God loves YOU.
When we were on vacation, we went into a McDonalds for some ice cream As we sat down, some kids came in who were covered in tattoos and piercings. By kids, I mean 14-16 years old. I saw them and couldn't help but think what they had already gone though in life to influence them to tattoo and pierce themselves in such an excessive way. Some of them had sat down behind us, and beings that they were talking loudly, I couldn't help but overhear. What they said both saddened and shocked me.
"I pierce my nose, because sometimes it's better that people stare at my face rather than ignore me completely."
"I drew all over my arm in sharpie designs today because I knew my mom would say something. Her being mad at me and yelling is better than her saying nothing to me."
"I'm pretty sure I don't even have any self-esteem. I'm pretty mellow. Why would I care what people think about me when I don't even care about me?"
I sat there and was just overwhelmed with this sense of despair that these kids must be going through. To feel that no one cared about you. To be so deep in despair that the negative attention was what you craved because it was better than being ignored. Can you imagine? Maybe you can, maybe you are going though these exact feelings and you think no one cares.
Someone cares. I care, and more importantly, God cares. Some may scoff at the thought that God cares. They'll say, "Yeah, but if God cares, why has this happened to me? Why did He think it would be good for me to grow up in a broken home? Why did He think it would be good for me to be yelled at, hit, and blamed for things out of my control?" He didn't. He doesn't think what you have suffered is "good" or "okay." He loves you so much and His heart hurts for what is going on in your life.
He made you in His image. Even more amazing is the fact that He knows what you are going through. He has experienced great pain....and He went through it for you. St. Francis De Sales once said, "The everlasting God has, in His wisdom, foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from his inmost heart. The cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one once too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God t you, an alms of the all merciful love of God." And then, after you see the cross you have been given to carry, He offers to help you carry it. His burden is easy, His yoke is light. He wants to help. Open your hands and your heart and let Him in.
God made you. He loves you.