I am a broken, fractured being. I am not perfect. But I am loved. I am surrounded by friends and family who have embraced me for who I am. These people accept me despite all my faults and failures. And what’s better yet, I know that God has paid the price and has opened His arms and embraced me as His child.
I am loved.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Say it out loud. Embrace it. Accept it. Take it in and sit still and just know. Let your heart sing.
These three words changed my life. They opened my eyes in faith and they changed everything. They changed how I saw the world. How I react. How I respond. How I move. Act. Love.
They were the light that pierced through the darkness. A darkness that threatened to consume everything I was, everything I was created to be.
I wasn’t always this way. Optimistic. Joyful. Loving. I had a weight that I thought was mine to carry. A weight that dragged me down into a place I never should have been. And I was consumed by that burden, tied down by fear. I thought that living was all about just trying to survive, just waking up to go through the motions once more. I was filled with bitterness, anger, frustrations, and the poison of doubt. I was consumed by darkness.
But then it all changed. It didn’t happen overnight. It was like a growing whisper that soon filled my every thought with a thunderous noise. It was the answers that left me with more questions, and I seeked them out. And while I never truly found all the answers to the questions I was asking, I found the only one that mattered at that time: I am loved.
What started as a spark grew into an uncontrollable wildfire. A destructive force that changed the landscape of my life. It hurt. There was pain. But it gave me the space to grow.
I am loved.
It was the hope that I found through faith that showed me the path to the light.
But, when you stand and face the light, your own shadow becomes your darkness.
I have many demons that continue to haunt me. I can feel them clawing there way beneath my skin and into my thoughts. I still have doubts. I don’t think they will ever go away. I still remember the darkness that had ahold of my heart when I believed that there was nowhere else to run. That darkness is part of who I am.
I cannot deny it.
I wouldn’t want to.
The simple truth is that it will always be a part of me. It is my past. Something that I learn from in the present. And it defines who I will be in the future.
But it cannot take away the fact that I am loved. I have always been loved. I will always be loved. Even when I can’t feel it, or see it, or believe that I deserve it, I am loved.
This is why I can smile when things don’t go as I planned them. This is why I can find joy when my heart breaks. This is how I can learn how to live once again.
And when the thoughts come creeping in once again and the demons continue to haunt the silence of the night, I know that this love will continue to be the hope that allows me to live. To be the light that guides me home. And while the darkness waits at the edge, I stand knowing that I am loved.
I am loved.
You are loved.