Dear Beloved,

One of our activities in youth group back in high school was to write a letter to ourselves from God.

We were supposed to think about what God would say to us at that moment in our lives and write as if He were sending us a letter. It was surprisingly more difficult than I could imagine, especially at a point in my life when I had so much going on. I was getting ready to leave for college, trying to plan ahead for my future, attempting to muster what little motivation I had left to finish studying for my final exams and preparing to leave home for the first time – all while feeling the looming weight of this ever-approaching “real world” people were constantly talking about. I still had no clue what I was in for.

The unknown can be a scary place sometimes, but I’ve found it is many times the best place.

Even now that I’m in the “real world,” I wake up most days feeling like there is a lot of unknown still to discover. I have to admit I would find this task of writing a letter from God to myself just as difficult now.  I’m totally incapable of thinking of myself the way God does without making a conscious effort, and I’m reminded of that every day.

I remember putting it off for several days, and then one day as I was reading a devotional, everything that needed to be said (or written) suddenly flooded into my mind. I couldn’t write fast enough.

After I was finished, I could barely remember what I had actually written. I was so caught up in it that I wasn’t even thinking about it anymore. Two hours had passed in what felt like five minutes.

I vividly remember reading the letter back after I finished writing it and tears filling my eyes, because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I truly believe with every facet of my being those words were not my own, but they came from God to me at a moment in my life when I needed them most.

Occasionally, when I need to be reminded of who I am and how God thinks of me, I reread the letter.

I don’t know where you are on your journey with God, but I pray that maybe these words give you the same hope, joy and peace they did for me in a season of waiting for so much uncertainty to unfold – a season of life that I don’t think ever really ends.

Here is what God had to say to me then, and continues to remind me every day that I forget:

Weary and broken down from the weight of life, from attempting to please so many and managing to please so few, from hiding behind who I pretend to be, from pretending to have it all figured out – to have it all together – but so frequently feeling the familiar sting of failure, defeat, disappointment. Frustrated and angry and upset with myself. Feeling worthless.  Feeling invisible.

Broken, empty and helpless, I fall to my knees. Surrendering my pride, I finally give in.  There’s nowhere left for me to go. I’m tired of hiding behind lies. I just want truth –  something to cling to.
Doubting myself, feeling let down and terrified to know the answer, I cautiously ask:
“God, what do You think of me?”
Filled with compassion, His eyes fill with tears.
“I can’t believe that you’re asking Me this. It breaks My heart to think that you don’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt what I think of you.
My beautiful child, you know what I think of you.
You are My precious daughter.
You are unique; there is no one else in the world like you. You are priceless; worth more to Me than anything on this earth.
Look at the mountains that stretch miles and miles into the sky, majestically dressed with crystal snow.
I love you more than those mountains.
Look out over the desert that engulfs you in its vastness, leaving you feeling so small. I love you more than each grain of sand.
Stare in awe at the power and strength of the ocean as the tide rushes in, surrounding you with its beauty. I designed each wave. I gave the ocean its force. But I treasure you so much more.
Look at the waterfalls, the valleys, the fields. Watch the wild horses run; the bald eagles soar. Examine the intricate design of each flower, each snowflake, each butterfly’s wings.
Stand immersed in a breathtaking sunset.
 Observe how I have sculpted the world and painted the skies, and know that you are more beautiful.
I delight in you, and I love you with all that I am. If that weren’t true, I wouldn’t have sent My Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you so I could know you. I wouldn’t have relentlessly pursued you. I would have let you die in your sin. But I couldn’t. I will never be willing to let go of you, because I desire and cherish you and want you alive. Alive in Me.
You want to know how much I love you?  I don’t need you, but I still desperately want you.  That’s how much I love you.
So don’t ask silly questions that in your heart you know the answer to. Instead, believe in your heart that the answer is, in fact, the absolute truth.
Next time you find yourself asking the question: What does God think of me? Know that no matter what this world has to offer, He loves you more.

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