I was loved first

For most of my life I have believed I was shy.  It was the excuse I would offer to escape the discomfort of engaging in conversation.  I felt awkward and out of place in most social settings, and it was my relief to hide behind the charms of my slightly older sister.  But recently I have come to the understanding that these feelings were not the result of my personality.  I am not shy; I am broken.

We stepped out into the pale yellow sun, and welcomed the cool breezes that swept between us.  We heard the slight rustling of leaves as hand in hand we moved along the winding stone paths of the San Antonio Riverwalk.  The green water snaked through the arched bridges calmly unaware of our presence.

We sat down at one of the many cafes that lined the quiet beauty, and over the crunch of tortilla chips we talked about the following day.  We had come to Texas for our missionary orientation, and we were anticipating the stories of people who shared our passion.  We imagined that most of the other 18 missionaries would be older than us.  We were wrong.

On the first day it became apparent that Tim and I were the seniors of the group, and also the least experienced.  There were numerous opportunities to sit and talk with one another, and I listened in amazement at the beautiful way in which God used people so intentionally.  It was their youth that intrigued me most, because I knew that when I was their age I wasn't ready for this journey.

I have been raised in church my whole life, and it has afforded me the privilege of a lot of religious head knowledge.  But a little girl knowing that Jesus loves her in her head, is quite a bit different than feeling it in her soul.  For it's the soul that changes the life, not the head.

I imagine my thoughts were already prone to believing the lie that I had nothing to offer, but then Sin stole from this little girl what should not have been taken.  I was used then cast aside.  Abuse watered the seed that said I am worth nothing more than what can be taken from me, and I lost the truth of who I was.

So much of my life has been spent in fear.  I kept the deepest parts of me hidden, because the pain of rejection reminded me that I was not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, likable enough to be accepted, to be loved.  It paralyzed me into silence.  It was easier to not be seen than to be cast aside.

These very recent years have been a journey toward God opening my eyes to His love for me.  He has patiently pursued me all of this time, and in his kindness he has given me understanding and shown me that I don't have to be afraid.  He created me fearfully and wonderfully for a purpose that he has chosen just for me.  The more I feel this love from him, the more I want to share it with others.  You cannot steal what I give to you gladly.

On the last day of orientation, we were commissioned to go to Nicaragua as missionaries.  Following the ceremony we traveled to the top of a hill where stands a large bronze sculpture.  I stood at the foot of this cross, the symbol of a life laid down for love, and I wrote out these words on stone.  1 John 4:19 "We love because He loved us first."


  1. So much to absorb in this writing. I plan on reading this every day until it begins to really sink in. Beautiful.

  2. So much to absorb in this writing. I plan on reading this every day until it begins to really sink in. Beautiful.


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