From my earliest memories, I was a teacher’s pet. I loved the feeling of answering my teacher’s questions and hearing, “Good job, Kim. You’re so smart.” I loved receiving the end-of-year awards, walking with pride across the stage. I wanted desperately to be admired, to be important, to be valued.
As I grew older, I found my approval in boys. When I was 13, I had my first boyfriend. He was just the first in an unending series of boys, one after another, who I thought could fill a void in my life. Boys made me feel pretty, attractive and valued.
I see now that that void was never meant to be filled by any man or the praises of any man. I see now that no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good my grades were, or how high my ACT score was – it was never enough. I could never score high enough to be “enough.” There was always someone quicker, someone smarter, someone better. No matter how much of myself I’d give away, no matter how hard I tried to please the guy I was with at any given moment – it was never enough. There was always someone prettier, someone funnier, someone better.
Till I found Jesus. Jesus loved me just the way I was, and He loves me now for just who I am. I don’t have to try harder, do more, or be better. I don’t have to “make Him like me.” God has already demonstrated His immense love for me, in that while I was STILL a sinner, He sent His own son, Jesus Christ, to die for me. (Romans 5:8). Jesus deeply values me, paying the price for my sins by His own death on the cross.
This, friends, is love. This is love. This is true love. This is love without conditions. This is love that truly is unending, unfailing and forever. It began before I was born, and it will continue even after I’ve left this earth.
And do you know what’s even more incredible? This love isn’t just available to me. It’s available to YOU.
You don’t have to be the smartest or the prettiest. You don’t have to be better at all. This love isn’t only available to “the few, the proud, the Marines.” It’s available to you.
Jesus doesn’t just love ME, friend. He loves YOU. And He longs for you to love Him back.
I’ll leave you with a song by Phil Wickham that has me in tears, “Till I Found You.”