Rachel Jenae

“You’ve Been Loved Well. Remember.”

“You’ve been loved well. Remember.”

I’ve heard this phrase whispered in my ear many times over the last month.  A sweet reminder that I have been shown what real love looks like. What healthy love looks like. What genuine care looks like. What “pursuing” really looks like. I have been loved incredibly well. And as soon as I take a deep breath and take it all in-just how well God has taken care of me, how blessed I have been, how loved I have been and am-I realize the opportunity and the responsibility I have to share that love and give it away. I think of the parable in Matthew where Jesus says, “To him who has been forgiven much, loves much…” and I know He’s talking to me.

I have known the pursuit of God’s love all of my life. It was there before I even stepped into knowing it.  He was pursuing the generations of my family before me. Guiding them into truth.  Directing their steps. Lavishing His love on them in a million small and big ways. Helping them forgive. Helping them let go and move forward. Reminding them of His love. Remind them of their value. Caring for their passions and desires. Providing, healing and much more. I was born into that legacy of His love, that legacy of His great pursuit. At the young age of six it became incredibly apparent–He loved me with a love I had never fathomed.  A love that made me realize my inadequacy to receive that love, but had me running to Him just the same.

He’s also been whispering this phrase over the last year, “Remember-when…” Recalling to mind a million different moments where He was there and didn’t let me fall, never left me alone, didn’t leave me to my own devices, but gently nudged and kindly called me out of myself, just like He still does. In the last year I’ve needed those reminders like never before. He has walked with me through more seasons than I can recall and in the midst of a year where things seemed quite silent, where frustrations seem to rule my mind, where I seem to fail daily and my own disappointments in self and life were much more prevalent than the positive, optimistic thoughts–well it was a year I needed much reminding.  The fall-out of letting negativity and frustration have it’s way for a season-even a short season-can be quite a clean-up job.  Life not going the way we think it will or should can be devastating if we choose to let it be.  It’s a humbling of sorts to realize your own lack of perseverance. To realize you’re not made of as much as you thought and maybe you should cut other people some slack too.

Now some 26 years later since my eyes were opened to that great love as a child, I still can’t fathom it. A lot of days I don’t think about it much. Most days I forget how good I have it.  I forget that this overwhelming love is there regardless of it I see it or recognize it and that the Creator of the Universe, the one who formed me and knit me together in my mother’s womb, wants me to know Him intimately and personally.  I forget that life is so much more than doing what is right or wrong, accomplishing things for His fame, or having it altogether…but it’s about this God-Man who wants a personal relationship with me.  He knows me better than anyone ever will or could.  He understands me. He gets me. He loves me.  He isn’t controlled or manipulated. He isn’t weak and intimidated. He isn’t far away and distant. He is present, near and strong. I could never accomplish another thing in this life and His love wouldn’t change towards me. I could mess up, screw up, fail every day for the rest of my life and He would still love me.  No shame repulses Him. No fear pushes Him away. No hiding escapes Him. It really is quite remarkable to encounter.

Even as I write all of this I realize it is much more head knowledge than heart-solidified in my own life. Because if I were firmly rooted in all of this truth I would not wrestle with my own inadequacy, my own shame, feeling rejected when other’s actions don’t show that same obvious care.  I wouldn’t feel alone when I’m not pursued.  If I really believed this head knowledge I would rest.  I would scream from the rooftop about this love. I would laugh more and hug more and dance more.  I would care less about my income, my title, my position, my accomplishments.  But most of all, I would give love much more recklessly and freely.  I wouldn’t need someone to reciprocate before giving more. I wouldn’t  need someone to acknowledge me and validate the love I wanted to give.  I wouldn’t give timidly.  I would simply love.

Because I have been loved incredibly well.