• Heidi J. Smith

You are loved

Photo credit to Rakicevic Nenad

Have you ever felt unloved?

Maybe as a child no one told you, "I love you." Or as an adult you live alone longing for a call or visit.

Maybe your relationship looks picture-perfect on the outside, but inside your relationship seems stale and dry. Or past mistakes haunt you whispering that you will never be any good.

Whatever you situation, you are not alone.

Izidor Ruckel was unloved.

His parents abandoned him as a baby because his leg was deformed. They tossed him into a cold Romanian orphanage where nurses didn't coo or cuddle young children and iron bars blocked the windows.

His life was bleak until an American family adopted him at age eleven.

They loved him, but he didn't know how to respond so he rebelled and pushed them away.

“I have known since I was 15 that I would not have a family,” Izidor says. “The way I see myself is that there would be no human being who would ever want to get close to me.”

Yet his family continued to love him through thick-and-thin.

One night his family was in a car accident and Izidor thought they died. Sick over his unkind treatment to them, he realized how much they did love and do for him.

He finally accepted their love and reconciled their relationship.

Being loved changed him just as it does us.

We are loved!

Even if we don't feel loved in our earthly relationships, the God of the universe loves us. No matter our age, address, or nationality, we are all precious in his sight.

"This is how God showed his love among us:

He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

This is love: not that we loved God,

but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

I John 4:9-11

We need to accept his love and reconcile our relationship with God by asking for forgiveness for our sins (Romans 10:9-10). Then we should want to love others.

We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, just like Izidor's family was to him.

Don't wait. Go and show love to others today.

On this Valentine's Day, remember you are loved. Now please go and love others.

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Heidi J. Smith