Last week, I had a picture perfect moment.
I was curled up next to my husband under a blanket wearing my cozy pajamas, and I felt so good because I knew that I had loved my babies well that day. I had defused multiple meltdowns, managed not to lose my temper, and spent over an hour playing in the floor while my toddler filled the house with belly laughs and my baby cooed and gurgled.
That moment felt so amazing because of its rarity. The truth is that those days are few and far between. More often than not, I end the night frazzled and wondering if I expressed my love well enough.
I wonder if when I yelled, “Don’t touch that! It’s hot!” my kids heard what I was trying to say: “I love you, and I don’t want you to get hurt.” I wonder if I should have hugged them both one more time before bed. I wonder if they’ll grow up remembering how I lost my temper because one of them knocked over a picture frame.
Some days I go to bed wondering if my kids felt loved enough, but never once have I gone to bed wondering if they were loved enough. I know exactly how overwhelming and unconditional the love I have for them is, no matter how they feel at the end of the day.
And that’s the way God loves me—regardless of how I feel at the end of the day.
I may not go to bed feeling treasured, valued, or respected. Sometimes the world leaves me feeling the exact opposite of those things. Sometimes I feel further away from God than I did when I woke up, but that doesn’t change how deeply loved I am by my Savior.
Recently God reminded me that my emotions are not meant to establish truth, they are meant to be driven by His truth. When I feel alone, that doesn’t mean I am. When I feel unworthy, that doesn’t mean I am. When I feel unclean, that doesn’t mean I am.
My emotions don’t determine who I am; Christ does. And He says that I am redeemed, significant, and righteous. That truth is much more important than how I feel, so I’ve started to shift my mindset and my prayers. Instead of I don’t know if I am worthy of Your love, I’ve started praying God, today I don’t feel loved, but You have promised that You love me with an everlasting love. I choose to believe Your Words over mine.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. – 1 John 4:16
There are some days that I feel guilty for not loving my kids perfectly. But on those same days, I’m so thankful for a God who does.
For a God who fills my lack with His overflow.
For a God whose promises are mightier than my emotions.
And for a God who loves me regardless of how I feel about it.