Terese Luikens' dad

Why Bother to be Loved?

Why Bother to Be Loved?

I grew up watching the Ed Sullivan show on Sunday evenings with my family. The show did not hold my interest as much as the horseplay that took place during commercial breaks. Dad would stretch out on his side down on the living room floor and two of my brothers and I would sit on his hip. Then he’d tell us the story about the little girl who sat on a bench at the beach on a very windy day. As the story goes, the wind became so strong that it knocked the bench over and everyone fell off. A silly little game, yet it left a deep and lasting impression of my father’s love for me. 

A Father’s Love

I knew my father loved me. He kept his lap open for me to climb onto, was always ready to wrap his arms around to snuggle me close, and could be counted on to read bedtime stories. I never felt rejected by him, nor did I ever worry about him ever forgetting about me. Then, when he ended his life, I felt abandoned, left behind, and dejected. More than anything, I was confused and full of doubt. How could someone who loved me leave me? Had he really loved me in the first place?  I couldn’t help but take it so personally. As a child, how else could I interpret it?

My dad’s story is a sad one and the sadness did not end when he ended his life. Instead, my six siblings and I, the survivors left behind, had to finish growing up without him. 

Something that I have had to deal with in the aftermath of my father’s death was allowing myself to be loved again. Trusting in my father’s love was easy and natural until he took himself away from and was no longer around to love me. After that, it was hard to believe in real, authentic, and lasting love. That is, until I personally met someone who could love me perfectly.

When I met up with Jesus, I was taken off guard. I had no idea he made personal visits to individual people. Yet, the night I met him, he was quite real, very personable and convinced me to follow him. My other option at the time was to follow in the footsteps of my dad and end my life as he had done. When I decided to accept Jesus’ invitation and allow him to show me how to live a new life, I really had no idea what I was doing. I only hoped for something better than what I’d tried on my own. I can say that walking with Jesus has been better than good.

Never have I been abandoned, I am always heard and comfort comes at all hours of the day or night. There is nothing that he does not understand about me, and there is nothing he does not know about me yet, he continues to love me. 

I am grateful that I knew that my father loved me. I felt it and knew it was true. It was sad when it ended. But I know and trust the love that Jesus has for me and this love will never end. 

Why bother to be loved? Once we trust in the perfect love of Jesus, everything about us changes.

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A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens