Before I got married, there were many years when I was really lonely. I had a pretty messed-up background, and I felt rejected and unloved by almost everyone.
During my formative years, I was bullied a lot by other kids at school. They said and did horrible things to me. I became depressed, gradually got more depressed, and eventually decided I didn't want to live anymore.
Then God broke through my hopelessness with the radical gift of a black Corvette, and I actually thought for the first time in my life like He might love me. I suddenly had hope, and I accepted Jesus as my Savior soon after that.
But, that still didn't change the fact that I was pretty messed up.
I had some major issues to work through. One of my issues was that I felt rejected everywhere I went. I felt like nobody loved me. I knew that God loved me–I believed in my mind that He loved me–but I still didn't feel loved, even by Him.
One day, I remember telling the Lord that I wanted to meet my husband “so I would feel like someone loves me.” All of a sudden, I saw clearly how wrong that mindset was, because:
- God is supposed to be my source of love (and He is, now). He's my source of everything.
- If I'm willing to receive something from someone else that I'm not willing to receive from God, that's idolatry. (I'm putting someone else before God.)
- So God couldn't give me a husband before I was willing to receive love from God Himself. Having a husband would have drawn me away from Him. It would have affirmed my idol.
Oops. I had never realized that before.
So I immediately prayed and asked the Lord to show me how to receive His love. Only He would be able to break through the walls I had put up. Only He could heal the wounds of so many years.
I had just finished reading a book entitled The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (see my review here) by Gary Chapman. This book, which I highly recommend, says that there are five ways people give and receive love in relationships with other individuals. Those five ways are:
- Acts of service;
- Physical touch;
- Quality time; and
- Words of affirmation.
When the Lord showed me that He wouldn't put me together with my husband until I learned how to receive His own love first, He also showed me–just a sudden understanding!–how to go about receiving His love.
He showed me that every time He does one of these acts of love toward me–giving me a gift, serving me, touching me, spending time with me, and speaking words of affirmation to me–that He is openly demonstrating His love for me. These things are Him loving on me.
So gifts, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and words of affirmation are what love feels like.
I began to change right away when I started to understand this. As I'll discuss in the rest of this series, I started meditating on what it feels like to be loved by God. In the process, I actually started FEELING like God loves me.
It was no longer just an intellectual knowledge. I actually felt loved, and chosen, and special… for the first time in my life.
And I've never gone back.
What about you? Are you tired of merely hearing people tell you God loves you? Do you want to actually FEEL His love for yourself?
You can feel loved, and chosen, and special, too. God loves you, and you can learn to feel and receive His love.
So please, read this series and meditate on the truths it will show you. From my own journey, I will share how to feel like God loves you. And you will learn how to feel God's love, just like I did.
Read the rest of the posts in this series:
- God's Physical Touch
- Quality Time: God Is All Over You
- Acts of Service: The Energizer Bunny Has Nothing On God
- Response to Reader Question: Is It Too Strange For God to Serve Us?
- Words of Affirmation: He's Just That Into You
- The Gifts He Keeps On Giving
- Book Review: The Five Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
The link above to The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (see my review here) by Gary Chapman is my Amazon affiliate link. Read my affiliate disclosure here.