When I was a little girl, my mother and I would tease each other about which one of us loved the other person the most. It would start with one of us saying, “I love you more than you love me.” Then the other would respond with, “No! I love YOU more than you love me!” It was a simple way that we expressed our love. She would meet me at my little child like expression of love. I now enjoy doing this with my 4 year old niece. We have changed it to match our own personalities. It usually goes something like this:
Me: I love you more than you love me!
AL: No, I love you more.
Me: I love you infinity.
AL: I love you infinity more.
Me: You can’t go more than infinity.
AL: Yeah huh!
We have done this so many times that she now outsmarts me. Now when I say, “I love you more than you love me,” it is a race to see who can say, “I love you infinity” first. We both usually end up laughing together. I’m not much of a giggler, but I will save any giggles that I have in me for my little nieces.
When my mother passed away, I had no idea what to expect in the grieving process. Some people read books to help them understand it and follow the steps exactly as they are presented. I didn’t read any books, rather I chose to seek wise counsel. One of the first things that I was asked was whether or not I believed that Jesus still loved me. I actually had to think about it. Did He still love me? I had to go with what I knew. Yes, He loved me, I just didn’t feel that love.
How did I know He still loved me, even though I was hurting so terribly? My conclusion went back to the cross. He loved me enough to give His life so He could save mine. That’s boundless love. His love is infinite and is not determined by whether or not I falter or fail. It doesn’t change because I don’t feel anything.
Jesus loves me!
This I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
I am weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.
This song, by Anna Bartlett Warner, is typically known as a children’s song. As an adult in the midst of grief, I sometimes felt like a helpless child. I would find myself singing this song.
It doesn’t say, “Jesus loves me, this I FEEL.” Feelings are fickle; the Bible is not. Sometimes it’s the situation that makes us feel numb to everything. For me, it was ten months of shock that kept me numb. Once the numbness began to wear off, I only felt pain for a long time.
Does the pain ever go away? I honestly don’t know. I have heard that it lessens over time. It has been nearly 2 ½ years for me and while the hurt is less frequent, when I feel it, sometimes it feels as strong as day one.
I remember watching my mother experience grief when her mom passed away and when she lost her twin brother to sudden death. (Side note: At that point she had already lost her dad and her older brother – both suddenly. I was too young to remember seeing her grief over the loss of her dad and I moved to Arkansas shortly after her older brother passed away.) One day we were talking as she reflected on her grief journey. She said something that gives hope to me now, “Eventually the sweetness of the memories overpower the bitterness of the pain.” Am I there yet? Not fully. I do sometimes find sweet memories seeping into the pain. When it happens, I hold on to it as long as I can. I let myself fall into the memory as deep as I can and if I am where I am able, I will close my eyes and cherish the moment. I believe this helps with healing.
If you are experiencing the hardness of life and you aren’t sure whether or not God loves you, don’t forget the cross. Don’t forget the Bible. When the feelings aren’t there, remember that love is a choice. You can choose to continue to love God whether you feel Him or not and you absolutely cannot forget that He loves you back. Let, “Jesus Loves Me This I Know” be a mantra that resonates in your soul.
Jesus loves YOU! This I know, for the Bible tells us so! He loves you infinity!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV)
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – I John 4:9-10 (KJV)
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 86:15 (KJV)