ColumnsDisciple’s Corner

God loves me, as I am

By Kirk Sadilek

Whose love for you is greater than God’s? God’s love for you is indescribable! Hopefully you have heard it, but do you believe it? And more importantly, do you feel God’s love for you? His unconditional love.

Well, if you have any feelings about yourself like I do about myself, that of a sinner, a hypocrite, opinionated, and the list goes on, then you may struggle to be loved by God the way that God loves you, unconditionally. Dirty laundry and all.

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As I reflect on Jesus’ conversation with one of the scribes, when asked, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” Mark 12:28-31.

Jesus proclaims, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Ooh! Do we love ourselves today as our Lord and Savior commands? How does this love feel? Because of the struggle to love ourselves as Christ speaks of, do we struggle to show love for one another, our neighbor? Are we hiding from God among the trees in the garden as Adam and Eve did afraid to come out because of our nakedness? And because we feel the way we do, are we missing out on the most perfect love of all, God’s love for us?

So, let it be. This moment, right now, give thanks to God for your brokenness. Then experience and feel God’s profound love for you. Be open to feeling how much he loves you. In his book “Into His Likeness,” Edward Sri shares, “If we dare to meet God in the valley, we come to experience at a much deeper level how much the Father loves us – as we are, with all our thousands of fears, worries, hurts, suspicions, sins, weaknesses, and failures. God’s love for us is unconditional.”

As I was driving one day, I had a Holy Spirit moment. I was thinking about God’s call/Jesus’ call, for me to surrender my life. How was I supposed to do that? The Holy Spirit’s call was to trust God with everything. As I thought about trusting God with the things that were going on in my life, I realized that if I truly believed and accepted this calling, then I was surrendering my life to him. I was trusting and believing that he knew what was best for me. I was no longer in control to the extent that I trusted/surrendered to his will. This has been more than 10 years ago, and while I struggle with this surrender every day, I know and feel that God only wants what is best for me. I feel his unconditional love for me. He knows my struggles, and while I know that he has taken some of my struggles away, he has also allowed me to live with some of my struggles too. This is my growth, on my spiritual journey.

In your spiritual journey, admit and accept who you are. Remove any balls and chains that you may be carrying around because you don’t feel worthy. Recognize your valleys, praying and giving thanks to God unceasingly. As you heal yourself, you will feel God’s unimaginable love for you. And as you feel God’s love, you will have a desire to share God’s love. Pope Francis encourages you and me to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. Feel Jesus’ saving love, and in time you will be proclaiming, as Jesus did … the gospel of the kingdom of God.

I once was lost, but now I am found. God loves you, just as you are. Feel God’s love for you; it is life changing. God’s peace and blessings my friends.

Kirk Sadilek is an active member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Hiawatha, serving on the parish Legacy Community, and recently on the Adult Faith Formation Committee. Kirk and his wife, Wendy, enjoy spending time outdoors and with family. Kirk is a member of the current IMPACT cohort.

The Disciple’s Corner is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Office of Faith Formation and Education and is funded through the Archdiocesan Educational Development Board. It is designed to help catechists, teachers, parents, grandparents, guardians and other adults grow in their appreciation of their role as disciples of Jesus Christ.