cheery, glowy reminder of what’s true.
With twinkling lights and the world screeching to a jolly halt, the truth became unavoidable. It’s the reason we celebrate Christmas at all-
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16
It’s the best news in the world, and it’s proof.
God loves us. God loves us so much that He sent His precious, perfect, only Son into the world to come and help us, and then to die on our behalf. God loves us so much that He didn’t leave us alone. He didn’t toss us the keys to the world with a “good luck” and an “I hope you figure it out.”
He gave us the best gift in the world. Proof that He loves us, and help to get through this wild and crazy life.
I haven’t been feeling very merry recently. I haven’t felt quite as enamored with the holiday lights and sounds and smells as I wish I did. But this is a truth that I can really get behind celebrating. It’s like soothing peppermint hot chocolate to my trying-too-hard soul.
God LOVES me. God LOVES ME and always has and always will. Not because I earned it, not because of anything I did, but because He does. And because He loves me, I don’t have to figure this life out on my own. All I have to do is say ‘thank you- I love you too!’
Merry Christmas and thank the LORD for Jesus.