Lately, my heart has been heavy.
I won’t go into details, but in one week, two LuHi students passed away. One was lost to suicide. Even though I knew them partially, the news still came as a shock and deeply affected me.
Suicide is a heavy topic, one that I don’t take lightly. Frankly, I don’t believe I possess the grace to address it properly. So I wanted to focus on the truth that combats the devil’s lies in this week’s post: you are loved; you are valued; you are saved.
We’ve all heard it too many times to count. But it is difficult to grasp how expansive Christ’s love is for us. How much does God care about you?
This week, I’ve had the privilege of attending a make-shift camp with my youth group at church. Each morning, we sit alone in some obscure corner of the church property, reading and dwelling on God’s word.
Each morning, I sit among the field grass, bright green in the summer, and open the bible. Each morning, I’m astounded by God’s beauty. Wildflowers paint the landscape with yellows, golds, purples, and oranges. The sapphire sky whispers of God’s grace, ivory clouds floating by. Round black beetles crawl like raisins on the earth, meandering through cacti and indian paintbrushes and sunflowers.
And at night, we hold small groups and worship beneath the stars. Crickets chirp from hidden places and spruces morph into broad shadows. Our tents whistle in the wild, and the moon shines down on the pavilion. When I tilt my head to the sky, I see inumberable stars blinking down at me. How brilliantly they shine. How silent they watch.
Every day, I can’t help but whisper, “God, your creation is so beautiful.”
But on one of these days, as I looked up at the stars, I heard him respond.
“Annabelle, I spent one day making these stars. But I spent nine months making you.”
In the self-deprecating culture we live in, we often forget what a miracle we are. How beautiful we are. That we are God’s masterpieces, his prized possession, his children.
The golden sunflowers in the field can’t even compare to your shining face. The mountains that rise above the earth in cold majesty dream of being as beautiful as you. Oceans, their waves tossed by the wind, their waters roaring with power, can only imagine the depth of a human soul.
And the stars, brilliant and beautiful, pinpoints in the night, know they will never compare to God’s chosen people.
You are loved. Even if there seems to be no one within reach, you are loved. By the creator of the universe, you are loved.
And you are valued.
The same God that nested gold and silver and emeralds and rubies deep into the earth created you. The same God that knows all wisdom, all wealth, all prosperity, all success values you above all. The same God that literally holds life itself in his hands values YOU.
And this value is inherent; nothing you do or say or believe or think changes your value. You are precious, incredibly precious, as you have been the day you were conceived.
And because God loves you so much, values you greater than anything else, you are saved.
Because Christ loved you more than anything else, he gave up his own life for you.
Because God values you above all, he sacrificed his son so that you would be saved.
There is no love that is greater!
I know it is hard to understand. I struggle to understand it myself.
But know this, beloved:
You are loved.
You are valued.
And you can have so much hope, so much grace for your mistakes, so much peace in your storms because: