Dear Lauren,

I want to believe that I'm deserving – that others could care about me, and that I'm worthy of love – mainly from myself. How do I get that knowledge, but get that knowledge in a real way, so that I really know it? (Instead of thinking when someone hasn't replied to what I sent, that “she doesn't care about me,” and that it's impossible for anyone to care about me?) I know that God created me…. But how do I even know if God loves me?

Lauren Roth

Lauren Roth's Answer

I think your next to last sentence is the answer to your question: “I know that God created me.”

If God created you, then you must be good. Because God doesn’t create anything that He doesn’t deem “good.” (Unless, of course, you’ve abdicated all your goodness by becoming a terrorist or a baby murderer or a psychopath – none of which sound like you at all from your question.) Barring people who have completely abdicated their goodness (think: Hitler, Pharaoh, Stalin, etc.), everything in our world only exists because God deems it “good” at all times. Including you.

And the last sentence in your question, “How do I even know if God loves me?” can be answered, and can help you believe the things you want to believe about yourself in the first part of your question. By answering “How do I even know if God loves me?” you will feel the answer to the rest of your question.

So: how do you even know if God loves you? Let me tell you a story.

This morning, I found this note on my kitchen counter (I took a picture of it for all of you:)

It was written by my six-year-old son. I was so touched! I assumed it was probably for me (which made me really happy!), or that it was for one of his siblings, which also made me happy. So I asked him, “Shimon Mendel, that’s such a nice note! ‘I love you’. Whom did you write that note for?”

Do you want to hear his fantastic answer? “I wrote it for God.”

“You wrote a love note to God?! How nice! Why did you write a love note to God?”

“Because He gives me so many good things. He keeps me alive, he gives me food, and a family…”

If you look around at your life, I guarantee you will find infinite pieces of evidence of God’s love for you.

Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt and his wife used to live in Memphis. One day, she was out walking with her friend when a car hit her and landed her in a coma. After a few months of her being in the coma, someone asked Rabbi Greenblatt, “Aren’t you mad at God?” His answer was to breathe in and out a few times. “I’m breathing. I can see. I can walk. I can feel things. I’m not angry at God. I’m grateful to God.”

The other day, I was driving, and I accidentally came really close to another car. I quickly swerved away, but I braced myself for impact, almost sure I was going to hit him. I am so grateful to tell you that I did not have a car accident in that moment – but I really was sure I was going to. I was already, in my mind, thinking No! No! No! Oh no! I’m going to hit him!! I was so thankful that my car just continued driving, no collision, no dull “thud.” It made me feel like maybe God saved me from an accident that really would have happened, if events had followed their natural course. I feel like God intervened and saved me.

Practicing gratefulness is your avenue to recognizing God’s love for you.

And it made me think: how many times does God do that for me every single day of my life? How many near accidents has He helped me just miss? How many tumors has He lysed before they could grow and hurt my body? Medical science actually tells us that our bodies are generating and destroying tumors all the time. That’s God saving me from dangers I didn’t even know were lurking. How many times every single day does He do that for me? I’ll bet it’s millions. And I’ll bet He’s saving you millions of times every single day, too.

Wondering if God loves you is kind of like wondering if your classmates like you or not. You can wonder, Do they like me? Hm. Do they like me? all day. Or, you can just assume that they like you, and you treat them like a friend. You can just assume that they like you, and you be nice to them. That’s actually the best way to get a friend.

It’s the same with God. Instead of wondering if He loves you or not, maybe just notice all the good things about Him, and thank Him for those things. Gratefulness for his goodness is a sure way to feeling His love for you.

And feeling God’s love for you is a sure way to get to feeling that you are worthy.

My suggestion to you is to look around every day for evidence of God’s love for you. A beautiful blue sky is evidence. A buttery yellow daffodil for your seeing and smelling pleasure is evidence. A fresh spring breeze through your open window is evidence. Walking, talking, eating, breathing are all evidence. A family, a home, a table to eat at, a desk to work at, a chair there for you to sit on – these are all evidence of God’s love for you.

Practicing gratefulness is your avenue to recognizing God’s love for you, so you can begin to truly love yourself.