Kate Sperry is a communications intern with OneWay this summer. Kate reflects on how God has taught her of His great love.
Comprehending the depth of love in a new name
Hi, that’s me — Beloved Daughter.
It’s a name I am learning to call myself. It’s a name that is very unfamiliar to me. A name that, if used to get my attention, would not cause me to turn my head.
It’s a name that shame cannot fathom to be true. Yet, it is. And there’s no denying it because it is the Lord who calls me by this name.
I have been reflecting on this new name for a while — not by my own will, but by the sheer amount of times the Lord keeps bringing up this idea of belovedness in my life. The Lord is funny like that.
An instance in particular that deeply resonated with me came upon hearing OneWay President Michael Thompson speak. I returned to OneWay in May for my second summer serving as an intern on the Communications Team. I’m surrounded this summer by a community of 25 young adults all using their gifts and talents to pursue our calling in ministry.
During our orientation, Michael opened up our session by reminding us of the love the Father has for us.
“I feel like the Lord wants me to tell you that He loves you,” he said. “More than you can imagine.”
He went on to quote Ephesians 3:17-19, “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
When he said this, I felt challenged.
“Do I truly comprehend the greatness of God’s love for me?”
The Lord brought this idea up again as I was reading Acts 10. In this chapter, Peter is having a vision of animals. God tells Peter to kill and eat what he sees, but Peter refuses because he has “never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” God kindly instructs him, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”
This struck me.
“How many times do I label myself an unclean, ugly sinner?” The answer to that: All. The. Time. And it’s true, isn’t it? I am unclean. My sin is ugly. And I am quite full of it. And will be until Jesus returns.
For a perfectionist like myself, this is a frustrating fact of life. I yearn to be clean. I yearn for the day when all is right and well with my soul. I yearn to be washed white as snow. I desire so deeply to be fully sanctified and wholly at one with the Lord.
But despite these desires, as long as I live in this fallen world, sin will be a part of my being.
That being said, I think it would be a mistake to replace “unclean, ugly sinner,” with “clean, perfect saint.” While this is what my perfectionistic heart craves to be called, it is not reality.
What is reality is the name, “Beloved Daughter.” The Lord gives me this name despite the unloveable nature of my sin. His love is truly a love like no other. It’s a love that steadfastly pursues me when I have done absolutely nothing to deserve it.
More times than not, this reality feels too good to be true. Shame blocks out these whispers of truth with its deafening cries of accusations: “Ugly!” “Unclean!” “Disgusting!”
Yet, it’s not the wind, or the earthquakes or the fire that have the final say. It’s the gentle whisper in my ear of the One who holds me near to His heart, “You, my Daughter, you are Beloved.”
In His kindness, He gives me a new name. And oh, how beautiful is this name! There is such a peace that enters my striving heart when I think of the simplicity of what the Lord requires of me. He wants me to Be Loved. Because that is what I am.
My prayer is that God would continue giving me the strength to comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth of His great love for me.
Invest in the next generation
Would you prayerfully consider partnering with young adults like Kate this summer? Each of our interns is working to raise $2,000 to cover rent and living expenses, as well as another $4,000 to provide a small salary for their work. Together, we can help the next generation fulfill the Great Commission for the Kingdom of God!