I’ve known since I was a child that God loved me, that Jesus died for me on a cross, that satan is bad and that I have to do certain things to be good enough… to be loved, to get noticed, to be liked.
And I worked so hard. If I did everything I was told and lots more I would get praised – and my young ego figured out that doing = attention = love.
God loves me – I follow all the rules, I get attention and then I get love.
By the time I was 5 I had also figured out that pain = love. Discipline, usually spanking, meant I was loved. By 5 I was doing things specifically to get punished and feel loved.
As an adult I still do this… I still work for love. I try to get people to like me, I work hard to look good.
Sometimes God stops me and whispers ‘I love you. Yes you. No, you did not earn it. You can’t. I just love you. While you are angry at me, while you are not talking to me, while you are yelling at me – I love you. You can’t change that. You are my Daughter and I love you!’
There is nothing for me to do but stop and rest in that.