My name is Angela.
I grew up in Pennsylvania in a family of 6: my parents, my sister, and my two brothers. We lived in the same house, went to the same school, same church, etc. I would call my family a very “traditional” family. We attended church. Every Sunday we opened up our hymnals to page 77 and followed along. Traditional!!
All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have desired to be truly loved. I did not know love. I don’t remember hearing “I love you” and the love portrayed around me did not fulfill me. I was convinced that…. I was nothing, I was useless, I caused problems, I was in the way, and I was worthless. Ultimately I was convinced that I was not loved.
During my tween/teenage years, I spent endless nights in my room, crying myself to sleep to the sound of love songs playing on my radio. I had multiple tapes made that were filled with every love song imaginable. I listened to the words of so many love songs, in hopes that I would dream that night about real love. I longed so much to feel loved. Music soothed my soul and the words in the love songs were as close to love as I could get.
I met Troy, my husband, at the age of 16. He was the first to tell me he loved me, and I was so desperate for love that nothing else mattered. Nothing!! We both graduated high school and just 9 days after my 19th birthday, we were married. We bought a home and got pregnant. More love, I now had a baby to love. Although, I still did not know true love. The void was still there. I just couldn’t figure it out. I was tearing myself up inside. My husband, who claimed to love me, failed me and hurt me. My child did not fill that void. The few friends I had, who claimed to love me, failed me and hurt me. I failed them all as well even though I loved them. It was an awful feeling. I know I loved them, but I’ve learned that you can love someone but not know HOW to truly love them.
I hit a breaking point in 2006. I was the mother of 3, deeply depressed and overweight. I didn’t care about myself, was in a marriage that was miserably failing and I had no one to turn to. Loveless!!! I didn’t want to be around people and I found it easier to just block myself from everyone and everything. I was 24 years old, didn’t know how to be a loving mother, I didn’t know how to be a loving wife, and I didn’t love myself or have any idea how to love myself. I wanted to give up on it all…. I just didn’t care.
My husband and I decided to run away from it all. So we listed our home and finally sold it in 2008. We sold everything but our kids belongings and our clothing, packed up the rest and moved to Ozark, Missouri.
The Lord was waiting for us there. In August of 2008, we were invited to James River Assembly. God started tugging at my heart there. I felt something at that church that I had never felt before. Something there really loved me and wanted me!!! The spiritual struggle seemed to go on and on. I was so afraid. I knew God wanted in, but I was scared to let go and trust Him. I had walls up all around my heart so I could protect myself from being hurt again. I had been so hurt in the past, and now God wanted in…all the way in.
But on October 5, 2008, I let the walls fall down when the invitation was given to receive Christ at my new church home. I sobbed and sobbed. I walked to the alter and immediately arms were wrapped around my sobbing body, people were praying and I knew immediately that something was different. I felt “loved” for the very first time in my life. True love. This was real!! I knew God cared for me, and that He loved me. My heart was overflowing with love. There was so much love, I didn’t know what to do…. so I asked God to help me.
He told me to love my husband first, then my children, and then all those around me. God has called me to love others as He does, to tell them of this unconditional love He has for us all, and to live it out.
People fail me daily. No one will ever be able to love me like God does. But I know that no matter what, God loves me, unconditionally. At 26 years old I found true love. I have been smiling every day since. Joy overflows, my marriage has been reconciled, my children are loved more than ever, and I LOVE people. I no longer believe that I am worthless, unloved, and unwanted. Jesus wants me. Jesus loves me. And Jesus has made me priceless!
I love music, I listen to it daily in everything I do, however I have new love songs. Love songs are still the music to my soul, but they are love songs that I sing to worship my Savior, My Healer, My Redeemer, My Rescuer, not love songs that I sing to drown out my desires to know what love is. I sing love songs to my Jesus. And He sings love songs over me!
My life is not perfect, but I know that no matter how hard the day, no matter who lets me down, no matter who I let down, that I have an amazing Father that loves me exactly the way that I am…I am Loved, Unconditionally!!!
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Maybe you are one of the many people in this world that have no idea what true love is. You feel like I did 5 years ago. You are wondering if that desire will ever be met. You are waiting right now… like I was 5 years ago. You are waiting to find real love. You believe it exists, if you could only find it. You are convinced that you are worthless, unwanted, looked-over, and unloved. I am here to tell you that isn’t true! The One you have been waiting for, is Jesus! LOVE, real, unconditional true LOVE can only be found in Jesus Christ. He paid the price and took all your shame and guilt and sin upon Himself on the cross so that YOU would not have to carry it anymore. He paid the price so you can be free. He wants you to receive unconditional love, joy, and peace. It’s for YOU…
John 3:16 “For God loved YOU (the world) so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Life, when walking with the Lord, in no way should be traditional. You were not made to blend in or hide, or to be like anyone else. You were made to seek, be joyous, be loved, be like no other. You were made to be beautiful and flawless, unlike the sins of this earth. Only in Him can you truly find these things. In Jesus, you are a radiant, spotless, Bride of the King!