I Love You. YOU. Unconditionally. [TOF Ann. Sheets]

I write two notes per week to our teens. This was one of them: 

Do you ever get “gun-shy” when you get in trouble? You know what I mean? You messed something up, or you hurt someone, and from then on, you think that person hates your guts. You walk into a room where they are, and even if you have made it right, it still makes your stomach sink a little. 

Or, you know you’re falling behind in an area and you feel bad around them. Believe me… I KNOW the feeling! There are times I’m scared to open my email because I know of projects that others are getting impatient with me on. I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m gun-shy. 

It happened last week with me. I working on some side-projects for Heartland, but with Gwen’s arrival, the Preaching Rally, camp registration and the missions trip, I haven’t been working on my Heartland projects very much! I knew I’d get a gentle reminder—which I did via email—asking me when we can catch up. 

Logically, I know I’m NOT in trouble. But emotionally, it FEELS like I am. 

Do you know what I mean? Do you see the difference? 

My “boss” in this other area is NOT an enemy of mine. He’s a friend. He loves me. But when I fall short of his expectations, I distance myself from him. Then, when we talk, I feel bad because I know I haven’t done my best for him. 

Guess what… there are times when I get the sense that you think I’M your “boss,” and that I’m somehow “mad” at you for something. Let me make this clear… that’s NEVER true. 


No matter what you do, no matter how much you think you’re “letting me down” or whatever… it’s NEVER the case that I hate you or am mad at you for ANYTHING. Seriously. 

I love you. Unconditionally. 

There’s nothing you’ll do that will keep me, Mrs. Jamie, and Ms. Sarah from loving you. 

Don’t mistake FIRM stance with an UNLOVING stance. I firmly stand on the Bible because it’s what makes your life the best. So I’ll preach it firm, pointed, and strong. But that firmness does NOT mean that I’m ever “mad” at you if you don’t do what the Bible says. 

I’m not. 

When you do not do what the Bible says, it hurts me. I’ll try to encourage you. I might write you a note and say I missed you in class. I might talk with you about how to improve, or get right with God. 

But I’m not mad. I hope you can see that affirming the Bible truth is done in love (in fact, it IS love.)

Missed church last week? Fell asleep in class? Didn’t do your BIBS? Forgot your Bible? 

I get it. I’m not mad. I love you, and want God’s best for you.