I’ve been thinking about this phrase lately, during Lent: I am utterly loved. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain and heart around. Hard for me to believe, honestly.
Utterly loved? Like, totally and completely? No matter what?
That’s not how my brain works. I’m the kid who loved to see the line of star stickers on her reading chart, taped to the 3rd grade window for everyone to see. It’s hard for me to believe that I am loved when I don’t have any stars on my chart.
And lately I haven’t had many stars on my chart.
For Lent, this year I gave up something weird. Not chocolate, not social media, not caffeine.
This year, for Lent, I gave up my quiet times.
Yes, I know. That seems strange. I’ve given up time with the Lord? During Lent?? Not exactly. Because my quiet times (or devotion times or whatever you want to call them) were no longer spent with the Lord. They had become my self-induced, self-disciplined, self-important attempts to show God what a good girl girl I am. What a committed follower. That I deserved to be loved. That I had stars on my chart.
So I gave them up. And I’m using Lent to reflect on the truth that I am utterly loved. Even without a daily quiet time.
(Does this make you nervous? It does me. I have been very uncomfortable to tell you the truth.)
But I’m learning something that I think may prove to be very valuable. I’m learning that I am utterly loved even if I don’t… do anything. Even if I don’t have a daily quiet time. Even if I don’t publish a weekly blog post. Even if I don’t finish the laundry or keep the house picked up. Even if I don’t love my family as well as I’d like. Even if I don’t succeed. Or make a difference. Or do something great.
I am utterly loved. No matter what.
And if you belong to Jesus, so are you. You are utterly loved. No matter what. Maybe you need to let that truth sink in as well?
How would you finish this sentence?
I am utterly loved even if I don’t…
I would love to hear your answers for real. Click on the comment bubble in the lower right-hand corner of this post to leave a comment :).