by Rachel Scott McDaniel
When I was young, if I misbehaved my punishment wasn’t a time-out session, it wasn’t a spanking, but three words that knocked me harder than any whoopin’ could.
You disappointed me.
Again and again. Over and over. Those words were pounded into me.
You disappointed me.
The power of this statement gained ascendancy in my reasoning. I know this was only intended to be my punishment—to steer me away from wrong-doing—but the way my personality is, it allowed those words to sink in and root into my core until it became my mantra not to disappoint anyone. Ever.
Can you see how ridiculous that sounds? And impossible?
So in high school, if I was in softball, I had to be the pitcher. If I was in the musical, I had to be the lead. Same with cheerleading, show choir, class officer and the many other activities I’ve involved myself in. Not because I wanted to be “in the spotlight” but because I felt compelled to be the best. Performance. If I worked really hard and made my way to the front, then I’d earn approval. I’d gain love. There is so much wrongness in this. It was a tainted view based on a wrong perception of love.
This carried over into my spiritual walk. The thought of failing God, terrified me. I’ve always been the “good girl,” but what if more was required? What if I didn’t read enough? Pray enough? I’ve always heard about his vast love, sang the song “Jesus loves me” a gazillion times as a child, but a part of me held back in believing this. I would read Scripture but interpret them from a works mentality.
Such was my life.
Then I got married. Suddenly, I had to let someone into my fragile world. For the first couple of months I worked oh so hard not to let him down—not to mess up and bring the fragile glass bubble I had built for myself crashing down on me.
But, I had begun to notice things. Hubby would act in the same manner as me, yet vastly different. He’d go above and beyond to make me happy. From the little things like watching my favorite chick movie with me during a sports game to buying a car and putting it in my name because he wanted it to be mine. But . Not to gain it. Not to work for it, but out of it. It was freeing to see. Experience.
Then it hit me.
God was the same way. He didn’t want me to exhaust myself working for His love, because I never could anyway. How could you work for something that was free to begin with? Romans 5:8 came alive: But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NET) He’s all in when it comes to loving us. Not based on our performance but on what His Son had done for us.
Just as a parent’s words become a child’s inner voice, slowly my Father God’s words became mine. God’s not standing over me, shaking his head in disapproval, but rather with opened arms. Now, I cherish these three words—He loves me. I live to please God not out of fear, but love. I’m loved by the One who created the universe and all I have to be…is me.
Rachel Scott McDaniel writes Christian historical romance. Her passion is to weave the truth of God’s Word into entertaining and thought-provoking stories. She’s also an editorial traffic manager for a healthy-living magazine. Her first and most important job is being the wife to her husband of fourteens years and mama to their two children.
Connect with her online on
PS – This post is part of the Indivisible series. To get more info about the series, guest writers, giveaways, and the free short story, check out the first post here. New posts will be going up each Tuesday and Thursday through February. As they’re added, you’ll be able to read them all here.
*PSS – About the giveaway: The name will be randomly picked from among the comments on 2/27/17 and announced in the 2/28/17 post. I’ll try to reach out to the winner as well. The winner will have a week to provide a US address to have the journal mailed to. I’m also giving away 2 journals to my email subscribers. More details on that in the first Indivisible post here.
Thank you so much for having me on you blog, Emily! It's truly an honor, friend! <3
So very happy that you lent your voice to this series, Rachel! Thank you so much!
My husband loves me that way. To see and feel the love that he gives to me is so powerful and yet, God's love is sooo much more. Ben loves me past my faults and mistakes and God loves me even more. It's unfathomable. To grasp how much Ben loves me is difficult enough, but to realize how much God loves us…..it may be too much for our earthy minds and hearts to handle. Lol. I just read a devotion that said to stop and think before you pray. Think about "who" you are talking to. It really opened my eyes to think about that. To really recognize and acknowledge God before I started to speak to Him. He is so awesome and I love Him more everyday as I see His wonders through others and through His beautiful creation.
So true Mandy! How often do we mindlessly utter prayers to God without really comprehending the magnitude of His awesomeness?! Thank you for that reminder! And yes, us wives are truly grateful for godly hubbys. <3
I loved this, Rachel! To answer your question, my kiddos often reveal a side of God’s love to me—quick to forgive, slow to anger, and abounding in love. And they don’t care about what I look like or if I got everything done perfectly that day. They just love their mom. 🙂
Oh I love your reply so much, Robyn! Yes! Children are so genuine in their love. My children's tender hearts have often pointed me to see why God said to have faith like a child, because faith and love go hand in hand. ❤
Great post, Rachel! My best friend has loved me this way. We've been friends over 30 years now. She loved me despite my rejection of her in junior high. She took me back when I repented, and she's been dear to me in every way since!
What a special friend and such a beautiful example of love in motion! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!
Hi Sarah! Thank you for commenting! A dear family member once told me if you can count on one hand how many friends who have stuck with you over a long span of years, then you are truly blessed. It's both rare and special! Glad you found a friend who resembles God's love. ❤
Beautiful post. I can say the same about my hubby! Can't wait to send a love letters journal to one of you lovely ladies!
Sarah, you're the winner of the journal! Shoot me an email at emilyconrad(at)sbcglobal(dot)net with your address!
Thank you SO MUCH! I just sent you the address on Facebook. Hope that works! I will send you an email at your address above as well. You and Rachel just made my day, thank you again!
Thank you Rachel! I'm blessed to be the winner. Glad to know about your writing and ministry from Emily's sharing. Blessings to you!
Got it! I hope you love the journal as much as I've loved mine! Charissa does beautiful work!!