My oldest daughter turned 22 years old last Friday.
That means that it was 22 years ago that I had my first child.
She was beautiful.
She was tiny.
She was mine.
And I was young – 19 to be exact.
Years ago, I was a teenage mom, not married, and in the fall of my sophomore year in college. The year of my daughter’s birth was one of the most difficult years of my life. In fact, that is probably an understatement. That year was hard – very hard.
While I’m sure you can imagine why, I’d like to share one of the reasons that year was difficult for me.
A positive pregnancy test set off a string of new realities in my life, one of which was a strong feeling of my own lack of worth. I had messed up. I had disappointed people I loved. I was on my way to being mom at a season of my life that I was planning on finishing out my time being a kid.
I was no longer the “good girl”.
I wondered, sometimes out loud, if God still loved me.
Pain mixed with a little shock, a ton of remorse, and lots of uncertainty left me feeling unlovable, unredeemable, and out of God’s good graces. And I questioned God’s love for me.
I knew He loved me but I didn’t feel it.
It was like I had traveled to the ends of the earth and was out there alone, in the dark, and in the cold.
Apparently during one of those lonely, dark, cold moments, I reached for my Bible and searched for reassurance of God’s love for me. All of my life I had been taught to believe and did believe that God loved me no matter what. I just needed proof. I needed a reminder that I could rest in and rehearse so that I wouldn’t forget or doubt the reality of His love in my life.
I wrote one verse down on a sheet of notebook paper. That one verse became two, then five, and then over time became two pages of scriptures that reminded me that God loved me.
I kept those pieces of notebook paper with me at all times – folded up in my pocket or in my purse or in my backpack as I went to class.
Recently, in a radio interview discussing Kingdom Woman, I was asked about how I got through that season of my life. I shared about those pieces of paper that were my lifeline to God’s love. That led to me digging them out of a file box and finding them still intact even though they had yellowed with time.
I have had so many people ask me for them, I decided to share.
I’m sharing these “Reminders of God’s Love” – the verses that encouraged me during that time in your life. I’m also sharing the study guide for the Kingdom Woman book that I wrote with my dad and released earlier this year. It was during the process of writing Kingdom Woman that I was reminded again of my value to God, what He thinks of me, and how He wants me to live my life as a result of the knowledge of how He has made me beautiful, strong, and powerful in Him.
I pray that the free downloadables included at the bottom of this post will bless you and that you will be encouraged in knowing that God loves you.
Feel free to use the first download, “Reminders of God’s Love”, however you can best be reminded of how God feels about you. Print them out, laminate them, or tape them to your bathroom mirror! There are 12 verses that I’ve done so far and I’m sharing the first six of those with you this month.
I hope that you use the second download, the Kingdom Woman study guide, to go through the book by yourself or with a group of friends to dig deep in searching out how God made you and what He wants you to do with purpose, power, and possibilities he had in mind when He made you.
More than anything I pray these resources will help you know and feel this truth and reality…
No matter where you are, what you’ve done, or what you are facing, God is on your side. He is always standing, ready and willing to rescue you and reassure you of His unending love. He is head over heels in love with you and wants you to know how much He is for you.
I pray that these resources bless you as much as they’ve blessed me.
You can follow Chrystal on Twitter + Instagram @ChrystalHurst