This verse was just what I needed to read this morning. It opened a door for me that I thought that I had closed long ago. You see, I don’t tell this to many people, but I grew up in an upper middle class home where everything physical that I needed and much that I wanted was provided, but I didn’t really feel loved. My mom told me frequently how ugly I was and even told me to plan to go to college and get a good job because no one would want to marry ugly me. I recall going to the bathroom where I could be alone and softly singing to myself the song that I had learned by going to church with my neighbor, “Jesus Loves Me.” I didn’t really know what that meant, but it soothed my aching young heart. Anyway, I studied my constantly. I didn’t date in high school at all because I was focused on studying. I had a high GPA in high school, got a scholarship and went to college where I studied to be a teacher. When I met my future husband the summer before my senior year, he kept telling me how beautiful I was and I knew, from experience with my mom, that he had to be lying. Thus, later, when he said that he loved me, I didn’t believe him. Not really. Then, in February of 1973, a neighbor told me about Jesus and His love for me. I read the book of John and discovered that love for myself. It was the forever kind of love that I had craved my entire life. I eagerly accepted Jesus into my heart and my life. For the first time in my life, I felt love and it was such a different feeling. I tried to explain it to my mom and dad, but they just dismissed my testimony. I explained it to my fiancé and he told me to get rid of this Jesus thing or he was walking away. Well, I told him that Jesus died for me and since he had not ever done anything so bold and loving for me, I chose Jesus. When Harry understood that I meant it, he started going to church with me and he, too, accepted Jesus into his heart. Two months later, we were married. I finally knew what love was because I had met the Man who is love. I knew God’s love for me, the kind that lasts forever. My new pastor soothed my old wounds and told me that God made me just the way He wanted me to be and God doesn’t make “junk.” Thus armed with new confidence, I have gone through over forty years of life and almost forty eight years of marriage, knowing in my heart, in the deepest part of me, that I am loved. When I was alone on base after base with the military, I knew that God loved me. Through all of the trials in my life, I have held on to that truth: Jesus loves me! He always has accepted me just as I am and He loves me, with all of my flaws and failings, He loves me. I am enjoying a life filled with God’s love. Does that mean that everything has been wonderful during my entire life? Of course not! God doesn’t promise that all will work out just as we want or expect. He does promise His forever love, and that is enough for me. I hope that is enough for you, too. If you don’t believe me and my testimony, I pray that you will believe God’s Word. It’s His gift of love to each of us, so that we can learn and hold on to His precious promises. God bless each of you with a special portion of God’s love today. No matter what happens today, you and God are going through it together, and His love will be there for you…always!