John’s words are simple, straightforward, and powerful. Without Jesus we would not know how to love. His life demonstrated the steadfast, unconditional love of God toward humanity. He loved profoundly, authentically, and without a thought for Himself.
As a survivor of childhood trauma, I struggled for years with the truth found in John’s words. I believed in Jesus, but I wasn’t at all sure He loved me. I spent years bargaining with Him for approval. Every time I broke a promise, I begged for forgiveness, but wasn’t sure how to earn His love. I didn’t realize His love was a gift.
When I allowed Jesus’s unconditional love to permeate my being, I realized I could give and receive love without a cost because Jesus paid the price for me. The more I embraced the love Jesus showed me, the more I understood how to love others.
Surrendering to, abiding in and receiving from Jesus nurtures the love He planted in me. As His love thrives within me, I am better equipped to reflect to those I encounter each day.
The journey is ongoing. I am not finished growing and learning what love is or how to express it in healthy ways, but I am closer than I was thirty years ago when my healing journey began.