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When the kids were little, I made a mental list of all the things I wanted to teach them.  I thought about writing them down so I wouldn’t miss anything, but honestly didn’t think I had the time.  I convinced myself they’d learn everything they needed to know simply by watching and listening to me as they grew.

Now that they’re grown and gone, it seems I have nothing but time to sit and think about what I did and didn’t do, what I did and didn’t say, and how often I fell short.

What’s more, I have a sneaking suspicion I overestimated the amount of attention being paid to my solo performance and left too much unspoken.  Now that the spotlight has dimmed, I offer my children this list of spiritual truths, a post-script to the love letter life I tried to live in their presence, for handy reference in the years ahead.  I pray it fills gaps, lends clarity and spares moms who are still on stage the ache of lonely second-guessing once the curtain drops.

My dearest children,

God loves you!  I would say He loves you even more than I do—actually, I think I have said that—but I don’t want to mislead you by suggesting my love can even begin to compare to God’s or that God loves in degrees like people do.

No, when it comes to love, God is in a class by Himself.  He is love, perfect and unchanging.  In service to His own glory, He doesn’t dole Himself out in measured response to who we are or what we do, but instead offers grace, mercy, and belonging, regardless of these things, to any and all who will accept it through His Son Jesus.

You might find that idea a little off-putting at first—we all like to think we’re special, after all—assuming its truth somehow reduces you to a nameless face in the throng of those whom He loves, but that’s just not true.  God knows you.  He knew you before you were even aware of being alive.  He knows the number of hairs on your head and how you spend your days.  He knows your very thoughts.

And He loves you anyway.

He loves you not because of who you are or what you’ve done—sinners all, none of us deserve His love—but to prove to the world Who He is, the only One worthy of worship and praise, so He might receive the recognition He deserves for His glory, or divine perfection.  To that end, God gives us His very Self, loving us first, completely, unconditionally and without favoritism.

No, God’s love for you isn’t really about you at all.  It’s about Him, but there’s comfort in that.

Think about it for a minute.

God will never stop being God, so He’ll never stop loving you.  It just won’t happen.  No matter what happens, you can count on God’s love.  It’s constant.

God’s love is free.  You didn’t earn it, so you don’t have to worry about losing it.

God’s love is enough.  You don’t need more, so you don’t have to go looking for it.

God’s love doesn’t change.  The choices you make might steal your joy, make it hard to pray and cause you to doubt your relationship with God, but they will not change Who God is or His love for you. You’re free to worship Him in confidence instead of fear.

God loves you as much as He loves anyone else. Technically, that makes you His favorite, so you’ve nothing left to prove. You’re free to enjoy being whom He made you to be and to focus on fulfilling His purpose for your individual life.

Listen, I wish with all my heart the amount of affection and devotion I’m capable of mustering could bring you the same, peace, comfort and security that God’s perfect love affords, but it can’t.

The truth is God loves you better than I do, so keep putting your faith and trust in Him.