My eyes scanned the crowd looking for his face. I was performing yet again in my high school choir and I just wanted to see one thing: my dad in the audience.
It wasn’t that I didn’t think my dad loved me. I knew he did, or at least I thought I knew. He worked, literally day and night, to provide for me and my very large family of 10. Surely that proved his love, right?
As my eyes and heart continued to search, I wondered, “Was my performance enough to make him take a night off from work? Was I enough?” I wanted proof that I was loved. And even if he didn’t show up… would I still believed he loved me?
I find that even today, there are times I struggle to scan the circumstances of everyday life for proof that I’m loved. Sometimes it looks like this…
…will my husband remember my job requires a lot, even though it’s not a typical nine-to-five?
…will I get a “thank-you” for all those extra hours I worked on that project?
…will my adult child make time for me?
I have a feeling I’m not the only one who does this.
Galatians 2:20 tells us, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (ESV)
In this verse in the Bible, I see something that is a bit perplexing: the beginning of my life, “the life I now live,” starts with being crucified. (Not literally crucified, just my old way of living and thinking.) For me, this death is a death to the continual craving to be affirmed and approved of. Jesus has affirmed me already, and that is enough!
I like to think that because Jesus has affirmed me, all my selfish desires to look for proof that I’m loved in all the wrong places should up-and-vanish, right?
Wrong. This is what happens when I forget that Christ lives in me.
You see, as long as I’m on this side of Heaven, my flesh will fight to come back to life and take over. So, I need to remember that dying to myself isn’t a one-time decision, but a daily (and often, moment-by-moment) decision.
Every day I must settle in my soul that I’m deeply loved and forever cherished. I must remember that the Spirit of Christ who lives in me is bigger than my flesh that wants to look for proof that I’m loved and good enough in every situation.
When I don’t waste my energy and time searching for love, I can be a conduit for His love, His purpose, and His life to flow through me and to others.
Friend, you and I can stop searching the crowd. Our Father loves us. He proved it not just once and for all through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but He proves it daily through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit living in us. He proves it in the power to say yes to loving another when it is hard and uncomfortable. Yes, Christ lives in us. We now live by faith, confidence, and trust in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us and with this confidence, we move on to sharing this great love with others.
Let’s pray and ask for Jesus’ help today: Jesus, you said, “I have been crucified” with you. When I’m tempted to look for love in the way others respond to me, notice me or affirm me, help me hold tight to the Truth that You have already affirmed me. Help me die to myself again at this moment so Your Spirit can live in and through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
We come into this world with the need to know that we are loved and to particularly know that we are loved by God. Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls empowers a girl to know confidently that she’s loved, protected, secure, whole and valuable. Now is a great time to grab this beautiful gift book as a Christmas gift for that precious girl in your life. Gift a copy of Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls by clicking here.
Looking for some parenting encouragement during this unusual time in our world? Join me as well as Korie Robertson, Mark Batterson, and so many others for the Perfectly Imperfect Online Conference by Christian Parenting, October 23 – 24th. Click here to learn more and sign up!
Hey girl moms! Listen to Professional Counselor Michelle Nietert’s and myself on our latest episode of our podcast on raising brave girls here.