Zephaniah 3:17

Almost three years ago, I started a Bible Study called You Are Loved. (The story of that and my experience with it can be found in June/July of 2014 on this blog.) The memory verse for the first chapter was Zephaniah 3:17 and while I may have read that verse before, it felt new that day. I somehow read, and absorbed, while reading this verse, the power and depth of God’s love for me. Since then, the verse has popped up many times in my life, and has always been a reminder that, no matter how dark things may seem, how lonely I feel, how alone in the prison of anxiety, I AM LOVED. 

Last Monday I started another book, and this one is the telling of the author’s own faith story, with the theme of infertility lacing through-an emptiness and pain I know all too well myself. At the end of each chapter, she’s listed scripture references related to that portion of her journey to know God better. Guess what was smack in the middle of the set at the end of chapter one? Zephaniah 3:17. I read this and smiled. 
Wednesday, my mama came to visit, and for the first time in a long time, it felt like she wanted to be with *me* specifically-not just visit the kids. I needed that, oh how I needed that. I’ve not made a secret of my mental health struggles, and my mom has seen even the ugliest that they bring out in me recently, but I’m sure even they who love me most feel helpless to make it better. About halfway through her visit, she asked me to sit down, and explained that she wanted to give/pray a blessing over me. I sat down, and the second she suggested I might raise my hands to receive the blessing, I threw them up-I was SO HUNGRY for a blessing! Tears came to my eyes before she started, and then-she was reading my verse! Zephaniah 3:17!!! This WAS my blessing! God was telling me I’m NOT forgotten, not alone- I AM LOVED! 
After my mama left, I immediately started making a chart of this verse on graph paper and chose a rose and butterfly motif to embroider to complement it. 
Thursday morning I got up to have my devotions, and this was at the end of the chapter: 

Then I got this email: 

I skipped my workout and instead, got to work embroidering. By noon on Sunday I had this: 

I still need to iron and frame it, but I’m so excited to hang this by my mirror as a reminder of God sending me a message loud and clear when I needed it most. 

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