“Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.”
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
A few years ago, I was invited to be a part of a conference in Dallas, TX called the There4 Gathering. It is a conference focused on pouring the truth of God’s love into middle, high school, and college girls. I was SO excited for this opportunity because even though not many people knew it at the time, I struggled a lot when I was younger, and I love getting to speak to younger girls what I wish someone had spoken over me!
Although I grew up in the church, and I’m very grateful for that heritage, there was something in me that greatly misunderstood the gospel. I thought the gospel was all about me being good enough and loving God and other people enough, and that’s all good and well, but it’s not the gospel! Because I thought I needed to be “perfect” to earn the love of God, I did not know it was O.K. to NOT be O.K., so…. I spent a lot of my middle school, high school, and college years hiding, longing for the approval of others, & searching for my identity and worth in guys. They did the same thing with me, and we broke each other. It was brokenness I didn’t want anyone else to see because I thought I should know better than to make mistakes like I was making, and I thought I was supposed to always be positive and joyful, so I shoved my brokeness deep down, put on a smile, and pretended to be O.K.
It took years for this act I was doing to crumble, but it did crumble, and I was left feeling used and discarded, unloved, unwanted, and unworthy. And THAT is right where the Lord met me, at my lowest, most broken moment, He spoke to me through the story of Hosea (and through Francine Rivers’ version of that story, Redeeming Love)! He reminded me that He was the one true lover of my soul and that He would never leave or forsake me (Heb. 13:5). I couldn’t believe that God wanted anything to do with me. I knew that God loved me, and I ran away and tried to find love elsewhere. I had learned by then that we were all made to be in a relationship with the living God and that anything we put in place of that relationship will leave us at best, frustrated, and at worst, devastated. I felt devastated, and I was just in awe that even after I had run from Him, He was there to pursue me, to love me, and to heal me.
So I wrote You Are Loved for so many young girls, who I know long to be seen and known and loved like I did when I was young, but when I sat down to write this song with my dear friends and co-writers, Christa Wells and Nicole Witt, we were all holding back tears...because as it turns out, this song carries the message that we need to know most at the depth of our being, that we are deeply loved by the God of the universe, not because of how we have performed or behaved, but simply because we are His. When I can remember that, it changes everything.
Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame.”
When I can fix my eyes on Him instead of on myself, when I can turn from my mistakes, my “not enough”, & my insecurities to His grace, His more than enough, and His unending love for me, it shifts everything. We get to come as we are and be completely known and completely embraced and loved because of the work that Jesus did for us all on the cross! We don’t have to be perfect to earn God’s love. It’s a free gift that He longs for us to embrace.
I hope you enjoy this music video! We had a blast making it! I got to partner with one of my favorite organizations, Nashville Young Lives, who focuses on loving and supporting teen mommas in our city, as well as some friends and some of my co-writers and their kids to make this video. So grateful for the way Marisa Boras captured us having a blast dancing, playing, eating, and remembering that WE ARE LOVED!
You Are Loved - Psalm 34:5 & Romans 5:8
Ellie Holcomb, Christa Wells, and Nicole Witt
Some days you’re tired of trying to measure up
You see a girl who’s not enough
When you look in the mirror
Some nights all you want to do is hide
Cause every time you look inside
You’re face to face with failure
But you are loved, not because of what you’ve done
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change His love
And you are wanted, not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think you’re worth that kind of grace
But look into His face, you’ll know
That you are loved
You’ve searched for something that will stir your soul
That will make you feel less alone
But nothing ever saves you
He knew before you ever took a breath
There’d be days when you’d forget
How beautiful He made you
That Jesus, He chose you
He sees you,
He knows you, ohhhh
You’re covered, forever
Look into His face , you’ll see it there
Look into His face , you’ll know
That you are loved