How To Love Yourself The Way God Loves You
At the age of 22, I went through one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. For six years afterward, I suffered from depression and PTSD (to hear my full story check out episode 17 of God+Girl: HIV+Me). The trauma I experienced caused me to hate myself. I was so unhappy with myself that I isolated myself from my friends and even quit my job.
One day I decided enough was enough. I decided I wanted more out of my life. It wasn’t until I got serious about my relationship with God that everything started changing. See once I got in a relationship with God He showed me how to transform that pain into something meaningful. And now I want to let you in on that same secret: the moment you fall unapologetically in love with yourself is the moment everything else falls into place, and the only way to love yourself that deeply is by mirroring the way God loves you already. Here are 3 quick steps to understanding God’s love in order to walk in your purpose.
STEP ONE: Get To Know God
Matthew 6:33 says “seek ye first the kingdom of God and all will be given unto you”, meaning if you make getting to know God and understanding His word your priority everything else will be taken care of. We often make the mistake of trying to figure out everything on our own instead of going to the source who has all the answers we need.
The key is to get to know God for yourself, not who you heard He was through anyone else. Everyone has their own opinion of who God is and what He wants, but the only way to know what that is to do the work ourselves. Getting to know God is as simple, its us who tend to complicate things. Just like any other relationship (romantic, friends, or family) if you want to build and maintain a bond you have to spend together.
Carve out at least 15-30 minutes each day to pray, read & study the Bible, journal or even just listening to worship music. Yup, it’s that easy. The only trick, DO IT DAILY. The more you spend time with him the stronger your relationship will be, and the stronger your relationship the more confident you will walk in His glory.
STEP TWO: Accept God’s Grace & Love
To accept God's love you first have to understand what that love means for you. This means knowing:
- God has a plan for you.
- God goes before you and fights all your battles.
- All things work out for your good.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells us that He has a plan for our lives, a plan to prosper us and not to harm, a plan that gives us hope for the future. Well, that plan that He speaks of has been in motion before you were created. Therefore you have a purpose and none of the pain you experienced is in vain. But in order to understand what that purpose is we have to get in God’s grace so that He can show us. There is not one thing that God can not use for your greater good, that includes our trauma.
This is no small task, accepting God’s love can come with a great deal of transformation and change. For me, it meant unlearning everything that I knew about myself. Trading everything I knew from the anger, the hurt, the betrayal for who it was that God called me to be. This part may be a little hard at first & that’s okay. You’ve spent 20+ years becoming who you are today, you aren’t going to forget it all overnight!
STEP THREE: Give Yourself That Same Grace & Love
Extending yourself the same grace and love starts with forgiveness, not just those who hurt you but forgiving yourself as well. See, God knows us inside and out. He knows our darkest secrets, the ones that we try to forget, and yet He still loves us & forgives us no matter what we do.
Forgiving ourselves is actually one of God’s instructions. The word says to forgive (and love) one another as God forgave you (Eph 4:32) and it also tells us to treat others the same way we want to be treated (Luke 6:31).
The whole purpose of this spiritual journey is to become more like Christ, and if Christ already loves and forgives us then its only right that we keep the same energy when it comes to ourselves.
See God wants the best for you. He already sees you as healed, successful, & perfect in His eyes. He’s just waiting on you to see the same. Challenge yourself to see yourself the way God sees you and be intentional about showing up as her each and every day. Loving yourself the way God loves you is the only thing you need to walk in your purpose.