For the first half of my life, I lived in fear.

Fear of being rejected.
Fear of getting hurt.
Fear of getting emotionally wounded.
Fear of getting “found out.”
Fear that others would realize I wasn’t perfect. 

You see, before I was even born, my dad didn’t want me.
During my mom’s entire pregnancy, which was a “surprise” since my mom was on birth control, my dad repeatedly encouraged her to have an abortion; then the day of delivery came, and he didn’t even accompany her to the hospital. (God bless my mother; she endured many painful years with my dad before, during and after I was born.)

From the beginning of conception and all through my childhood, my dad’s message was clear: you are unwanted.

As a young girl, he found many ways to convey this message, mostly from nicknames like Ms. Piggy, Thunder Thighs, and The Human Garbage Compactor and sometimes when words weren’t enough a wooden paddle or a heavy-handed spanking.

Need less to say, I was afraid. Terrified.
The effects were damaging and long-lasting and followed me into many toxic relationships and led me to make many unhealthy (and let’s be honest, down-right stupid) choices well into my adulthood.

But then I discovered a perfect love.
A love that accepts me.
A love that heals me.
A love that is unconditional. 
A love that doesn’t require me to be perfect–in fact, this love requires me to be imperfect and through receiving this Love, there is an exchange, and I am made perfect. 

Please note my use of present tense verbs here, sunshine.
I am imperfect and flawed and have to continually return to God’s amazing grace to receive a new portion, as I often question, worry, and doubt,
“Will God reject me, too?”

But I want you to know this love is available to you, sunshine.
There is a love so pure and perfect where fear doesn’t prevail.

My highest hope and prayer as you memorize this week’s scripture is that you choose at least one fear to surrender so that you can embrace the love that God wants to give you–that He created perfectly for you! 

Fear of not having enough.
Fear of not being enough.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of never getting to your “goal weight.”
Fear of not having the dream job, house, car, husband…

Let go of whatever fear is keeping you from love.
Embrace the perfect love that’s available for you.

Scripture memorization: Letter [P] “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:18