When You Feel Unlovable

I have felt particularly unlovable lately.
My heart is full of impatience with my children and criticism toward my husband.
My body is lazy at the idea of housework and my mind is discontent with where I am.
I am frustrated with myself, with my inability to love, and full of guilt over my thoughts and actions.
What is it that worms itself deep inside of me and makes it so hard to love fully?
What is it that worms itself deep down and makes me feel shame?
It is this human piece of me, of all of us, that is quick to give in and give up, this fallen part of us that is so quick to turn away from what we know is right and good and lovely – it is this portion of us that longs to be healed, to be made whole, to be made holy.
It is the days on which we feel the ugliest, on which we feel most unlovable, on which we cry out for God to take away the war that rages right within our own selves, that it is most difficult to believe that Christ could love such as us.
It is hard to believe because we don’t see this very often in our world.  We see love in response to beauty, not love no matter what, and it is hard, it is so very hard to believe in that which we do not see.
Yet we do catch glimpses.  Every once in a while we catch a glimpse of the glorious love that is God in us.  We catch glimpses of light and peace and see a glimmer of who we were created to be, of who we will be someday if we just cling to Christ and hold tight with all of our strength.
Hold Each Other Up
We catch a glimpse of who we are becoming because of the way Christ loves us, regardless of how unlovable we may be right now.
So to you who snubs the coworker that everyone wants to avoid, to you who yells at those you love best, to you who lies in bed thinking that you just cannot get up and do it all over again, to you who takes yet another drink, looks at yet another picture, forgets to even think about God for yet another day, to you and to me, look at Christ.
Look at Him standing in front of you, the light of a bridegroom in His eyes.  Look at Him look at you with a love that sweeps away all of the dirt and filth and imperfection and the failing and falling over and over again.  Look at the way He gazes steadfastly, not turning away in disgust or disappointment.
Look at that love-light shining in His eyes and know that He cannot wait for the day when you will be perfectly united with Him in the power of His resurrection.
You are loved.


Understandably, I have been thinking a lot about babies these past few weeks. 

Mostly I think about soft skin and dimpled elbows, downy head nuzzled into my neck, sweet little newborn grunts.

Sometimes I think about nursing frustrations, sleepless nights, and loud cries. But then I remember the delight found in simply being still and watching a baby.

One thing about God that I always had trouble understanding was how God could love someone like me.

Someone who can give nothing in return for His love, someone who needs everything from Him, someone who takes and takes and often sends hateful, ungrateful thoughts towards Him in return for His love.

How could God still love with such a tender love? How could He love me enough to sing over me?

I never understood.

Until I had a baby of my own.

Suddenly, I found myself gazing into her eyes, my heart full of a tender love that almost frightened me in its intensity.

She could give nothing to me. Yet I loved her.

She needed me to do everything for her. Yet I loved her.

She took all that I had and gave me tears and sleepless nights in return. Yet I loved her.

I held her in my arms, loving her with a tenderness that only a parent can feel.

Right then I finally understood.

God loves us as a mother loves her baby. He has given everything to us when we can give nothing in return.

He loves us with such unconditional tenderness that we can know beyond doubt that no matter what, He will always love us.

art credit: Christ and Samaritan Woman by Siemiradzki