My counselor has a pug beanie baby on the ottoman in her office. When I asked her about it, she said she had three pugs at home and just loved how they pranced around with an attitude that seemed to say, “Of course you love me. Why wouldn’t you love me?”
I have never particularly liked pugs (sorry pug-loving friends), but her words stuck with me: “Why wouldn’t you love me?”
I realized that often my default predisposition is to think: “Why would you love me?”
I didn’t make a conscious decision to think this way. Over time, I just did. I actually remember being a pretty pug-like preteen. But the high school and early college years were rough. I guess my resistance to the messages of the world wore down. Even after I became a Christian in college, I still let others largely dictate my sense of worth instead of Christ.
I figured people would rather be doing something else or talking to someone else rather than me. I learned Bible verses that clearly stated how God loved me, how He even rejoiced over me with singing. But the truths didn’t filter to my heart and therefore didn’t filter to my default actions.
I developed a hypersensitivity to perceived indications that I had overstayed my welcome or that I was imposing. I would try to be funny or pleasant or encouraging or at least low-maintenance enough to not bother people too much. I see now how that also meant I wasn’t fully giving myself in love.
People who operate out of a general sense of being worthy of love fascinate me.
They assume, like the pugs: Of course people want to be around me? Why wouldn’t they love me? I am fortunate to be married to someone like this and to have other pugs in my life that in a good way encourage me to shake off the futile oppressiveness of trying to please others.
As I look at bits of progress I have made in believing that I am worthy of being loved (through Christ’s love and Doug’s hands-and-feet-of-Christ-to-me love), I have more hope that God will continue His good work in me in this area. I am worthy, not just because, but because I am Christ’s beloved.
Julie Serven craves shalom for people and places. She enjoys editing, helping people with literacy skills, hearing people’s stories, exploring all things OKC, yoga, NPR, and spending time with her ultracool family.