I Am Loved

This post is part of a series on self-care from the perspective of self-care in Christ.  How do I care for the person who God says I am?

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

Romans 5:8

The first truth that typically comes to mind, for me, is that God loves me.  God is love.  God’s love is perfect. But, what does that mean for me personally?

I know that God loves me because He sent His son for me.  His sacrifice has nothing to do with who I am or what I have done to deserve it.  I don’t deserve it!  But, because of His unfathomable love, He died for me.  If that doesn’t prove His love for each and every one of us, I don’t know what would.

So, in light of the fact that I am loved extravagantly by the one true God, how do I care for her?

I give her grace.  I am gentle with her.  I give more love away.

Why would loving others be a form of self-care?  Isn’t that why I need to so some self-care?  I have been loving all of the people around me so much that I’m just plain worn out, Mandee!!!!  I know.

I think one of the reasons we need self-care these days is because we are trying to do too much – too many OBLIGATIONS. And that’s the thing.  If we are serving others out of obligation, we will become exhausted quickly.  However, if we are full of the love of God, we will be overflowing with love.  We will be able to serve out of love, rather than obligation of fear or guilt.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could perfect that?  But, here we are.  Women of faith who are frazzled and worn out from serving all. of. the. people.  How do I muster the love?

For me, it is reminding myself of all the ways the Father loves me.  All the reminders I need are right there in the Bible.  Start there.  Read His words about His love for you.  Start thinking about who loves you well.  For me, I think of my parents.  I was so blessed with imperfect, but very loving parents.  Not once did I doubt how much the loved me and believed in me.

Gather all those sources of love to you.  Keep the Word of God in your heart.  Give thanks for the people who have shown love to you – be it family, friends, or even kind strangers.  Gather all of that love until you feel like loving someone else.  Because you KNOW you are loved.

One of the most difficult times in my life was when I went through a divorce at the age of 23.  Talk about feeling unloved!  Someone gave me this advice: “find someone else to serve and you will start to feel better.”  I did not understand this advice.  I thought it was really silly…until I finally tried it.  And it was true.  When I started giving love away, I realized how loved I actually am.

So, let’s try it.  Let’s gather the love that has been poured into us and pour it into others as our act of self-care today!

Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself”

*verses from HCSB version