Real Love Found Me

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Diane Mayfield –

I was a lonely, shy little girl longing to feel loved and wanted by someone. I often fantasized about belonging to a large family where I was the only girl. In that fantasy, all my brothers adored me. Of course, the fantasy didn’t last, so I was left in loneliness when it ended.

In my early elementary school years, I discovered that making really good grades won me a special place as Teacher’s Pet. So that became my goal. I set out at the beginning of the school year to win that place in each teacher’s heart. In that I could feel loved.

In junior high, I found there was an “in” group and worked hard to belong to the group, thinking that would give me the sense of being loved. At the same time, boys started paying attention to me. My world came alive with the thrill of boyfriends and popularity. It didn’t seem to bother me that I had to work hard to keep up these positions. I had no idea there was an unconditional love freely given if I just opened my eyes and believed.

As one might expect, looking for love in relationships with boys often led to self-destructive and abusive relationships. What I thought was love was not love at all. God in His goodness would use that path to later introduce me to true love.

At that time in my life, I made unwise choices. One choice in particular brought me to the end of myself. I needed forgiveness but I wasn’t really sure how to find it. Growing up Catholic, I was taught the way to forgiveness was by confessing to a priest. So, in my senior year in college, I went to a priest. I told him my story and my need for forgiveness.

He told me, and rightly so, that I didn’t really understand my faith and suggested that I take a class being offered to learn about it. I did.

One evening a laywoman came to the class and lead us in how to get alone with God. She took us through what I later understood to be a visualization exercise. It went like this. Imagine that you are in some quiet place. I imagined myself on a grassy green hillside overlooking water. Then she suggested that you see Jesus coming to you. What would you say to Him? I did just that. I saw in my mind Jesus walking to me with His hand outstretched to me. I took His hand and asked Him, “Why did you die for me?” His answer was, “Because I love you.”

I walked out that night and knew Jesus was real, living, and my friend. More importantly, I knew I was loved and I found a place I belonged, right in Jesus’ arms.

Later in my new life, I learned it was not by my efforts that I found Jesus. He was wooing me all that time that I was going the wrong way. He never let go. Now that is true love. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV).

About Diane Mayfield

Diane, a follower of Jesus, has a Bachelor of Journalism Degree, a Master’s Degree in Education with a specialty in counseling and is a Certified Coach. Married for 35 years and after raising three children, she returns to one of her first loves-writing.

Comments

One Response to “Real Love Found Me”
  1. Diane,

    Thank you for this article. What really stood out to me were these word:
    “I had to work hard to keep up these positions. I had no idea there was an unconditional love freely given”.

    These are lonely days for many. I think I needed to be reminded. My day was kinda stinky, and I want to feel bad about it, misunderstood & lonely. But this puts my overblown response in perspective. Thank you for sharing with honest vulnerability.
    I suspect God has used your story to draw many lonely hearts to Him!!

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