Over the last few weeks I have had so much “junk” come to the surface, I am finally beginning to make sense of so much that has happened to me over the last 6 months to a year. It has been a harder year than I think I ever wanted to allude to, but now looking back, I am so thankful for the place Christ has brought me.

Unfortunately I have placed myself in situations over the last year where I put my trust and love in individuals and expected from them a similar love. My problem was that I was longing to be loved as I was, with all my defects and failures known. I thought that only when that happened would I truly be loved. But this kind of love belongs only to God. We humans are too limited to give it. Therefore finding it anywhere except in God is impossible. I think the love that I was longing for is a love that loves not in spite of, but in light of our weaknesses and failures.

What happened though as I was let down and deeply hurt, in the process my confidence rapidly deteriorated. I started to think I was not good enough and that I was not lovable by others. It has taken me a long time to see this but my reaction was to boost my own self up through promoting who I was – in an arrogant way. This was completely out of insecurity though. Coming, working and living here in Africa has broken me so much. It is hard to explain, but essentially there is nothing I can do here to earn people’s love more or less.

What I have learned from all this is the importance of understanding the love of God. It is something that is too often spoken of, but rarely do we come to terms with not only understanding it, but actually believing it. For me I think I have had a very serious mis-understanding of it, one that is very Western in which I have had to deeply unlearn.

Brennan Manning has a saying that has really impacted me. “God loves us as we are, not as we should be, for we will never be as we should be.” Like in a love relationship, there are things that I think you can do to earn the other persons love. However, this is incorrect. You could do all the great things in the world and be the best person – God is going to love you just the same. I think that each of us wants desperately to be valued. At least for me, I crave acceptance of others. Out of every desire there is such as fame, power, pleasure, the greatest desire is to be loved. The failure to find this love in others comprises our deepest pain and drives us subconsciously into behaviors that we think will help us find that love.

I do not believe that the human soul can endure not to be loved. We will do anything to get it. Some will try to change their personality, others will try to climb the ladder of success and promote themselves, others will become more religious trying to find Gods love through being perfect.

But that is the paradox that is so hard to understand. He loves me just the way I am right now, here today.

One of my hero’s, Rich Mullins, he had a saying that explains so much – “I am a Christian not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but rather because there were people who were willing to be the nuts and bolts.”

Those Christians that get this concept, they live life like this, the one that Rich described. That is what I want to be.

However, too often Christians are desperately trying to earn a love they already possess and are fearful of forfeiting a love they can never lose. This whole system is flawed and has to be unlearned.

I am tired of trying and am in a place where I am realizing that Christ loves me so much. No matter what, sin or not, He notices me and has not forgotten about me.

My confidence has been changing lately. Not in earthly terms, but rather in a security knowing where I stand with my Father. It is something that for some reason was taken from me over the last year as I sought acceptance through others and not through him. Oh, the errors of being human.