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If you’ve ever laid awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering if you could ever feel loved, I wrote this brand new book for you. Here are 20 choice lines from Love Me Anyway: How God’s Perfect Love Fills Our Deepest Longing . . .

1. “When you do relationships through the love of God, you learn over and over again that love has a lot less to do with feelings and a lot more to do with forgiveness.” (p.17)

2. “Love is patient, because love gives people space to be themselves. If you love someone, you give them room to breathe.” (p.24)

3. “Think of the child who in a fit of frustrated rage says to her mother, ‘I hate you!’
The mother is obviously hurt, struck to her very heart. But fighting back tears, she doesn’t say, ‘Sometimes I hate you too!’ or ‘You don’t know the half of it!’ Instead, she says, ‘Well, you may hate me, but I love you. And nothing will change that.’ It’s not true to say that what the child says or does doesn’t hurt. But the love will not be changed. If anything, the love may become even more lavish, more furiously defiant to match the rage. If a child’s hate will be turned to love, only love will do the trick. But if our giving of love is contingent upon reciprocity, we will be sunk.” (p.28)

4. “Think of what love might result if we all put each other’s interests ahead of our own. We’d find ourselves in a beautiful stalemate.” (p.37)

5. “It’s not too late to change. We don’t have keep following these clods of dirt down the chaotic spiral of fear, anger, and confusion. We don’t have to keep tearing each other up. Sure, that may be good for views and clicks. And it’s easier than kindness. But hatred is how the world works. The spirit of the age is all about biting and devouring. But you and I are different. Aren’t we?” (p.40)

6. “Envy is a genius of an enemy because it passes itself off as being on our side.” (p.46)

7. “Most of us are prepared to love others only up to the point where it begins to actually cost us.” (p.59)

8. “We are faced every day with so many opportunities to remember we are not the center of the universe, that God has commanded us to love others as we love ourselves, knowing that when it came right down to it, the One who is the center of the universe was willing to do it first.” (p.62)

9. “See the love of the one whose face was battered for you, who, even while your sin was murdering him, spoke forgiveness to you. He was willing to lose his life to gain even you. If that’s not love, love doesn’t exist.” (p.65)

10. “Love comes as a great interrupter. It pacifies our bloodthirst. It can soothe our nerves. It can rewire our thinking about the other person. In love, we don’t want to just win the argument, we want to win the person. So we bring the reality of love to our consideration of past and present wrongs. We let love reframe our consideration of them. It doesn’t tell us wrongs are rights! But it does give us the perspective of God’s storyline, a big picture vantage point about his glory and his name being known, which puts our own desire for vengeance in stunning perspective. Humbled by the portrait of God’s love we see in the Scriptures, for instance, we find the supernatural strength to confront even great evils with greater mercy.” (p.68)

11. “I had come to the end of my rope and found there the sufficiency of Christ. I brokenly submitted to the reality that my life was in his hands, not my own. I came to the end of myself and found there the goodness of Jesus. It is a great irony of life this side of the veil that we see the loveliness of Christ most bright the lower we get. And he’d been with me all along. When I felt most alone, in fact, he was closer than ever.” (p.82)

12. “You don’t know what love is until you really know who you’re loving. Sin and all. And you don’t know what love is until you really know the One who loves us perfectly. Our sin and all.” (p.85)

13. “When someone makes their love conditional upon our performance, our agreement, our satisfying their preferences, suddenly we end up in a transactional relationship that runs counter to 1 Corinthians 13 love.” (p.91)

14. “Have you ever wondered if you will ever feel loved? The enemy did an incredible job of using those feelings against me. When I faced the dissatisfaction of earthly loves, when my self-interested romances never quite seemed to pan out, he would play on my fears, target my insecurities. He deftly moved from ‘Nobody loves you’ to ‘Nobody could love you.’ Is it any wonder that my misadventures in romance were directly connected to a lack of assurance of my salvation? I was trying to avoid accepting back then what I’m perfectly fine acknowledging today — I am not a naturally lovely person. I’m a mess, in fact. But I’m more sure today not just of my lack of loveliness but of Christ’s loveliness for me.” (p.96)

15. “Jesus sees everything. He stands at the altar with us, sees right through our veil, right through our fig leaves. He sees it all. Every doubt, every mistake, every sin, every choice made over a lifetime in which we say ‘You don’t satisfy, God; this will satisfy me right now’ and asked, ‘Do you take this sinner to be yours?’ Jesus says resolutely, lovingly: ‘I do.'” (p.100)

16. “I very often think that the areas of our lives we are most desperate to protect are the very areas Jesus most wants to deal with in us.” (p.110)

17. “I think it’s because if Christian brothers and sisters aren’t honest and transparent and confessional with each other, we don’t really have fellowship with each other’s true selves, do we? We hide certain things from each other, mainly out of self-protection, out of fear, out of risk-avoidance and a sense of shame, and thus we end up not really knowing each other. We just know the best version of each other we can each manage to work up when it’s time to play church.” (p.111)

18. “While I’m piling up as many fig leaves as I think it might take to impress you and distract you, Jesus is exposing himself to all the hurt, all the pain, all the weakness, all the condemnation that I am desperately trying to avoid. You cannot be any more exposed than Christ was on the cross. And he went there. For us.” (p.115)

19. “The love we experience now in our faulty, failing ways, in our fear and in our flesh, is just a pale reflection of what is to come. That day we will know as we are known, love as we are loved. It will be beyond the utmost bliss that you can imagine.” (p.117)

20. “And at your last breath, when all else fails, when all you can’t take with you must be left behind, his love will carry you even deeper into his love. When you have no more need for food, no more need for water, no more need for shelter, his love will still be all of that for you, and more.” (p.119)

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