My Beloved

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

I think one of the hardest things to feel is not being loved. So many times in our lives we try to earn the love of others. We try to have the people around us look up to us, think that we are important and relevant. Sometimes we try to earn the love from another person in a relationship, which can leave us empty and broken. Maybe you are trying to earn love from a parent who wanted nothing to do with you. You try to earn love in your job, hobbies, in most things you do. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? We are creatures that were made for love, because our God is love. The thing is, we have become disconnected from God; we’ve lost our source of true love. This love is a deep love, one that enters into our life and breaks our heart, making us new creatures. We are searching for love in all the wrong places (that’s gotta be a song, right?). We are wanting love because we feel incomplete, and in our incompletion we feel the farthest thing from beautiful; we feel ugly. This is the lie Satan, the great deceiver, is speaking over us. The truth is, we follow a God who is all powerful and made us in his image. We have a God that calls us sinners, those who have chosen independence from him; he calls us his beloved.

God tells us that you are his beloved. This word (because you know how much I dig the definitions behind words), beloved means to be dearly loved, used for a specific set of people. You are the specific people. You are his beloved. John 4:10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” God has the deepest love for us, so much so that he sent his son to die on our behalf. He didn’t have to do this, he is so powerful he could have simply started over, yet he chose to save you. He made the ultimate act of love, he sacrificed so that you could live a full and beautiful life. You are a beautiful creation. The feeling of being incomplete is a true feeling, but no person or relationship can fill that void, God is the missing piece in your life. You need to believe the fact that you are his beloved, he says to you, “You are my beloved.” The scripture is filled with this sentiment over and over. The bible is a love story to us. So many times in life we are trying to search for love, we are trying to fill the empty space in our hearts. If we’re honest we feel like we can never truly be loved, that we are damaged in some way that makes it impossible. God doesn’t see you as damaged, he sees you as his child which he created. You are made new in his love; the sacrifice he made on your behalf. You are his beloved.

Made complete in Christ.

I used to feel incomplete, like a part of me was missing. I didn’t fit in with the rest of the people around me. I was terrible at sports, but all guys are supposed to love sports right? I found more excitement in the pages of the comics at the library, and when I played outside I created fantasy worlds filled with individuals who impacted the world. I didn’t always feel like I fit in, but the truth was, I was exactly who God made me to be. God gave me the heartbeat for stories and even in my fantasy worlds I knew that the people were the most valuable part of the story. Maybe you feel the same, maybe your personality didn’t fit the stereotypical norms, but that’s how God created you. I know how hard it feels to not fit in or try to enter into new situations knowing no one. Most of my life has been entering a new situation where I felt alone. I am never alone. You are never alone. We are loved by an all present God, one who says that in him you are complete. No matter how alone you feel or how much of a misfit you feel like you are, you are never alone. You are complete in all that Christ made you to be. You are his beloved.

Made beautiful even with the scars.

A couple weeks back on the radio (which I don’t typically listen to these days), I heard a song called, “Scars to your beautiful,” by Alessia Cara. I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but I highly recommend you do it now (no for real, listen to it.). One of the lyrics goes, “But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are.” This is a song by an artist who, at least not that I know of, isn’t a believer, yet she is singing spiritual truths. I love the positive message of this song, we need more of that in this world we live. So many of us have scars. For me it’s the scars of words that bullies spoke over me, making me feel like I was ugly and dumb. For you maybe it’s the same, or maybe it’s a real scar. I’ll never forget the time one of my friends in high school told me about the scars on her arms…a very real marking of not feeling beautiful. She was talking about it because she had heard about another girl who was experiencing something similar in a lower grade, she wanted to use her scars to tell a story of healing. I think that’s beautiful. Maybe you have scars on your body, whether caused by yourself or someone else, these scars don’t define you. You are beautiful and your story is beautiful. You are so worth loving, no matter how alone you feel. There is help if you need it, so please reach out. God made you exactly who you are, and that’s beautiful. You are his beloved.

(Authors Note: If you are experiencing domestic abuse, physical or verbal, please call 1-800-656-463. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255. There is always help, no matter what. You are loved.)

Made to tell a story.

The greatest part about knowing you are loved by Christ, is the fact that you have a story that will help others. We all have stories, it’s the way we interpret the world around us. Our stories are powerful, because they are pictures of how God has moved us from bondage into new life. Can you imagine what would happen if we all shared the stories of what God has done in our lives? We are surrounded by a fallen world, one where it seems okay to put someone else down and degrade them. What would happen if we shared our stories in the midst of a world where we have people on high podiums talking down to others? We were made to tell stories. God gave us a story to tell. He loved us and sent his son to give us freedom, we now have to choose to follow him and he will impact our story forever. I want to challenge you this week to share your story on whatever social media you use most. Share your story with someone because it could change their life forever. God gave you a story to tell, because you are his beloved.

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It can feel like no one truly loves us. We search after all the wrong avenues seeking solace in worldly things that will fade away. The truth is, we are made by God. A God who is love, in every sense. This God sent his son to die for you, paying the ultimate price, because you are his beloved. No matter how you feel, God has always loved you. God doesn’t see you as damaged, he sees you as his child which he created. You are made new in his love; the sacrifice he made on your behalf. You are his beloved. Today I hope you feel encouraged, I hope that you know just how incredible you are. You are his creation, and nothing can take that away.

You are so worth loving, because God calls you his.

-Joshua Thomas

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