This is a story of one of those times when God, quite literally, took my breath away.
I was a happily single mom at the time. The kids were out, and taking advantage of a quiet Sunday afternoon to myself, I was cutting out a pattern on the floor of my bedroom. Strange I know, but it was the only area big enough to lay out all the pattern pieces. As I catapulted around the floor, trying not to swallow pins and stab myself with the scissors, I began to feel rattled and distracted. I tried to remain focused on my sewing but the strange feeling persisted.
Not knowing why, I eventually stopped what I was doing, sat down on the corner of my bed and said:
“Ok Lord. If there is something you want to tell me, you have my attention.”
“I cannot give you somebody to love, if you cannot love yourself.”
That got my attention. (Especially because I had absolutely no plans to ever get married again.)
But it was impossible. I didn’t have any self-worth issues, I had dealt with all of that long ago. Maybe I had heard wrong. I mean, I was ok with me, wasn’t I?
As I sat there, words began to stream through my mind. Words about my own self-worth, value, God’s love and how not loving myself, stood in the way of me loving others. The words kept coming and they all had to do with the same message. When the words stopped, I shrugged it off and carried on with my pattern cutting. The unsettled feeling disappeared.
That night I went off to our church and joined in the chatter with friends, as usual, my afternoon’s encounter forgotten.
As the meeting started, the leader was talking to us when he was interrupted by the pastor. The pastor said he felt he needed to say something. He said “I believe there is a person or persons here today, who are struggling with self-love. You can’t love others until you love yourself.” He went on to repeat words almost identical to those I had heard, sitting in my bedroom, earlier in the afternoon. God got my attention for the second time that day.
He continued to say, “If you are that person, God wants to supernaturally reveal His love for you.” He said those people should go home, and pray to God to do exactly that.
Still doubting, I went home anyway and prayed to God. “Lord I don’t know if that message was for me, but if it was, I ask that you supernaturally reveal your love to me.”
And there it was. Right there. A supernatural revelation of His love.
My tears and sobs dried in an instant as the words hit home. God had just shown me a picture of His unconditional love for mankind.
You see, His love does not depend on our qualifications, our achievements, where we live or the car we drive. It is not determined by how well we parent or how many friends we have. He doesn’t love us as the world loves us. He loves us so perfectly unconditionally, that nothing we do can make Him love us more or less.
That night, changed my life. I realized for the first time ever, that I was loved and worthy in the eyes of God and suddenly people’s opinions were less important. My worth was measured in comparison to others and always found myself wanting. I never felt good enough. Until the night I realized that they too are just jelly blobs. If the creator of the universe loves me and thinks I am worthy, what do people’s opinions matter?
The picture of the jelly blob has never left me. Whenever I face moments of doubt, I think back to that picture and remember who I am.
The other thing I learned that night was that we are all the same. We are all equal in God’s eyes. If I am ever potentially intimidated by somebody else, I remember that below the appearances, they are also just a jelly blob. For the first time, I understood the scripture, “love your neighbor as yourself”.
So when I tell somebody that they are worthy or valuable, it is not lip service. I know how much God loves them.