Do you Feel Loved by God?
“What does it feel like to be loved by God?” I asked this question to a life coaching group in a class, “Coaching for Spiritual Formation.” The group seemed a bit stunned by the question. I don’t remember the responses. I do remember that nothing seemed to connect with my heart. It wasn’t the responses; it was that nothing was said that I could relate to at the time. My life experiences were different from most people.
My experiences included having surgery for a hernia when I was 6 weeks old. My father committing suicide when I was almost three going over 100 MPH, then hitting a sign post. A mother who told the neighbors she killed him. This put her in a psychiatric hospital and my 2 siblings and I in an emergency children’s shelter. For the next two years we were in and out of foster homes. My mother was married again, became pregnant, my sister was born, married and divorced her new husband within a year. Because she could no longer take care of us, now the four of us went to live with my aunt. She was an alcoholic, very sexually active, and physically abusive. Because of her cirrhosis, she died within two years after taking the 4 of us in. Her alcoholism and my mother’s drug addiction to painkillers was influenced by losing their father when they were children. My grandfather was a project manager for an oil derrick construction company. He fell off a derrick in Venezuela and didn’t survive. My mother was 10, her two sisters were in their teens.
After my aunt died, the neighbor called the Eastridge Church of Christ. The secretary answered the phone. A few hours later, she picked up the 4 of us, then took us to her home. The four of us became a part of a family of nine. My new parents were devoted Christians. Like many parents of that era, they had some tough parenting practices, but took us to church every time the doors were open, took care of all our physical needs, and changed the direction of our lives!
After graduating from high school, I went to a Christian college in Arkansas, paying my way through school by selling Bibles and other books door to door for the Southwestern Company. My sales manager was a Christian and had a tremendous influence on me and the other students he worked with.
After graduating from Harding College (now University) with a degree in Biblical Studies, I began a career in sales. After spending a year in Austin, I moved back to the Ft. Worth/Dallas area. During this time, one of my friends’ wives told me I should go out with one of her roommates from college. I didn’t call her until a minister in Ft. Worth, who was her youth minister in Dallas, told me I should call her and ask her out. A year later, I married Phyllis. To say the least, Phyllis is an amazing Christian mother and grandmother. She taught elementary school for 37 years. We have three adult children, all faithful Christians, and their spouses and four incredible grandchildren.
Back to the question, “Do you feel loved by God?” I brought this question up to my Christian Life Coach, Michelle. She told me something that changed my thinking and my life. She said, “When we realize God is working in our lives, and we are ministering to others on God’s behalf, is when we feel God’s love.” Boom! The answer! I began thinking of how God has worked in my life and how He used me to work in the lives of others. Almost immediately I felt God’s love!
For God so loved the world (me), that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever (me) believes in Him, is not going to perish, but has been given the gift of eternal life! (Ref: John 3:16) For the Spirit God gave us does not make us (me) timid, but gives us (me) power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Realizing God loves me and has made a difference in my lives through others, has empowered me to do His work, allowing me to feel God’s love. Thank you, Father God for using Michelle to open my heart to this realization!
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