Do you ever have those moments when you’re minding your own business and a thought comes out of nowhere? I had this happen to me just the other day. My husband and I recently celebrated our second wedding anniversary. This thought suddenly hit me while running errands: I am blessed to enjoy safety and security in our marriage, because of my husband’s love. I had been single for many years before we met. I hadn’t realized until this revelation, how much of what I had done or felt was the result of subconsciously trying to attract someone or protect myself from others.

I’m realizing that, since getting married, I am becoming more fully myself. I no longer have a subconscious need to portray myself a certain way or analyze situations like I used to. I know at the end of the day I am loved. This knowledge allows me to live life with more freedom.

Later, I thought of this in light of my relationship with the Lord. He created marriage as a physical representation of what the relationship between us, the Bride, and Christ is to be (2 Corinthians 11:2). So many of us wrestle with insecurity. All around us, we see people struggling with identity. I believe much of that is the result of us not realizing that we are loved. The God who created the universe loves us. Not in an, “I’m God and I have to love everyone” way. He loves us in a genuine “I gave up my most precious Son to restore relationship with you” way (John 3:16).

You are enough, because the Creator of the universe says so. He says you were worth dying for. That is amazing! When you have the revelation of the depth of that kind of love, you live life differently; you live loved. It’s not so much about knowing who we are, but being aware of Whose we are. When we realize that at the end of the day, no matter what, God loves us, truly loves us, we can rest in that. We don’t have to walk around feeling insecure or trying to impress others. We have the freedom to more fully become the person God knit together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Our identity, our joy, our peace of mind, are no longer dependent on our circumstances, but are placed on the solid foundation that we are children of the King (John 1:12).

As the New Year dawns, and we anticipate what lies ahead, let us think differently. Instead of making a list of things to achieve, in order to counteract all the ways we feel we failed this year, let’s start with one goal: live loved. Invite the Lord to reveal His love to you in new ways this year. Receive that love, live from that place and watch everything else be transformed!

The Rev. Deborah Schrader is lead pastor of The Lighthouse in Kearney.