Five. My Savannah-Banana is 5.

Savannah at five is so much different than Scarlett at five. I know full well that children are individuals and are all different, but we are navigating mental tests and diagnoses with Scarlett, so her 5 wasn’t what most would consider “typical”, but more about my sweet Scarlett later.

My Savannah reminds me so much of myself. She feels BIG.

Recently she said to us that she feels as if no one loves her, or that her daddy and I do not love her anymore. Did I mention she’s five? These big feelings and thoughts are uncharted territory for us as parents.

As I’ve thought more about my little girl and her big feelings over the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded that we all feel or have felt this way at some point in our lives. For some that season is now, for others it comes and goes. Some of us have learned to make it past the need to be loved or needed by this world, but all of us at some time or another have experienced it.

So how do I teach my daughter that no matter how this world or anyone in it feels or thinks about her – Our God will always love her?

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. - Romans 8:38

That no matter what she does, what decisions she makes or how far she tries to run from Him – He will always pursue her, wait for her, adore her?

Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. - Psalm 139:7-8

How do we teach ourselves this?

Grace is a radical concept in a world that teaches us that we must earn our way.

For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9

I tell my girls all the time that there is nothing that they could ever do or say that would make me love them any less. How much more so does our Heavenly Father love us?

My children did nothing to earn my love. I love them simply because they are mine. How much more does our Father love us, simply because we are His?

As I was getting Savannah ready for bed this evening she said to me again, “I feel like you and daddy don’t love me anymore.” She was in complete despair.

My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. My goodness doesn’t this precious child know that I would go the ends of the Earth for her? That I would die for her?

It hit me then, that I had been feeling the exact same BIG feelings in my own heart. I was unlovable, unworthy, not good enough. I had put goals and things and people on the throne of my heart and no matter how hard I tried, I just could not measure up. Nothing I could say or do was “good enough”. I was in complete despair.

He was reminding me through the words of my sweet, BIG feeling little girl, that I would never measure up to the world’s standards. But that He, as always, had a seat at the table ready for me. I need only to pull out the chair and sit down.

Who is on the throne of your heart today? Is it our Heavenly Father, or this unattainable fleeting world?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

Parenting is scary. We are entrusted with these tiny souls and we love them the best we can and pray we don’t mess them up. I believe it is also a tool He uses to teach us about the kind of Father He is and He is good. All the time. Always. Even we are are not, even when we mess up. Especially then, because then His grace comes pouring in and we can see Him for who He truly is. A good, good Father worthy of His rightful place on the throne of our hearts.

Father, help me today and always to show this radical grace and love to my girls until all they can see is you. Because ultimately our goal as parents is not to raise “good children”, but lovers of Christ. Amen.

Jessica Gibson, General Manager at PMF