Unconditional

 One big slip.

That’s what I was always waiting for—that one moment when I would slip up and it would be too major for a recovery.

God would look down on me in disdain and walk out the door. 

Deep places within my heart have believed this for years. I always wondered if my tenacious heart would eventually exhaust God and He would call it quits.

I built cadences of work and production into my spirituality in order to prove to God my loyalty and hopefully earn His love.

I knew the gospel. I had heard it my entire life, but it took being transplanted to the Middle East to learn unconditional love.

I had lived my life under the “A student” mentality. Hard work eventually pays off and everything should or at least could receive a grade. 

Rules set before me from a young age became my benchmark for affection. I believed in the pit of my soul that love is only earned.

Until God took me to the end of my effort, to a distant land where I no longer knew the measures of success. He took me out of the realms of a grade to tell me He loved me. 

Unconditionally.

This love. Was not based on how great of a performance I could put on for Him. How well I could speak, dance, or work on my spiritual disciplines.

This love. It has nothing to do with me.

It’s Him.

It’s a love that looks upon a broken and hurting world and says, “Come to Me for I will give you rest.”

It’s a love that looks at the moments where we fail to reach the “goal” and tells us not to worry because He will fill in the gap.

How deep? How wide is this love?

It’s beyond me. It’s beyond my ability and my hope to be better than I am today, tomorrow.

It’s a love that looks upon who I was yesterday, who I wish I was, and tells me I am loved. Period.

We are loved. Period.

Because God. Is. Love.

Abi Khavari traveled the world, writing for a non-profit agency in the Middle East. She now lives in Colorado, got married recently, and is starting her Masters of Counseling this spring.

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