“I have loved you,” says the Lord…. Malachi 1:2
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!… 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
Dear Jenny Grace,
I love you. You are My child, a jewel in My crown (Zephaniah 9:16). Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I sanctified you (Jeremiah 1:5). When I look down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God (Psalm 14:2), I see you reading My Word and praying every day, and I love you.
When you were a little girl, you always looked up at the big blue sky, smiling at Me. Even if you were inside, you would run to a window to smile up at Me in the heavens. I had the neighbor girl tell you about Me when you were just three years old, as she helped you with your sweatshirt zipper. I gave you a good family; when you saw your grandma kneeling by her bed praying one night, you wanted to do the same. We had some good conversations until the cares of junior and senior high stole you away. But I wouldn’t let anyone snatch you from My hands (John 10:28-29), because I love you.
I let you follow your own path for a while, because I love you. It was bumpy and you stumbled often, but I would never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). I gave you a persevering spirit, knowing you would need it down the road. With that perseverance, you ran thousands of miles, often smiling up at the big blue sky and Me, but sometimes forgetting Me. When you ran at crazy times in the dark, I gave my angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). I let you walk-on to the Iowa State University cross country team to show you some real runners and Someone even greater, because I love you.
At ISU, you had to press on toward the goal to win the prize (Philippians 3:14), but it wasn’t the prize you thought. It broke My heart to break your heart and the hearts of so many others your sophomore year. But I did it, because I love you. For one moment, I looked away and let that airplane fall out of the sky, taking your beloved coaches and teammates home to be with Me. I know it hurt you so much. You couldn’t even run for years. You were so mad at Me that you ran away, burying your sorrows in food and poor relationships that broke your heart even more. You really made a mess of things. Yet, this was all part of My plan to bring you back to Me. I heard your cries and brought you out of your horrible pit (Psalm 40:2). I had some of your remaining teammates pray for you. I had others befriend you. And finally, I invited you to the Baptist Student Union, where You learned how much I love you.
I taught you how I sent My only Son Jesus to die for your sins and for the sins of all the world. You learned that by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, all your sins and sorrows and stumbling are scrubbed clean away (1 John 1:7). I showed You how to read My Love Story in the Bible and we had dates every day as You read My Word and prayed to Me. I, the Father Myself love you, because you have loved My Son Jesus, and have believed that He came forth from God (John 16:27). Now you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 1:23). You are Mine, I bought you with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) because I love you.
I put dear people in your life to teach you about Me. I blessed you with a husband to share your journey on earth and then two sweet children. I put My love in your heart for your kids so that you wanted to stay home and homeschool them, even asking Me for more children. But I loved you so much, I wanted to teach you to pray harder, making you pray seven years for your third child. I was smiling in heaven when I saw your joy at his birth, because I love you.
But I wasn’t done teaching you, you had so much to learn. I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine. Those years in camping ministry were hard, weren’t they? But when you passed through the Iowa flood waters, I was with you; And through the rivers, they did not overflow you. When you walked through the Montana forest fires, you were not be burned, nor did the flames scorch you (Isaiah 43:1-2), because I love you.
I let you conceive three babies that I took to heaven before you could even see them. I know that broke your heart, but aren’t you stronger now? Aren’t you more able to comfort others in their sorrow? Don’t you see how much I love you? And then, wasn’t that an awesome thing I did when you were 45 years old, giving you your fourth living child, a son, born exactly nine months after you followed My example in baptism (And 11 ½ years after his older brother!). I gave him to you because I love you.
I even let you fulfill your life dream you had since before the plane crash, letting you run a marathon when you were 53 years old. You prayed to Me every mile and I carried you to the finish line. You wanted to run it in under 4 hours, but I had you complete it in exactly 4 hours and 7 minutes, just like 4:7 in the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I love how you dedicated the race to babies, raising money for a crisis pregnancy center. You love the precious innocents, like I do; your heart breaks for them as does Mine. Yes, Jenny, I love you.
But, I’m not finished teaching you. Even as you dedicate your life to Me. Oh no, I will not let you go soft. I’m making sure you lean into Me and are ready for the battle (even though the battle is Mine). As I did for Job, I allowed more heart break, your granddaughter’s cancer, your chronic pains and even this time of waiting, because I love you. Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is trying you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13). I even put you in a pain group so you could share your journey together, because I love you.
I see you rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer for your nation and world.(Romans 12:12). I see you obediently following My commandments, even on My Sabbath Day you are resting with the angels. I see you trusting in Me for complete healing; I am Yehovah Rapha, Your healing God. Even when the pains are so bad and you have a grumpy evening, you get up the next morning, ready to try again. I declare that by My Son Jesus’ stripes you will be healed (Isaiah 53:5). And I, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10). I promise you this as I see you praying, fasting, persevering through it all, and I love you.
I love you so much that I’m preparing a place for you in heaven, a mansion for you and your loved ones and for all who believe I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14). I will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). Oh, Jenny, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And you will be with Me always, because I love you.
And now dear one, I want you to take this love I’ve poured out on you to ladies everywhere. You have an anointing from the Holy One (1 John 2:20). I want you to share your story, open my Word to them, and tell them about My Son Jesus, Your Savior. You must teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20). Invite ladies to TEA with Me, the King of kings, bringing more ladies into My kingdom, and they will bring their husbands and children. Together, we will change this world, one TEA CUPP at a time.
Go forth, O daughter of Zion, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Song of Solomon 3:11, Philippians 3:13-14). And lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
My eternal love always,
Your Heavenly Father
I AM the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:3)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, YOU are dear to God’s heart, too. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). You have a love story, too. How about writing your own Love Letter from God in your prayer journal today? Add your favorite Bible verses and share it with others. And will you also please pray for me, for Jesus to open doors for me to take My TEA CUPP Prayers to ladies everywhere? Invite me to speak at your ladies’ group or next retreat. Thank you, dear daughter of the King. God loves you!
…I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved… Daniel 9:23 (NKJV)
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)
…God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 (NKJV)
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)
Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson