I wrote those words on a sticky note in my bible years ago after hearing a message preached in church. The truth of those words struck me like a lightning bolt. Let them sink in. The all mighty Heavenly Father, King of kings, Lord of Lords, loves me (and you) as His beloved. Let them sink it again. You are His Beloved.
I have struggled with many things in life. Self worth, self-esteem, thinking I lacked in many areas of my life. Struggled with wanting to feel as though I matter above all else. Struggled with wanting to have a man love me unconditionally. Struggled with identity.
I will be the first to tell you that I struggled with daddy issues for a large part of my life. My biological dad struggled with parenting. He didn’t know how to be a dad. He didn’t know what I needed and he was selfish. He chose to live his life and I wasn’t necessarily part of it. So I searched high and low for something to fill that void. Whether it be with drugs, friends, guys or filling my life with possessions. I was searching for anything to “replace” what I thought I was missing.
That is when He found me. I started dating my now husband when he was 16 and I was 15. He grew up a believer. I grew up not knowing a single thing about Jesus. We were figuring out who we were, we were still kids really. We were figuring out who we were together. And at the same time I was learning about who Jesus was. I didn’t have some big “aha” moment. I was thriving to learn more about Jesus. We were figuring it out together. Life went on and we kept growing up together and learning more about Jesus together.
We were baptized together. We were devoting our lives to Jesus. To know Him. To be more like Him. He threw us a few curveballs along the way. The death of a dear friend. The loss of a baby. The loss of the idea of a life we had made (not the one Jesus had already created for us).
A few years ago, I was telling someone of my teenage years and the struggles I went through, trying to encourage her that her daughter will find her way. She asked me what changed? My boss at the time, came out of his office and told her “the love of a good man.” He could not have been more right (just don’t tell him that).
It was the love of a good man. Two good men, actually. My husband and my Heavenly Father. That’s when He found me. Young, confused and in love with a 16 year old boy. But He found me broken, used and what felt to be disregarded from my humanly father. And to finally realize that He, my Heavenly Father, believes with all of his heart that I am His beloved. That feeling of unconditional, agape love is exactly what I needed.
I also think a lot of women would admit, they too, have struggled with the same things. Self worth, self-esteem, daddy issues, men issues, the need and the want to feel an unconditional love. That’s where the love of Jesus comes in. He calls you His beloved too. He loves you exactly the way you need to be loved. 100% unconditional, unaltered, unfiltered, reckless love. The love you expect from a good man. The love you desire. The love you deserve.
My hope and dreams for this tattoo is that the magnitude of these words never fades on me, or anyone else.