Forgiveness and reconciliation

For the Girl Who Doesn’t Believe She Is Loved

I’m too broken.

Too broken to heal.

Too broken to be loved.

God could never forgive me.

It’s impossible, after all that I have done.

Six years ago, I sat in the attic we’d painted yellow. The grey light streamed through the skylights we added. Curled up against the antique daybed, I scrawled in a journal covered in sunflowers, “Lord, who am I to claim You as my Father?”

I was restless, feeling the weight of the pride and sin in my heart. Knowing that I could never measure up to the perfection God required.

And it all seemed hopeless.

Would I ever really believe that God loved me?

Let Yourself Be Broken

My dear Rose, have you ever heard about the love of God… and scoffed? Secretly, in your heart of hearts, you struggled to believe that God could possibly love you.

We know our own sins intimately. We feel the rush of envy, the string of hurt pride, the flaring of anger. There have been times we have wanted to hurt people we love. Or we choose to let ourselves continue in greed or lust or malice.

And there are parts of our heart that terrify us to see. Whole chambers of bitterness, or doubt, or fear that we cloak in darkness and pray no one else ever knows about.

When we hear about God’s forgiveness, we think about our brokenness. In comparison, we believe that God could never really forgive us. Surely He’s cherishing some wrath that He’ll let out sometime… surely He will eventually realize how deeply sinful we are and reject us forever.

Rose, you cannot hide from God. He sees even the chambers of your heart you refuse to acknowledge. He knows every dirty secret.

Here is the miracle: when we finally stop hiding, when we finally come into the Light and let ourselves be broken, that is when we are overwhelmed by His love and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a Mystery

We will never understand why God chooses sinners as His beloved children. Sometimes we begin to let ourselves grow proud that we’ve been chosen, as if it’s our own doing. Have you ever met a Christian who believes that they are superior to an unbeliever?

The reason God forces us to see how sinful we are is to show us that we can never be proud; our salvation came completely from Him, not through any work of our own. Faith is something to be grateful for, never proud of. True believers recognize that God should not have forgiven us. Salvation is a mystery, and this should make us humble.

God’s love for us does not show that we are any better than any other human on earth: it simply shows the Glory of our Father in Heaven.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

For the Girl Who Doesn’t Believe She Is Loved

Rose, Jesus was the real Son of God who came, fulfilling countless prophecies by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead. If you doubt the reality of the Scriptural account, don’t shove down your doubts. Ask God questions, and allow your heart to be open to the answers He provides.

When you are tempted to believe God could never forgive you, pause. Remember the weight of the sins of the world. No matter how horrific our sin, Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to cleanse the darkest of sinners.

Instead of allowing Satan’s lies and doubts to live inside your heart, cast them out (James 4:7) with the truth: God beckons you nearer to His heart. Through the blood of Jesus, we can be accepted. Though in ourselves we are unworthy, we have been made worthy.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1)

Living Beloved, Living Broken

My mother was sitting at the breakfast table. Across a cup of tea, she was staring deep into my friend’s eyes. We were talking about hard things. There were tissues and tears and hugs. And then my mother told her something none of us will forget.

“You just have to live broken.”

Live broken.

But also beloved.

God knows we are dust, she told us. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows our weakness. That’s what grace is for–to cover the cracks, to mend the brokenness, to help us to live, really live our lives, despite our brokenness.

“I know this is hard to hear, but you might even grow better for the brokenness.” We went on to talk more about how God’s love is near to us, even when we’re struggling.

The truth is, God knows we are dust. He knows we are broken. But we are never too broken for God. Jesus is enough to heal us. 

Do you believe that?


In the silence, a still, small voice is calling you.

Will you go?

Will you choose to believe that you are loved, just as you are?

For the Girl Who Doesn’t Believe She Is Loved
Bethany Rose

Bethany’s name means “bright city on a hill.” This is her mission in life, to illuminate the beautiful things and shine God’s light where there was darkness. Bethany leads The Wilting Rose Project, a ministry of encouragement for young women who feel their struggles make them worthless. She writes tales inspired by her love of the forest, where she spends many of her mornings, soaking in the uniquely Minnesotan beauty. Her blog includes more personal documentation of her journey the last few years with Lyme disease and Toxic Mold illness and the journey of healing she is now on.

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