My heart pounded as I stared at my computer screen, debating whether or not to post my prayer request. While I love being part of communities that pray for each other regularly, this prayer request required a level of vulnerability and honesty I wasn’t sure I was ready for.
Swallowing my pride, I sent up a quick prayer of my own and hit send.
“I’ve been having a really hard time believing that God actually loves me. Would you all be able to pray that He would work in my heart and draw me closer to Him?”
I didn’t want to admit that I was struggling to believe such a simple foundation of the gospel. But I learned that getting honest and opening this part of my heart up to God and to others allowed for God to work and draw me closer to Him in ways I never thought possible.
Does God really love me?
Have you ever found yourself asking this question? Have you ever wondered whether God made a mistake when he created your personality, size, or features? Or have you ever known that you are loved by God and that your identity lies in Christ, but have struggled to believe it or live like it’s true?
If that’s you, here’s the good news: you are not alone. I’ve been there. I know many other young women who have been there too.
But here’s the even better news: Jesus has already given us an identity that is stronger than the doubts. Let’s take a look at the identity He has given us.
You are made in God’s image
The phrase “we’re all made in God’s image” gets repeated a lot particularly within Christian circles, but what does it actually mean?
In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Emphasis added.)
To be made in God’s image means to be made in His likeness. This means that we are like God—we reflect His character, nature, and beauty.
When you start to doubt that God really loves you or made you the way He did on purpose, remember that you, Rose, are made in God’s image.
You are beautiful because He is beautiful, and He made you in His likeness. You are unique and creative and funny and smart because He is all those things, and He made you to be like Him. You are loved because God Himself is love, and He made in His image, out of an abundance of love.
You are part of God’s family forever
Many people know me as Jason and Sophia’s oldest daughter. How many times have people recognized you as so and so’s daughter, sister, wife, cousin, niece, aunt, ect? Can you imagine being recognized and known as God’s daughter?
That’s just what you are. Ephesians 1:5-6 says that because of His love for us, it pleased God to adopt us into His family and freely give us His grace. What’s more, John 14:2-4 tells us that Jesus has prepared a place for us in His Father’s house. You have a spot in the house, just like any other member of the family.
Nothing can separate you from God’s love
There is not a place you can go where God would not be with you (Psalm 139).
You are God’s masterpiece, created out of love for a specific purpose (Ephesians 2:9-10).
The Holy Spirit lives in you and pours God’s love into you (Romans 5:5).
God did not make a mistake when He made you (Psalm 139:14).
Nothing—not even doubts or questions—can separate you from God’s love, or make Him love you any less (Romans 8:38-39).
When it comes down to it, the truest thing about you is that you are seen, known, and loved by God. God loved you so much that he willingly took on all your sin and brokenness to set you free. Jesus isn’t afraid of your doubts and questions. And because of that, your doubts and questions do not have to hold you captive.
Help! I’m still doubting!
Still having a hard time believing that God loves you? That’s ok.
I wish I could say that after praying for God to work in my heart, I never had trouble believing that He loved me again. But that’s not what happened. Instead, God began to mold my heart. He spoke to me through Scripture, friends, and times of prayer, teaching me to recognize His voice and hear what He says about me. God didn’t take my doubts and questions away. Instead, He taught (and is teaching) me to bring them to Him, to wrestle with Him, and to trust Him.
And He can do the same thing for you.
Fears, doubts, and questions about your identity are normal. They won’t drive God away or keep Him from loving you. So the next time fears, doubts, or insecurities threaten your sense of identity, don’t be afraid to run to God. If you let Him, God can use those doubts and questions to deepen your understanding of who He is and who you are in Him.
God is for you, Roses! As you go about your day, remember what He says about you: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Malaya Gaboury is a native New Yorker who loves Jesus, coffee, books, and theater. As a teen herself, she firmly believes that God is actively working in her generation and that no one is too young to have a big life with God. Connect with Malaya through her blog.