God loves you.

Yes, you.

All of you. All.of.you.

You guys. I have known that God loves me for a long time. I have been told that piece of truth since I started going back to Mass in college.

But, it has only been in the last month that I can honestly say that I know, God loves me.

I didn't hear a voice. I didn't wake up from a prophetic dream.

I was living my life, doing my thing. I had come home from a whirlwind month of seeing my family and friends. Talking with my therapist. Getting to know my self better. And, I needed to go to confession. Unfortunately... it didn't happen. I missed the one time. I had something else going on for the other time. I mean, we all have been there. You know what it's like.

But then, it started weighing on me. I really needed to go to confession. Ugh. And my mind is quick to go down the negative road. How can anyone be around me? Who am I? I'm the biggest sinner of all the sinners. Lies, lies and more lies. The devil knows when you (well, at least he knows when I) am in need of some grace and weasels his way into our thoughts. I was getting to one of those points where I felt completely unloveable.

And then I got a phone call. Nothing life changing about this particular phone call or conversation (honestly, I don't really remember what we talked about!), but it was enough of a reminder for me that, right in that moment, full of sin, I was loved. I was worth it.

And it clicked. God loves me. No matter what. Does He want me to change some things about my life? The way I think of myself? How I react to certain situations? Yes. Of course. But, even if I fail. Or I am slow on the uptake... he.loves.me.

What an amazing feeling! I went into the Steubenville Conference with this new found truth for myself, and I was excited! I was ready to hear what God had to say to me. I was ready to experience His love even more. To share that love with the teens. But, I still needed to go to confession. And then I was denied. And wasn't even sure I was going to be able to go.

I was a mess. I went to Martha's room and sobbed. Literally. I cry a lot, but not like that. I was frustrated. I was pissed that the priest wouldn't hear my confession. I couldn't believe I was thisclose to a good cleansing and some grace... and it was taken. What the heck?!

I pulled myself together. Went to the sessions with the teens. Tried to not show that I was falling apart a little bit. Listened to the talks. Laughed. And heard the story of the young, rich man... for the gazillionth time.
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 18 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’ 20 He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money[a] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Mark 10:17-22 (emphasis mine)
Multiple talks addressed this gospel passage.  And it was exactly what I needed to hear.  At one point we were asked to close our eyes and look at Jesus on the cross, dying. Where are we? What are we doing? What is Jesus saying to you?

Jesus was looking down at me with love. Guh. Even though He is in pain, bleeding, suffering because of my sin, he looks at me with love in his eyes. Holy moly. This was intense. Just as Jesus looked at the rich man with love asking him to leave everything and follow him, he looks at all of us (no matter what) that way, too. The thing is... the rich man missed it, just as I have for way too long. He walked away from Jesus, grieving and sad. He missed the fact that Jesus loved him. He didn't think he could do what Jesus had asked. But I'd like to think that if he realized the profound love that Jesus had for him, he wouldn't have walked away.

I am a sinner. I hadn't been to confession... and Jesus still loved (loves) me. It was an incredible feeling. I felt like I could breathe a huge sigh of relief. I have found something that I was seeking for so long. And, funny, it was never far.

The Eucharistic procession was amazing and intense. I cried. I raised my arms. I sung loud. I felt the Lord wrap his arms around me and squeeze. He loves me. And I totally believed it.

The following weekend, I then hung out with people that I had never met. Yes, I had read their blogs, emailed with them and even chatted on the phone. But, we never hung out. We never gave each other a hug. And I was a bit nervous. Would these ladies like me? Would they want to actually hang out with me? Am I going to do/say something that will make them realize that I am crazy? Ha. Oh, it makes me laugh now. Because when I got there, picked up Niki and stepped into the house... I knew I was supposed to be there. No matter what.

The ladies were amazing. They loved me for me. All of the weird, maybe annoying, sometimes awkward things that I said/did. I could be myself and no one bat an eye. :) It was such an amazing thing for me. God used this weekend to show me, again, that he loves me. All of me.

And... that is something I made sure the girls in my Steubie small group knew. And it's something that I want you to know, as well.

God.loves.you. All of you. Just as you are right at this moment. No matter what you look like. What you are doing. What you have done. No matter if you are harboring guilt, anger or fear. (Rom 8:35) In those moments when you don't want to wake up, and in those moments when you are on top of the world. And, no matter if you believe in God or not, he loves you.

God's love (and mercy) is larger and wider and stronger than anything you think will prevent you from that love. You are loved. You are worth it.

I am praying for you. That you will know His love, truly and deeply in your heart. I humbly ask that you will pray for me, too. :)

Blessings,
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11 comments :

  1. This is so amazing! Thank you for being beautiful, Jen. I'm soooo happy we got to meet this Summer!! :) Can't wait for next time!

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    1. Thank you :) I am SO happy we got to meet and hang out, too!!

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  2. Holy Spirit, indeed! :) How funny! Beautifully written. It's a tough message to remember, so we have to remind each other. A lot.

    Hope to meet your crazy self in person one of these days!

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    1. Yes! I have to remind myself all.of.the.time. And I realize that it's not always helpful to hear it from others, but it doesn't take away from it's truth!

      And, yes! I hope we can see each other in real life, too!!

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  3. Beautiful reflection! I love those moments of clarity about how much we are loved, even when we feel anything but lovable. :) God is so great!

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    1. God is great, indeed!! :) Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  4. This is really lovely, Jen! Thank you for sharing this, and thank for the reminder. I know that God loves me, but I forget, which is silly but true. Thanks for reminding me! :)

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  5. Awesome post, Jen! I've been there so many times. It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that God loves me no matter what. The mystery of His mercy is so amazing. His love motivates our love in return. Timely reminder :-)

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  6. Answer: Yes you are ... you can reverse it ... please continue.

    Council of Florence, Session 8, 22 Nov 1439 -- infallible Source of Dogma >
    "Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish eternally."

    You must believe the Catholic Dogma to be in the Church ... Dogma you have *never* seen.

    Site > Immaculata-one.com ... infallible Dogma throughout.

    The Catholic Faith *is not* Bible interpretation ... it is the Catholic infallible Sources of Dogma. The Catholic Church didn’t even define the Bible’s New Testament Canon until 397 A.D. at the Council of Carthage.

    - - - -

    Can a group which enforces the opposite, the opposite, and the opposite of the Catholic unchangeable Dogma be the Catholic Church?

    No, it cannot possibly be the Catholic Church ... and promotion of the opposite of the Catholic Dogma is exactly what the vatican-2 heretic cult does ... and has been doing since it’s founding on 8 December 1965 at the Vatican.

    The vatican-2 heresy does not have the Office of the Papacy ... only the Catholic Church has the Papacy.

    The Dogma cannot “change” or be “reversed” ... God does not “change”.

    The founding documents of the vatican-2 heretic cult … the “vatican-2 council” documents … have well over 200 heresies *against* prior defined unchangeable Dogma. Every (apparent) bishop at the “council” approved the mountain of heresy, which caused their automatic excommunication, see Section 13.2 of the below site.

    - - - -

    Section 12 > Anti-Christ vatican-2 heresies (50 listed) ... followed by many Catholic corrections.

    Sections 13 and 13.1 > Photographic *proof* of heresy at the Vatican.

    Because of … the Catholic Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy or for physical participation in a heretic cult (such as the v-2 cult) …

    … we were all placed, body and soul, *outside* of Christianity (the Catholic Church) on 8 December 1965 … the close date of the “council”.

    Section 13.2 > Catholic Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy or participating in a heretic cult such as ... vatican-2, lutheran, methodist, evangelical, etc.

    Section 107 > St. Athanasius (died 373 A.D.) ... “Even if the Church were reduced to a handful ...” - - during the “arian” heresy ... we are there again, but worse.

    Section 13.3 > Matt 16:18, Gates of Hell scripture ... is *not* about the Office of the Papacy ... four Dogmatic Councils defined it ... that heresy will not cause the Dogma to disappear.

    Section 13.4 > The vatican-2 heretic cult does not have the Office of the Papacy only the Catholic Church has the Papacy.

    Section 13.6 > The Catholic Dogma on Jurisdiction and Automatic Excommunication for heresy define that ... God has allowed Catholic Jurisdiction ... for Mass and Confession to disappear from the world. There is no such thing as Catholic Mass outside of the Catholic Church.

    Non-Catholic heresies such as “vatican-2”, “sspx”, “sspv”, “cmri”, etc. ... do not have Catholic Mass.

    Section 19.1 > Dogma on Abjuration for *re-entering* Christianity (the Catholic Church) … after being automatically excommunicated. A Formal Abjuration is provided here also.

    Section 10.2 > Returning to a state of grace, in places and times when Confession is not available, like now.

    - - - -

    Second Council of Constantinople, 553 A.D. -- infallible Source of Dogma >
    "The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from the way of truth by his heresy."

    Blessed John Eudes, died 1680 >
    “The greatest evil existing today is heresy, an infernal rage which hurls countless souls into eternal damnation.”

    Everything you must know, believe, and do to get to Heaven is on > > Immaculata-one.com.

    Victoria
    Our Lady of Conquest
    Pray for us

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  7. Praise the Lord that He is romancing your heart!! I will pray that this gift is sealed in your heart forever.

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  8. Ahh, so beautiful! It's funny how we all know this, but it's easy to forget. And these moments when we just know . . . it gives so much peace and clarity. Thanks for sharing :-)

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