He Loved Me FirstI grew up in a family that went to church. As I was growing up I went to church because they went to church. Sometimes, I would wonder to myself "what are the chances that I was born into a family that believes in the right religion?"
As became a teen, I thought maybe I've been too sheltered, I'm probably missing out on the "fun" stuff. I chased everything I thought might make me happier: alcohol, drugs, and sex. As most people know, these things make you happy for a fleeting moment, then leave you feeling very empty and lonely. Our instinct is to have sex again asap, where can I get my next joint? Who do I wanna drink with this weekend? It's a spiral downward.
But God reminded me of Him! God is where I find my peace, where I find my identity. God is who loves me unconditionally. God pursued me and helped me realize that everything else is empty.
This doesn't mean my life is cake. God still stretches me. It reminds me of a dad in a pool, asking his son who can't swim, to jump into his arms. "Trust me. I want you to trust me." The great thing is, is that because I know He loves me, and I know He controls all things, I can really know rest. I can relax knowing that He will provide me work when I am trusting Him for it. I can know that He will provide everything I need as I look to Him as my help. Of course I fail Him, but He still loves me. One of the hardest things for me to grasp was that He is patient with me, He doesn't expect me to be perfect, and He is more than willing to accept me and forgive me no matter how many times I mess up. We ALL need that! We all need Him.
God loves me, and I love Him. It is a relationship. That is how He wants it.