Looking for Love

I walked along the winding road under a canopy of oak trees that lined the beautiful campus of Meredith College. It was my last semester of my senior year. I was experiencing a break in the clouds of depression that had overshadowed the past few years of my life. As I walked by each building or landmark of memories I thought about the people in my life that each place reminded me of.

I thought about the day my mom told me she wanted me to go to Meredith. It wasn’t a college we could afford. It would require many loans, scholarships and grants. My stepfather had told her that I would never go to there which made her even more determined. Her dream had been fulfilled. Her daughter was about to graduate from Meredith.

I thought about my boyfriend who I had dated all through high school and college. The summer of my junior year our dreams and plans of a future together crumbled under the pressure of me expecting him to be all that I needed, and him wanting his freedom to do what he wanted.

I looking at about the buildings and thought about the people inside. Professors, advisers and counselors who had tried to help me find my way. The pressure to study so I’d graduate with honors. I wanted so desperately to be thought of as someone with value. Someone worthy of mention. Yet the hurricane of my emotions had made it so hard for me to navigate through these unchartered waters.

I had recently given my heart to Christ and that day as I walked, I remember asking this question: Why was all of this never enough?

I don’t know if I directed the question to myself or to God, but in the quietness of my heart I know He answered, because a thought I had never had came rushing through my soul.

“Renee, all you have ever wanted, all you have ever looked for is unconditional love.”

“Unconditional LOVE?”

“Yes, unconditional. Love you don’t have to earn. Love you never have to fear losing. Love that isn’t based on what you do or measured by what others are willing to do for you.

“There is such a thing?”

“Yes Renee, and you’ve been looking for that kind of love in everything you have done for the past 10 years – trying to earn your parents approval, trying to live up to their expectations, trying to convince someone to love you, not to leave you, trying to prove your worth and value to your professors and trying to fit in with your friends at all costs. Renee, you will never find that kind of love in anyone or anything but ME.

I AM the unconditional Love you have been looking for.”

Two words I had never strung together became the answer to my life’s question. I had been desperately looking for the lover of my soul. The desire of my heart. The fulfillment of my every longing. And all that time He had been listening, watching, standing at the door of my heart gently knocking, waiting for me to open my my soul to Him.

That day I found what I was looking for. I found HIM!

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back (set you free) from captivity. (Jeremiah 29:12-14a)

If you are here today from my devotion featured at Proverbs 31 Ministries or Crosswalk.com, WELCOME and thanks for stopping by!

No matter where you are, whether or not you have responded to His knock, I’d love to hear your heart and pray for you this weekend. Do you have a story of looking for love, or being “looked for” by Love?

Also, I am doing a give-away this weekend for 2 copies of my CD entitled “Searching for Satisfaction.”

To be part of the drawing, or to share your story, just leave your name and email by clicking on the word “comments” below and type in the white box. Then choose anonymous or your blog account. Please include your email so I can notify you if you win. I’ll announce the winner Monday morning.

Have a great long weekend. And remember today – you are loved!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I remember about 7 years ago, as a new Christian, I wondered how I could ever love God more than I loved my husband. After 16 years of marriage, my husband and three children were my world and I couldn’t imagine loving anyone more than them.
    Fast forward 4 years. My husband announced that he was divorcing me and moving to another state to live with his girlfriend. I had just recently ended 3 years of dialysis with a kidney-pancreas transplant and was thrilled to start living some of my dreams only to have them dashed. I thought my world had ended. I was in agonizing emotional pain for the next 18 months BUT GOD was there. He showed me how His love is unconditional. He is always here and will never forsake me. I’d like to say that my marriage had a happy ending. It didn’t, but my relationship with Jesus is a daily celebration of love and hope.

    Margaret
    (texasmagz@yahoo.com)

  2. A quick story about God’s love to me…I was a new Christian in my early 20’s. I was in a low-paying job, driving a beat up car and wondering how I was going to pay some current bills. I was waiting in the drive thru line at the bank, feeling very down. Suddenly, a little brown bird landed on the hood of my car and stared at me through the glass. I remember looking at the bird, then I ‘heard’ inside my head…”You see this bird, I take care of the birds, what makes you think I can’t take of you?”…the voice was loving and kind…and all of a sudden I relaxed and just felt a peace and knowing that God was going to take care of me and that everything would be okay!
    This happened almost 30 years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday!
    Blessings,
    Kelly

  3. I just want to know: Did you finally give her the present? Or did you have to mail it?
    As Jesus, it does not matter how, but his love finally reach the destiny. Our souls!.

  4. I have to echo Judith here. Whatever happened with the teacher?

  5. Thanks for the reminder that Christ has unconditional love for me. As a mom to young kids (4) sometimes I spend days teaching them about unconditional love, but forget it for myself.

    I have two sons from Ethiopia, I noticed your previous post.

    Pics of our journey can be seen at hope2grow.blogspot.com

    Emilee

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is just where I am right now with God. I know He is faithful, but I am having a hard time knowing his unconditional love. I want to seek Him and listen to what He wants to share with me, but there is a fear that it will be too much. It most probably will be too much for me on my own, but not in His strength. Thanks so much for your message today.

  7. I love you girls! I totally forgot that I didn’t tell you where the gifts are. They are still sitting in my house. I am still determined to hand them to her.

    She was the most amazing teacher and even today I thought of her. It’s the last day of the first week of school and it’s been Andrew’s best first week ever. She helped him overcome so much anxiety and fear. She is also a Christian so she prayed for him and loved him into knowing he had a special role to play in that classroom. It was life-changing for him.

    Yes, she moved. But her wedding isn’t until September and she moved to a town near the same town where my sister-in-law lives. So I am still scheming to personally deliver them to her next time we are their visiting. Maybe I need to pray and make sure God doesn’t want me to just mail them. Maybe I just need to write a really special letter and trust God with the personal delivery :-).

  8. Wow…you had my attention at every word, Renee. I find myself drawn to the word love and drawn to the love stories of others. I guess because my heart had always longed for that special one designed by God for me. I found him and I know that 100% for sure it was meant to be by God’s Hand. However, that man, Christian man, has fallen at the hands of the enemy. He is still a Christian man in love with Jesus but deceived so gravely by satan. For now, I do not have the love of that man, my husband choosen by God. Instead he chose to go against God and legally separate from me by divorce. I believe I’ve shared this with you in one of your previous post some time ago.

    I know I have the love of Jesus who will never divorce me. I try very hard to allow that to be my comfort. I know that His love should be all that matters. Yet, somehow, I still long for and desire not only the love of my husband but the glory of God raising a very dead marriage. It breaks my heart. It’s been 15 months since he left and 9 months since the legal system said we are no longer man and wife. I don’t give up hope on my God to restore. I know that my beloved cannot do this on his own and will not. He will not put aside his pride of making the wrong decision, he cannot unveil the deceit on his own. But, but, my God can. My God specializes in miracles and the impossible. I have no faith in my beloved but I have all the faith in my God. I desire this restoration not only for the love of my life but for my God to receive glory in such a magnificient way or for His children to have a marriage ministry that helps to save other marriages through the power of Christ. IF, IF this were to not happen, He will have another plan for me. Yet, I feel very convicted to believe in God to do this. So many scriptures tell us to believe as though we receive. I have confidence in this because I am not asking for something bad or selfishly. Rather I want to honor God and to honor my marriage the way He commands us.

    I apologize for the book here but my spirit couldn’t stop typing.

    Please pray for me and for the veil of deceit to be removed from my beloved’s (Chris)heart and mind.

    I’ve read the two comments and I can only say wow. What amazing stories. My heart breaks for Margaret. Margaret, if you read this, maybe you can find comfort, wisdom, encouragement, or strength from a website that I’ve been blessed by. rejoiceministries.org. The founders have an amazing story of marriage restoration after two years of being divorced and Bob committing adultery. That was 21 years ago!
    Love ya, Renee.
    Paula

  9. Anonymous says:

    I guess I am not the only one who wants to know the ending of the gift story. I loved the message by the way. Needed to hear it today.
    I was also comforted by your little bit of craziness mixed with hormones.
    I am in phone sales: Yesterday while making many calls, someone hung up on me in mid-speech. I was so upset. Can you imagine a professional ( Christian ) women calling back that number to tell them my feelings were hurt? I then busrt into tears and had one of those emotional moments. Now, that is crazy! I laughed later that day. God is with us and I think He laughs too.
    Kate from California
    He Speaks graduate!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Renee, I have posted before about my upcoming marriage and just being overwhelmed some days by fear- not necessarily about my marriage, just fear and anxiousness in general. Recently, although still struggling with fear, God is showing me how He is simply loving me through His Word and my fiance and the freedom He wants for me. Renee, if you would please just pray for me in this, I would greatly appreciate it. I am feeling pretty desparate as I type this. God is working, and I want to respond to Him and the gift He has given me through my fiance, but the fear is right behind those things. Please pray for protection physically, spiritually, emotionally for my fiance and I. Thanks. I know God’s love is overwhelming and I am really starting to experience it, I just need prayer for the day to day. Thank you for your vulnerability.

  11. Be still and know….be still and know that I am God. I’ve heard the verse all my life. Psalm 46:10. You probably have too. We all probably have it somewhere on a t-shirt, a card, a bookmark, bumper sticker, and probably a paper weight or two has been given for gifts that have that verse etched on it. A nice reminder. Be still and know that I am God. How many times has it been just a reminder? Honestly for me, it is just that… a nice reminder. I do know and understand that He is God. I understand what it means to be still…for a time. I understood what be still meant one Sunday morning when my Daddy was preaching and well, that’s another story. I really like the idea. I want to be still. I have so much to do… I have two babies at home…How can you be still with an 18month old on the loose? And it begins to wear on me, the pressures of life mound up around me, and I cry out for rest. But, I remember, I have been still. I’m still before God each day for a quiet time. I’m still before God every Sunday for worship. I did learn that lesson, by the way.

    Sometimes reading the same verse we’ve read for years is brought to new life for us by reading it in a different translation. In the New American Standard Version of the Bible, Psalm 46:10 reads a bit differently than what most of us memorized. It says, “Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Cease striving… That opened my eyes to see my life so differently. Cease striving…

    To strive after something is looked at as noble…a good thing to do. The dictionary defines the word strive as to devote serious effort or energy. That sounds like a good thing to do. We applaud strong work ethic, and serious efforts of students, and athletes, and business men and women. We applaud the serious efforts and energy put forth to maintain our schedules. But then the second definition, probably the better definition says the word strive means to struggle in opposition. The word is derived from the words meaning to quarrel, to fight, to contend. Our word for strife is from the same derivative. Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. Oh, I was striving…I was seeing quickly how my serious efforts were actually works in opposition of really knowing that He is God. My mind was suddenly flooded with thoughts. He was telling me….Maybe he’s telling all of us…

    Cease striving after the next big deal at work and know that I own the cattle on the hills.

    Cease striving to find the money to pay the bills and know that I am Your Faithful Provider

    Cease striving to have to the perfect high school resume for colleges and know that I am the Open Door. I will provide the way.

    Cease striving to find the perfect spouse and know that I am Your Bridegroom.

    Cease striving to cover up the mess of my life with bandages and make up and know that I am Your Healing.

    Cease striving to follow the right career path and know that I am Your Shepherd; I will guide you

    Cease striving to be accepted and know that I am Your Father and I have covered you with grace

    My story of looking for love was learning what I was doing that is in opposition, or contending, or causing strife and knowing what should cease? He will be exalted among the nations. He will be exalted in the earth. He wants us to join Him in that. We don’t want to miss it.

    Cease striving…Be still….know that I am God.

  12. Renee,
    Growing up in an abusive home, I never felt seen. As I grew up I was the classic overachiever and took it to the max all the time. The day I found my Jesus I was at the end and felt for the first time that I didn’t have to do something or be anyone special for His love. It was there and He saw me. He saw me all along, I didn’t see Him.
    I am in the middle of a divorce and keep asking myself “what is it that I have done, or about me that makes my husband not love me anymore”? My Father says “his love is enough”. I accept that and will take comfort in his unconditional love. Thank you for reminging me of that.
    Blessings,
    Diane

  13. Renee,
    My story is so similar. Growing up in a Christian home, I followed the narrow path all through high school. I lived for the praises of others – youth pastors, teachers, parents, you name it. Approval was what I lived for. After high school, I went on to Last Days Ministries Intensive Christian Training (a school started by the late Keith Green). While I was there, a counselor asked me one day why I was working on a relationship 1,000 miles from where I was (a boyfriend) when the Lord wanted me to focus on Him. I thought I already knew Him. I knew Him as shepherd, savior, friend. But I never knew that He was flipped out, madly in love with me! She showed me Psalm 45:11 “…the King is wild for you!” and Song of Songs 4:9 “You have stolen my heart,…with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.” To think that the King of the Universe was overwhelmed by me completely changed my heart. I am so glad that I found Him; my perfect love!
    Lynn

  14. I’m still a work in progress on this subject. Somehow I know this, I really do, I just forget it easily. I can never be reminded enough of His love for me. I think Psalms 139 has helped me more than anything. Though I still look to my husband especially to meet too many of my needs. Renee, was this a one time moment for you and you were healed all at once or was it a process?

  15. I have been looking for someone to love me unconditionally for my whole adult life. After graduating high school, I thought I would fine someone to share my life with in college. Well, 5 years of college and 1 year and 4 months after college I still haven’t found that kind of love. In fact, I have almost given up on finding someone to share my life with. I have decided that I need to just focus on God and what He has planned for me.
    Something I haven’t always done.
    I don’t want to completely give up because I know that God doesn’t want me to give up. I just haven’t gotten to that part of His plan yet.
    thank you for your wonderful message today I really felt like you were speaking to me.
    God Bless,
    Jennifer

  16. Anonymous says:

    Elvie@mama4fran@yahoo.com

  17. I am sharing part of the search in my story ‘The Girl In The Mirror’ posted on my blog. I know it is not a pretty picture that you see, but it’s real . The great news is that my broken photo was not left untouched. I started looking at the right thing and changed paths.
    I FOUND WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR…B found out the ‘WHAT’ she was looking for was really a ‘WHO’! JESUS. Not one day has ever been the same since!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Renee, I’m just recently (past 3-4 weeks!) been introduced to your ministry and have only been on your blog twice. Today was the “twice” time… about the gifts that roamed the town in your van ALL SUMMER.

    God is so funny, isn’t He? While you were probably typing that blog, that very event was happening to ME, Renee! But I was the teacher, dearie-girl!

    The parent of last year’s student walked right into my classroom, ignored the virtual streaming lesson we were enthralled with, and said, “This has been riding around in my van all summer! I’ve missed you so many times, that even though you’re teaching (our school is ADAMANT about guarding instructional time), I just had to interrupt. And interrupt she did… to the tune of 2 packages, a bag of Cowboy artifacts (I taught that unit to her son last year), and the 2nd volume of her cookbook. “You’re the first to get this volume, Charlotte.”

    Renee, God is working through all of us sisters-in-Christ. Be still, and know that He is God… and that your package was “virtually” delivered AND heartfully received.

  19. Anonymous says:
  20. Hey Renee,
    I came by to find out about the gifts. I found your comment that you still have them. Ahhh! I know the feeling. I just got back from taking a package to the mailbox that has rolled around in the car for weeks. It’s a gift for my friend whose birthday was in July! You’ll have to let us know if the gifts ever make their way to the teacher!

  21. Loved the story about the gifts! You know what is so amazing to me is that when you do deliver the gifts (and I think it should be in person after all of this!! 🙂 ), it will be the most perfect day for her to receive them! God already knows when and where you both will be and what will be going on in both of your lives….maybe she will need the encouragment, maybe you will need the joy of giving….whatever the case, GOD KNOWS THE PERFECT TIME! Isn’t He just like that with the gift of His Son. There is a perfect time for each of us to be open to receiving His gift! WoW! I just think God is absolutely amazing! Love you,
    Tammy

    tammynischan@yahoo.com

  22. Well my friend, you know a good portion of my story, and I already own your CD :o), but I just wanted to say – you quoted “my verse”! (I’ve taken ownership of it since receiving it at She Speaks!) Thanks for reminding me today that the more I seek Him, the more I will find Him and that He will set me FREE!

    You are loved, by me,
    Joy
    PS. Thanks for your prayers for my parents – your message was sweet!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I too came to your blog to find out what happened to the gifts. Thank you for sharing your stories!

  24. Until recently I thought unconditional love was just something for others but never thought it would apply to my life. I also felt that I was completely unworthy of God’s love. Although I have been a Christian since childhood a series of life events left me feeling as if I had no value, could not be loved, and unable to love others.

    I was sexually abused at three and seventeen and no one helped me. My family knew but it was something we never talked about. It was my private world of confusion, pain, and shame. For most of my 41 years I was convinced I was to blame and too dirty and full of shame for God to love. I felt like I was to blame.

    I also come from a very dysfunctional family. I never quite measured up to my family. If I did what I was supposed to do I was accepted and loved. If I failed to measure up I felt of little value and unloved. I realize now my family did the best they could but I also have realized that sometimes no matter how much you desire love even from those that should love you most that you can not always have loving and meaningful relationships. They have to understand God’s unconditional love to offer it. If they do not then it can result in painful damaging relationships. I also realize that these very relationships kept me from receiving love. I simply did not feel worthy of even God’s love. I even pushed my husband of 20 years away but thankfully he believed God brought us together and never stopped loving me or believing in us.

    I also learned very young to wear masks. To hide hurts. To pretend life is okay except to the ones who truly see in your heart. Then I heard the song The Real Me by Natalie Grant on youtube. I felt like it could have been written by me. Especially the parts about the hiding my heartache and being broken from within. I honestly felt as is I was too broken to ever be fixed or loved. I felt very hopeless. One line says that God sees what a mess I have made of our life but He loves me even now. As I listened to the words I realized that no matter what in God’s eyes I am beautiful and wonderful and that God loves me just as I am, which are also words in the song. It is an amazing song. I now know with certainty that nothing that was done to me or I have done has kept me from measuring up to His love or ever will. Since then I have felt such peace and been free to love and to give love.

    Yes, I have had to let some relationships go but I have also realized just how very blessed I am. I may never receive that acceptance and love from my mother or sister but I have a large extended family that gives me this. I also have been abundantly blessed with a very large family in Christ that has chosen me. My church has embraced me and my family and I know this is just a very small taste of the love that God embraces me with.

    I am finally free from a lifetime of bondage that has made me feel completely unworthy of love from anyone including God or myself and it is the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced.

  25. Renee,

    Thank you so much for your story! I grew up in a “Christian home.” I love my parents, but I dealt with a lot of criticism, especially from my Mom. I never felt good enough for her and I definitely didn’t believe I was good enough for God.

    Struggling with depression as a teen, and now as an adult, I have often bought into the lie that I am no good to God. He can’t love someone who can’t even “get it together,” can he?

    Then I remember that Jesus is “The Good Shepherd.” He loves us, his sheep, and only wants the best for us, even when try to settle for second best.

    He knows that if we look for Spiritual nourishment outside of his feeding grounds, we will be malnourished, and if we settle Spiritually for dirty water from the nearest pothole in the road, (as thirsty sheep are inclined to do), then we can end up with internal parasites, that cause so much harm.

    I know I have been inclined to wander off and try my own way over the years, and this would only reinforce my feelings of unworthiness and failure. Yes, I have failed, and yes, I have been unworthy. I never will be worthy on my own. It is only through the gift of God’s grace that I can stand before him as his child. I cannot do anything to earn his love, and I cannot do anything that will make him not love me any more or less than He already does.

    God bless you!
    🙂 Rhea
    gallerhea@yahoo.com

  26. Hi Renee!

    You’ve been on my heart pretty frequently lately, the strangest thing, but somehow I just knew that when I opened my inbox this morning that I would “see” you, and sure enough, His words through you were there to greet me. I love when He does that.

    Know that from far away, I’m humbly approaching His throne of grace on your behalf. May you know His unconditional love in such a real and tangible way today. He is so proud of you, His beautiful child.

    Thanks also for this amazing reminder because only He knows how easily we forget. We search for something that is simply right there in front of us. I have, just this week, reached a breaking point, and never have I been so excited to cry (I purposely watched a movie that I knew would start the water-works). What an amazing privilege to be able to empty all of myself in order to be full of Him, to know his love that is freely given, one not earned by works (my default mode).

    May you know His presence in such a real way today.

  27. Searching for love in all the wrong places, that was me. Never feeling complete, always knowing that something was missing. Accepting the Lord at a young age, I never walked step by step with Him and experienced the security that would fill the huge whole caused by my insecurities. God is good–He is the filler of all holes that makes me whole! I love HIm. Thanks for your blog!

  28. About 5 years ago, I came down with Viral Meningitis. It was a horrible experience to go to bed one night and wake up completely incapacitated the next. My Hubby-Lu took me to the hospital where they finally admitted me after a spinal tap and I stayed for 5 days. It was 3 months recovery before I could go back to my daily duties and 6 months before I was really myself.

    I remember at the time that God had been teaching me about how purposeful He is. How could this possibly be for His purposes? My family, my ministry, my life had come to a complete stand still. That very first night, after my Hubby had gone home to our kids, I remember praying, “Lord, I don’t know how you can use this for your glory. But I pray that you do and that you’ll allow me the blessing of seeing it.”

    Little did I know, He would use it for ME. It was a “wake up” call or should I say a “slow down” call on my life. I had been running a race built on legalistic notions devised out of a desperate need to earn His Unfailing Love. God wasn’t willing to let me continue living that lie any longer. I wouldn’t accept the free gift of Unfailing Love He offered because I thought I had to earn it with my miserable attempts at righteousness. My pursuit of “right” was so fevered that I was damaging relationships at every turn. My friends, my family, my Hubby, and my kiddos were all victims in my wake. Thank God He loved them, and me, too much to allow that to continue.

    My brush with Viral Meningitis MADE me stop running and listen. He spoke to me very personally during that time – thru His Word and thru others. I remember that it was both fearful and wonderful to be so close to Him, to be under His microscope. He took the time to show me the destructive framework I had spent my whole life building. He showed me how I had never experienced unfailing love in my broken past. Therefore, somewhere along the way, I had decided that kind of Love doesn’t exist – even with Him.

    And now . . .

    What freedom there is in the Unfailing Love of Jesus Christ. My break from this prison has begun a walk into new truths too wonderful to imagine. It was a big step, but only a first step to be sure. Now, although I am still learning every day, I live a life of Love and Liberty that I would not trade for anything. It was worth the price of Viral Meningitis. It would have been worth 10 times the suffering. But, more importantly, HE thought it was worth the price – even death on a cross!

    Don’t delay your response to His call of Love – don’t make Him teach you the hard way! Run to Him now! He’s waiting with open arms!!

  29. WOW! I've read all these amazing stories and all I can say is, "What an awesome God we serve!" Praise Him for His wonderful love and grace!

    I have been very blessed by all of your stories and I just pray that each one of you will continue to feel His unconditional love for you. May He reveal new mercies to you each and every day. May He show you that He has great plans & purposes for each of your lives. May He continue to take you deeper and deeper into the depths of His great love for you.

    Blessings to you all.

    Love,
    Bonnelle

  30. My most recent story of knowing I was loved has a lot to do with your Saturday evening presentation at She Speaks. I had been thinking I should send you my story so that you would know how I benefitted from your obedience to God, but I kept putting it off. But now, here you are asking for it! It would be easiest if you just read it here: http://sylviabasham.blogspot.com/

    I came to your site today because of the P31 devotion…..sgbasham@hotmail.com

  31. Hi, thanks for the story. In the past couple years I have been truly discovering how much God really does love me. His unconditional love. It amazes me. I just want to write songs and play music on piano for Him for the rest of my life… Anyway, I’m glad He calls me His own. I’m glad He’s my lover. I hope my love continues to grow more and more for Him until the day I die. I especially wish my non-christian relatives would realize the emptiness that they have in their lives cannot be filled. Eternal satisfaction cannot be bought in a store, found in a car, or being with family members. I wish they would go to their knees begging God for forgiveness and mercy. I feel so bad for them sometimes. I wish they would be looking harder for ways to fulfill themselves so they might stumble upon the Lord. I wish they would acknowledge the deep yearning in their heart that only God can fill. My heart aches for them. I know you’re a busy person, but if you happen to remember my non-christian family members, or anybody’s non-christian family members, please pray with all of your heart. Thank you.
    -Brooke (brooke.owen@gmail.com)

  32. Renee, thanks for sharing your story – I could relate all too well. I have experienced a need for God’s unconditional love these last two days. Yesterday we found out we lost our little “J” at 6 1/2 weeks, needless to say the emotions are rolling and the questions seem unending, but God’s grace and love are present. Without His unconditional love, I know I’d be lost.

  33. Anonymous says:
  34. Anonymous says:
  35. I have been searching for love all my life. Like you even after I became a Christian. I turned to guys, or attracted guys (I am not sure) who though they professed to be Christians, they only wanted one thing. And I gave what they wanted.
    I am still working through the scars of it. A particularly bad issue has me stuck right now. And today, God opened up my eyes a little bit to see that the God, the Star Maker, wants to have a personal relationship with me… he loves me… the phrase our pastor came up with, The Star Maker wants to sit down and have a cup of coffee with me.

    I have to let Him heal the deep wounds in my heart. my friend and I are praying for each other Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

    I want to be satisfied with His unfailing love, his unconditional love. He is chasing me down. And I am trying to get the door open…

    Thank you for this post…
    God Bless,
    Heather
    hkudla@gmail.com

  36. Looking back over my life, I have realized that I was always looking for that unconditional love too. Often in the wrong places. Now as an adult living for God, I know that I have a God-sized hole that only God can fill, and I look to Him for that. But there are still times I get caught up in the whirlwind of life and I find myself looking to someone or something else to give me value and/or fulfillment. I’m so glad we have the Holy Spirit Who whispers in our ear and reminds us who we are and whose we are. And He gently helps us to look at Him as he renews us and refreshes us – and love us, unconditionally!

  37. Oh – and here is my email address:

    laurab@comcast.net

    Thanks Renee!

  38. As you know, your “looking for love in all the wrong faces and places,” is one of the reasons that I feel so connected to you. I not only know that song, I have been guilty of singing it over, and over again during my life.

    I am with ya, Praising Jesus that I have finally found the one and only True Lover of My Soul! Praise you Jesus, may I never let you Go!

  39. I wanted to share with you all how God has been so gentle in reaching out to me. For years I had tried to take comfort and confidence in friendships with people, only to find that everyone falls and fails. Because of some of the things they had done to my heart knowingly or unknowingly, it's hard for me to trust anyone to come close enough to see who I really am. But then I accepted Christ, and every since then, His favorite thing in my life, is to show me how much He loves me. He knows it's hard for my heart to understand, and even though He's proved Himself time and time again, my heart's slow to learn, and even slower to trust. As I was in the darkest pit of my life Janurary of this year, God did something that I'll never forget. He sent me hearts everywhere. Every day when I got up, I remember finding heart shapes around me. In the butter container, in the sky, even a large heart in the form of a spot on a baset hound. And even if I thought that was enough to grab my attention, He even sang over me through the tv one morning while listening to a cd. Although I am still unsure of His love, He is forever patient, and surrounds me daily with loving people, and encouragement using everything from the radio to books. I am trying right now to trust in Him more, so please pray for me that I would. Although I am scared to let Him close to my heart, deep inside of me, I have a feeling that I can trust Him to make everything whole and new again.

    <3

  40. If anyone wants to email me, feel free to. I forgot to add my email.

    God bless.

    mirkwood04@hotmail.com

  41. I can totally relate to you and this post. I recently blogged about this same topic.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Beth

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