When I was a little girl, I remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap, looking him in the eyes, and announcing I was going to marry him one day. He was my favorite person to spend time with and he loved me unconditionally so it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Without shaming or embarrassing me, my grandpa said softly, “I can’t marry you honey, I’m already married to your grandma.” I quickly moved on to the next subject without a care in the world and my sweet grandpa just sat there listening to every word I said with great interest and enthusiasm. It was one of those precious moments of my childhood I will never forget. I was about seven years old at the time. Fourteen long years passed before I felt that kind of unconditional love and acceptance again. This time I didn’t find it while sitting on my grandpa’s lap, I found it at the altar of Calvary Chapel West Covina, California after Raul Reese gave a powerful message about salvation. It was as if God was proposing and I responded with a resounding, “Yes.” From that day forward, every single thing in my life changed for the better.

Twenty-nine years later, my sweet grandpa passed away. I was married and had three boys of my own but when I got the call that his time on earth was coming to an end, I drove an hour away in the middle of the night to be with him. I sat at his bedside and gently picked the chords to Holy and Anointed One on my guitar while singing as quietly as I could. I sang that same song over and over again all night long until my grandpa was ushered into heaven. Although it was incredibly hard to say goodbye, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. My grandpa was there for me through every heartbreak and disappointment in my young life and I considered it a great privilege to show him that he too was deeply loved.

Looking back, I realize the love my grandpa so generously poured over me was an invaluable gift that eventually led me to the cross. Although he wasn’t a religious man, he showed me by his actions I was valuable and deserving of love. Although unspoken, my grandpa taught me I was worthy. Not because I earned it but because I was enough.

I went through some very hard years after that encounter on my grandpa’s lap. Life got so difficult I began to forget about the lessons I learned from him as a little girl. At times, I lost hope that I would ever be truly loved…that is, until I met Jesus face to face.

There is no substitute for the love of our Father in heaven. Life is never without struggles or hardships, but if we learn to crawl in our Heavenly Father’s lap allowing Him to shower us with His affection and adoration, we will never be without hope. I pray that today, you will allow Jesus to show you that you are beautiful, valuable and worthy. Not because of anything you’ve done but just because you’re you.

You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
~Isa. 62:3

~Ali