I was watching a recent episode of Oprah (imagine that) where she was interviewing celebrities in her normal fascinating fashion. She asked each of them an intriguing question that resonated strongly with me.
She basically said, “If you could go back to the 20-year-old version of yourself and tell YOU anything, what would it be?”
Hmmm. Interesting. So I thought about that for a while. If I could go back to the 20-year-old Julie having all the knowledge and wisdom and life experiences then that I do now, and tell her anything, what would it be?
After some soul searching I realized exactly what I would have told myself. And with Valentine’s Day coming up in a few days it seems even more appropriate to share with you today.
I would have told myself, “There is only one who will ever love you perfectly. There is only one who will ever know every part of you intimately and completely. And you will spend the next fifteen years trying to see what it is that He sees in you.”
See, I was in my mid-thirties before I ever really understood that truth. God is the only one that will ever love us perfectly. And His love is whole, it’s pure, it’s complete. He loves us unconditionally and He sees us as He created us to be, not with all the imperfections and hang ups we’ve created for ourselves.
When my first child was born I looked at him and loved him in a similar way. (Well, as much as I could as a human.) But I loved him because I saw myself in him. I saw my husband in him. And my love was complete and totally unconditional. He hadn’t done anything to earn that love. And that’s the same way it is with God. When He looks at us…He sees himself in us. And that’s a beautiful thing!
Do I wish I had learned that lesson a little earlier? Sometimes I do. But then again, the journey God has each of us on is customized with lessons that occur at precisely the right time to make us who we are supposed to be. I am grateful for the journey. And I am grateful for the unending love of God in my life. So since we are close to Valentine’s Day, I want to urge you to wrap yourself in the reality of the perfect love God has for you.
And just for fun, ask yourself: If you could go back to the 20-year-old version of YOU…what would you say? Reflect on the lessons learned and thank God for them.