This week the song, “Never Been a Moment” by Micah Taylor has been on my mind a lot. I love the chorus of that song, especially the last part. “There’s never been a moment that I was not loved by you”. God’s love and acceptance for us always amazes me. He loves us so much! He couldn’t love us more! Unfortunately, so many people don’t know about God’s amazing love and grace, or doubt that He could love them. There was definitely a time in my life that I questioned God’s love for me.
Middle school is a rough time in life, as everyone knows. I have never met anyone who said, “Let’s go back to the good old days in middle school! Best days of my life!” If anyone has ever told you that, they were probably lying to you. In middle school you’re struggling to find your place in the world. All you want is to be accepted. I was no different. All I wanted was to be accepted by my friends, peers, and teachers. And for the most part, I was. Except, for one thing. As you know from when my mom was writing, I was raised a Christian in a dominantly LDS community, and everyone knew we were different. Because I was not LDS, and thought I knew everything there was to know about the Bible, this caused a lot of animosity between me and the people I interacted with. When I was in 7th grade, our differing beliefs caused a huge fight between the rest of my friends and me. Teachers got involved, and being LDS, they took the side of my friends. At that point I lost almost complete faith in God. Not only did I question whether or not there even was a God, but I questioned that if there was, why would He put me in a place I didn’t belong? If God truly loved me, He would put me in a place where I was accepted by my friends and teachers, right? With that line of reasoning, I thought God didn’t love me at all. Maybe He was punishing me for all the lies I had told, or the times I took a piece of candy without asking my parents. Maybe that’s why He didn’t love me; because I sinned too much. I thought, that because I was not being fully accepted by the people around me, that God didn’t love me. I was seeking the acceptance of others, not from God.
If I had realized then that God loves and accepts me for who I am, no matter how many times I sin, no matter what I do wrong, no matter how many mistakes I make, the rest of middle school and beginning of high school would have been a lot easier for me. It took the better part of two years for me to realize that God’s love for me is unconditional and that He loves me so much that He sent His son to die for me. Back in middle school I never would have believed that someone could love me so much, so unconditionally, and so perfectly.
October of my freshman year in high school, I had the opportunity to go to a Casting Crowns concert in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was still seeking the approval of people rather than God. I don’t remember exactly what was going on at the time, but I remember that during the concert we were asked to take a moment to pray for whatever God put on our hearts. I was at one of my lowest points so I was crying out to God, asking Him if He loved me and to show me that He did. As soon as I finished that silent prayer, the woman next to me, who was a complete stranger, turned to me and said, “I love you and God loves you,” and gave me a big hug. This answer to my prayer started me on an uphill climb that hasn’t stopped.
That next summer, my youth group went to the Hills Alive Music Festival in Rapid City, South Dakota. I was still not in a very good place. I had a lot of insecurities, especially about my appearance, as most teenage girls do. I didn’t think I was pretty enough or skinny enough for any guys to even consider liking me. I was still seeking acceptance from others and that was the basis of my insecurities. Sunday, the last day of the festival, there were several different Sunday services we could attend. I went to the one that the band Seventh Day Slumber was holding on the main stage. As the lead singer, Joseph Rojas, shared his testimony, I was in tears. He shared about God’s unconditional love and acceptance for us and for the first time, I truly believed it. I rededicated my life to Christ and have come a long way since then. Because I know God loves me for who I am, and accepts me, made me perfectly, my insecurities have fallen away. There is no need to be afraid of what other people think of me because I know only one opinion matters – God’s. I had His love and acceptance the whole time and never realized it because I was too sucked up in what the world wanted me to think. There is so much freedom in Christ. Knowing that He loves me no matter how many times I mess up is the most amazing thing ever. He never left my side, even when I doubted Him, which is why I love Micah Taylor’s song so much. There has never been a moment that I was not loved, fully and completely, by the God of the universe. He has always been with me by my side, ready to catch me whenever I fall – and He’s doing the exact same thing for you! Never forget. God loves you exactly as you are. So much, that He sacrificed His son to die a horrible death on the cross so He could spend eternity with you in Heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
I’m just the daughter of a small town girl… loved unconditionally by the God of the universe.