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God Loves the Real Me - Wholly Loved - November 22

God Loves the Real Me

By Jessica Brodie

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children.” 1 John 3:1

In high school, I got wild, all-consuming crushes on boys I barely knew, and then drove my friends crazy by talking about it. All. The. Time.

“You know what? You’re in love with love!” an exasperated friend told me one day.

She was right—I was enamored with the idea of what it might look like to have a boyfriend, that happily-ever-after feeling portrayed in books and movies.

I craved the abstract. And on occasion when I’d actually go on a date with one of these “amazing” boys, reality would hit and I’d quickly lose interest. These weren’t fairy-tale princes but regular teenaged boys, after all.

Now, I’m happily married and enjoy real love with my husband. Yes, my heart still pitter-patters for him, but we also know what it’s like to nurse each other through the flu or get down-and-dirty cleaning the kitchen. We have an intimate, concrete, lasting love.

Lately, I’ve realized my relationship with Christ wasn’t always the same; I hadn’t taken that leap of faith to go from abstract love to concrete. I might have been a follower of Christ and a believer, but when I’d read Scripture and heard God say He died for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8) and lavished us with love as adopted children (1 John 3:1), I imagined “us” or “you” represented humanity as a whole.

Here’s what I’ve learned: God loves me—the real me. Makeup free and vulnerable. He doesn’t love the “idea” of me, in the abstract way, but the true, raw, unfiltered, bare-bones no-frills soul parts. He loves even the parts I can’t mask or hide. He loves me so much that He died for me.

Yet I’d returned His love superficially, not the way He loves me. My surface-level heart stood in the way of the blossoming love relationship I know now that God sought with me, His precious daughter, His Jessica, this whole time!

Just as He loves you.

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.

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Christianity / Devotionals / Wholly Loved / God Loves the Real Me - Wholly Loved - November 22