“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”(1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)
Ellie lived with her grandmother, who regularly criticized her from the time she was small.
“Nana always seemed to have a list of reasons why things didn’t work out for me. In junior high, she told me I didn’t make the cheerleading team because I wasn’t pretty enough. In high school, she said no one asked me to prom because I was too fat.”
Ellie spent years accepting her grandmother’s painful words. Like many kids and teenagers, she simply believed that when an adult tells you something, it must be the truth. She never thought to question it.
Then she shared with a college friend the painful things her grandmother would say during their daily phone calls.
“I still remember his face when I told him about it. He turned to look at me, and there was such compassion in his eyes. He said, ‘That’s abuse. Love is kind, Ellie, and you deserve love.’”
For Ellie, it was the first time anyone had ever stood up for her. She’d never had that validation, and it made her think there could be people who loved her simply for being herself.
“I started working with a counselor not long after that. She helped me see myself as a precious child of God. It took years to work through all of the verbal abuse, but I eventually forgave my grandmother. I didn’t want to carry those wounds with me for the rest of my life.”
God, when the people in my life aren’t kind, help me to remember that You speak love over me. Let me feel the warm embrace of Your love every day. In the name of Jesus the Messiah, I pray. Amen.
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