A Real Love for the Real Me

“My purpose and my identity, does not depend on your struggle to love the real me.” My 13-year-old daughter wrote those words as part of a song entitled, Look At Me Now. She writes much better than I did at her age; she writes better than I do now, come to think of it. Her lyrics are powerful because the words and actions of others have caused her to think much less of herself than she ought. But now she’s beginning to succeed in her journey to overcome the reality summarized by the words of Thomas Cooley: “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.”
My baby girl’s journey causes me to ponder what real love is. When other people choose not to love us, they treat us like less than we are. Over time, we start to believe the things they say about us. We begin to form our identity around the way in which other broken human beings treat us. Thankfully, God never fails to love us. God is love.
If other people knew everything I did, every word I spoke, and every thought I had, they probably would not love me, and I wouldn’t blame them. Mercifully, they do not know all of those things. But God knows them, and He loves me anyway. I don’t need to understand my purpose or shape my identity based on God’s struggle to love the real me. There is no struggle for Him; it’s not even a choice. He loves me no matter what. And His unconditional love does define my purpose; it does create my identity. He has a real love for the real me.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a).
Troy Burns