Can I be honest with you and go total counter-girl-culture? I really don’t like Valentine’s Day. It all seems forced, fake, and full of pressure, and I have such a hard time buying it.
The problem is, I’m not just a skeptic when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I’m a skeptic when it comes to love. Giving love comes fairly easy, but receiving it is an entirely different story. I struggle to believe someone could really love me with no strings attached. This has nothing to do with them. I can honestly tell each person who has loved me well, “It’s not you; it’s me.” I struggle to receive it because I struggle to believe it.
The thing that I struggle with the most is believing that God loves me.
It’s wild because I can sit with a girlfriend over coffee, hear the most horrible of confessions, and be able to speak God’s love confidently over her. My girls can be losing their minds with tantrums and tears, and I can see how God loves them no matter what because I sure do. I’ve stood before hundreds of women at events and in prisons and proclaimed God’s unrelenting, without-conditions love over them. And I one-thousand-percent believe all my confessions of God’s love—for them.
The problem is, I know me. I know the real me, and because of that, I disqualify myself from being a recipient of God’s love. I look around and see others more worthy of His love, believing His love is conditional. Or on my less insecure days, I see others more in need of His love, believing His love has limits.
These are my favorite two words because in the midst of living our story, God can step in at any time and change everything.
I didn’t realize I was believing a lie about God’s love until the past few years. I was ignorant to this because I loved God so much and I believed in Him completely. It is crazy that we can be following God, serving God, believing in God, and trusting God without really connecting to the heart of God. This is when the Father stepped in to show me His great love for me.
One of the best ways for me to connect with the heart of God, and believe it, is to study His Word. What got me a few years ago was simply being an observer to the love He had for the Israelites, His chosen people. They were total mess-ups. I mean they could not get their act together, and God never once stopped loving them. As a parent I get this. There is nothing my girls could do that would make me stop loving them. (For full transparency, there are plenty of things that drive me bonkers, but my love for them has never once diminished.) As for the Israelites, I witnessed God’s unrelenting love for them, and it was better than any of the Hallmark movies I can’t seem to stop watching. And the reason is found in Jeremiah 31:3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
His love is everlasting and faithful, and He has proven that again and again. And I was finally starting to wake up to the fact that maybe He loves me as much as He loved them—both the Israelites and all the women I’ve met with over my years. I’ll be honest—it still feels a little uncomfortable. I still struggle on some days to believe it is true. But the more I hear what is true from His heart, the more my heart changes.
Below are a few of the places in God’s Word that I love to meditate on to be reminded of God’s great love. I hope some of these truths encourage you today. And if they don’t resonate at first, keep reading them and asking for belief to fill you. They are true. In fact, they are the truest things that have ever been said about you.
Psalm 139 is one of the most beautiful places for me to go when I’m feeling unworthy of His love. He knows all about us—from our creation, our days past, our thoughts, and all our future steps. He says that He is right there with us—behind, before, and upon (verse 5).
He knows every single hair on our heads (Matthew 10:30). Doesn’t the reality of this knock you over? With everything going on in this world, He knows the number of my bleached blonde hairs! That is wild.
He calls us child; He calls you daughter (1 John 3:1). After I read this and it finally clicked, I stopped referring to Him as Lord and Father, and embraced that He is my Daddy and I am a total Daddy’s girl. Once I did this, I went from just revering Him to receiving Him.
Every single good thing is from Him (James 1:17). Others might hold conditions with their gifts, but He never has. If parents love to give good things to their kids, then we can know that He wants to lavish us even more so. (Matthew 7:11)
He is so tender with us. He is a shepherd who scoops up His sheep and holds them close to His chest (Isaiah 40:11). He rejoices over us, He quiets us, and He doesn’t just sing soft lullabies but loud praises over us (Zephaniah 3:17). He sees our sorrows and collects our tears (Psalm 56:8).
I could go on an on through Scripture recounting to you all the ways His heart is for you. But that’s the beauty of our Father and the difference between us and the Israelites: we don’t need anyone else to show us. We can go straight to Him.
Ask the One, who is love (1 John 4:8), to show you His heart of love for you. Open His Word and ask Him to show you what is true of Him and of you.
We change our hearts and see His by changing our minds. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” and Paul challenges us in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive.“
This Valentine’s season, whether you are full-on-cupid or full-on-skeptic, embrace what is true about God’s heart. Let’s connect with Him by taking captive any thoughts that tell us we are different than what He has said about us. We take those lying thoughts captive and replace them with thoughts that are true.
Ask your Father to reveal to you today the lies you’ve been believing about His heart and the truth needed to replace those lies.
Becky Kiser speaks often at women’s events and prisons. She is the Founder and CEO of Sacred Holidays, a ministry dedicated to helping women find less chaos and more Jesus as they make their holidays sacred, holy, and set apart, through Bible Study, community, resources, and lots of fun! She is addicted to flavored coffee creamer, loves Texas summers, and usually is reading three books at the same time (although it’s a lot of picture books these days). She lives in the Woodlands, Texas, with her husband, Chris, and their three daughters, Karis, Moriah, and Chandler, where they are involved at Church Project.