Forgiveness, God, Love, Mothering, Relationship

Love: Undeserved Love

Low Storm Clouds

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

His storm rolled in on the heels of a decision I made that he didn’t like. These storms he goes through always lead to dark places for this boy. First, he got mouthy. After ignoring a warning to take a step away from the situation, he went in for the attack, his words aiming to wound.

Stormy skies

After spending time in his room, the boy went into his dark place. His negative words about himself . . .

. . . the guilt that came from throwing verbal jabs at his mama kept him from being comforted by anything I could say to him.

Lightning flashed and thunder rolled across the plains of his sweet face. The rainy tears tracked down his reddened cheeks. And he crawled into my lap.

“I love you.” I hugged him close.

He let the tears come, wordless.

Rain Sheets

Winds of failure blew across the surfaces of his soul. This boy my heart loves to the point of hurt craved comfort, yet refused it because he felt unworthy.

Often, time is the best thing to help calm a storm. And music . . . at least for this boy.

Sometimes, it’s the gentle sprinkles of truth that have to be heard by the heart. Those truths that begin to displace the lies of not being deserving, of not being worthy of being loved. How my heart hurts to see either of our boys struggle with this feeling.

Storm behind trees

Because really? Who of us deserves to be loved? We’ve all hurt another, either purposefully or accidentally. We’ve all inflicted pain on those we say we love.

We’re all so very human. We all fall short of deserving God’s love. Of being able to be worthy of His love on our own merits.

Though my boys don’t understand this yet, that’s part of why Jesus came . . . to make us able to be loved by God, and able to love Him in return. Even if it is a limited sort of love we can give.

Stormy Sky

Please tell me I’m not alone in realizing how far short I fall of being worthy of God’s amazing love, His showering graces. Those times when I act pridefully, when I look down on another. When I am short with our boys. When I judge another in my heart, if not in words.

My Daddy sees it all. And still He chooses to love me. There is nothing I—or any of His children—can do to make Him stop loving us.

Storm moving in

We can choose to live in the condemnation the enemy heaps on us. Or we can choose to accept His forgiveness and His grace. We can choose to walk forward, knowing there’s no possible way for us to redeem ourselves. No possible way for us to earn His love.

And we can rest in the truth that He loves us.

God’s love is perfect, passionate, and complete. 

Tree with clearing storm

When we accept His love, we also can know His joy welling up, spreading peace across the shortfalls in our make up.

When we believe God loves us as we are—when we accept His unconditional love—then we can walk forward in childlike confidence, resting in the truth that We. Are. Loved.

Sunrays behind clouds

And this boy of mine? He took some time to work through his feelings, put on his favorite Newsboys CD, and got back to work on living his day. Sunshine returned to his smile and his countenance.

Yes, knowing we are loved fills us with indescribable peace.

What about you? When have you failed and been loved through it? How do you love others when they have hurt you in some way?

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11 thoughts on “Love: Undeserved Love”

  1. I can be pretty unlovable much of the time. I’m flogging myself forward through this circumstance of illness, it hurts…and it distances me from those I love. No one wants to see self-immolation on what they perceive as an altar of toughness and resolve.

    It’s hard to accept stepping back from that, because I feel like if I let go the wheel, so to speak…I’ll never get it back. It’s an insane drive, with no brakes, and a nasty crash inevitable at the end.

    But I am loved through it, undeservedly.

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    1. Andrew, you are loved through this situation you’re in. Sometimes it’s hard to accept and believe, but that doesn’t change the truth that you are loved. I imagine God feels far away sometimes, but He loves you. I’m glad you have a wife who loves you. I’m praying for you and for her. Daily.

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  2. So powerful, Jeanne! I’m trying to do this, too. When I get so frustrated with Bea, I try to step back and say “I love you” first. It’s been a challenge, but those beautiful words really do diffuse our tempers. She’s so feisty now, I can only imagine what the next years will bring….! Thankful for moms like you who are ahead and giving wise insight to our next phases!

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    1. Annie, this motherhood journey we walk is glorious and heartrendingly difficult as we come face to face with our own shortcomings, yes? We—both of us—are learning to walk each day in grace as God uses our kids to make us more like Him. I’ll pray for you today, my friend.

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  3. Jeanne, I love your words.

    God’s love is something I have a hard time accepting. I know myself and I just can’t wrap my mind around His boudary-less, fathomless affection in the face if my nastiness.

    But…maybe I’m not meant to. Maybe I’m just meant to dive in and let my soul drown.

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    1. Marie, I believe you describe the struggle of many Christians. We can be our absolute worst toward Him, and He still loves us. Perfectly, completely, passionately. It took some hard lessons for me to embrace this truth. And I think you’re right. He doesn’t intend us to be able to totally grasp his love for us. Just to accept it. I always love your thoughts.

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