I came to Jesus very, very young. Or should I say, he came to me that way. I was a toddler. I didn’t know what was happening. I have some memories of this and things people have told me, and based on these things the story is that one day I had this fascination with Jesus. I wanted to learn more.
But our family didn’t go to church. We didn’t pray at the table. Jesus wasn’t a topic of conversation in our home. So where did this come from? Who knows. Did I see something on TV? Did he just come into my room and dry my tears?
I don’t remember. I do remember begging my mom to get me into Sunday school, and I wasn’t a begging type of kid. I remember feeling persistent, that this was something I really needed to do. I felt bold about it, which was also unusual because our family had a public face and a private one, and in the private one I was already being told I was worthless by the time I was a toddler. And yet, I had a hunger to learn more about Jesus.
What’s more, I was adopted, so when bad stuff happened I wondered why my birth parents didn’t want me. I never quite felt like I belonged anywhere and I also felt like God must not really like me. I felt like my birth must be some kind of mistake. And it made me angry. In my childlike thinking I loved him so why couldn’t he stop the bad stuff? Why didn’t he love me back?
It was years and years later that I finally understood. I didn’t just decide one day to love Jesus. He came to me.
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
I had read that in the Bible but it didn’t sink in for the longest time. And then it did. One day. It actually took my husband to point it out to me. He said, “If you were that young, God was with you. Get it?” I didn’t until that moment. And then I thought about all the bad stuff that happened to me and I wondered where I would be if God hadn’t been there. After all, I’m here, I’m good! I have a happy life and beautiful relationships. I get to do what I love for a living. These are blessings I am so grateful for.
But if you’re like me…. with a life where you feel like God has abandoned you somehow, please stay with me. He’s there. He wants to be a part of your life.
You don’t have to be perfect in order to receive God’s love. You don’t even have to really understand it all. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this perfect love that is unlike any other love I could receive. Understanding comes later. The first step is just letting him into your heart.
I write about the things that happened to me because they don’t define me anymore. I write to tell you that if you’re someone who believes (like I did) that God does not like you, I’m here to tell you that’s a lie the devil would have you believe. God loves you, fully and completely, just as you are.