He Loves Me!

This week, I celebrated my 60th birthday. Woohoooo - and - are you kidding me?

photo courtesy Columbine,
It's hard to believe I'm 60 years old, but you know what's harder for me to believe? That up until a few weeks ago I didn't really "know" that God loves me.

That's a strange statement coming from someone who's been a Christian for over 35 years. It's not that I didn't believe God loved me...I did. And the reason I believed it is because the Bible says so, because He sent His only Son to die for my sins, because that's what the Pastor says. 

I knew it, but I didn't know it.

I'm talking about that deep down, knowing in your spirit - where you are so sure of something that you can finally relax and enjoy it, because you know it and you know that it's never going to change?

Am I making any sense, here?

Because of my background, I've always been very introspective. Examining myself to see if I think I measure up to what I think I should be as a Christian. Striving - always striving to be better - not so I could earn salvation (I know that's a free gift of God), but so that I might be pleasing to God - so that He would be "proud" of me. I know that's a throw-back to trying to please my earthly Dad, but I couldn't shake it...until now.

What brought me to the realization that God really loves me after 35+ years of following Him closely, reading my Bible, attending church, working in the church, telling others about Him?

A little devotional book called, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

Seriously, I've read many, many devotional books, but this one is different. This one is written as if Jesus is speaking to me personally - as if I am sitting with Him each morning while He gives me a special message from His heart.

It has brought me closer to God and has finally helped me to know, that I know, that I know, that He really loves me - just the way I am.

And it only took 60 years for me to figure that out. Sheesh - talk about a slow learner!

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)


Anonymous said...

Hey Jan, Happy birthday! My mom just told me to read your blog as I was getting ready to read Sarah's other little devotional 40 days with Jesus! I agree, its so awesome to take the words in like they are from Him! I've been a Christian for about 12 years, I started reading this little book last November. I have not been the same since! I take it with me everywhere because really knowing His Love is ALL I need. Plus it is packed full of wonderful scriptures! This is the first time I've ever commented or posted anything in my life, but what you said is so true and I wish everyone could feel what you and I feel! Love you. Your cousin Ydel

Jan Christiansen said...

How great to have you visit my blog, Ydel and thanks for leaving such a sweet comment.

I'll have to check out Sarah Young's other devos. I really have to fight myself to keep from reading ahead in Jesus Calling. I want to plow right through it, but I'm making myself savor and meditate on each day's reading.

Bless you, sweetie,

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how there is always more to learn about and experience with God? I need to check out this book. Happy Birthday Jan!

Jan Christiansen said...

Yes, it is amazing, Tresa. The older I grow, the more I know that there's so much more to know about God and what an adventure it is to discover yet another aspect of His character.

Shakin' the Foundation said...

Happy birthday Jan!! Great post and i enjoy reading your blogs daily! Such encouragment for and to me :)
Many blessings~

Jan Christiansen said...

Thank you so much, Stacey - both for the birthday greetings and for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave comments. I pray God blesses your life richly.

Joy said...

This REALLY blessed me, Jan! Thanks so much for being real! You are an inspiration and God uses you every day to teach and encourage others. Thanks a bunch for making yourself available and transparent.

Jan Christiansen said...

Thank you, Joy. If there's one thing I am, it's real. I don't know how to be any other way. I am who I am and that's all I want to be. I'm just glad that God can use who I am to bless others.

Reformed rebel said...

Happy Birthday Jan . . . sorry I'm a little late with that. Isn't that a wonderful little book. I am reading it for the 3rd year in a row. It never gets old! Sarah Young will have a new book out in September. I can hardly wait for it! Just want to let you know how your posts always bless me. Thank you for coming by my blog and commenting also.

Blessings. . . Chelle