Pure. Extraordinary. Comforting, Overwhelming. These are just a few words that come to mind when I ponder God’s unfailing (oh look, another word) love that I feel each and everyday. At this point, it’s no giant secret that I am a child of God. But while my faith isn’t something that I keep hidden, I’ve come to realize that it’s not exactly something I talk too much about, either. This may be because I don’t feel like I have the adequate theological knowledge that a lot of my friends have, or that I’m very much still learning what it’s like to live a life alongside Christ. But the one thing that I am sure of that I think I can adequately detail in a blog post is my understanding of God’s love. So, friends, whether you are a believer or not, I invite you to peer into this large part of my life. If you felt a tug on your heart as soon as you read that title, and if you still feel that tug getting this far into my post, I urge you to read on – hopefully this post will serve as some threshold to your own path of understanding God’s love.
As some of you may or may not know, I currently work two jobs. I know what you must be thinking – “Did I click on the wrong post?” “Walt, I thought I was going to read about your novice theological knowledge, what gives?” “Wow you’re working TWO jobs?” – in any case, read on. You’ll eventually see the point that I’m trying to make.
At one of those jobs, I work as a student assistant/graphic designer for the Annual Giving office on campus at Cal Poly Pomona. I’ve held this job for about a year and a half, and it is undoubtedly the best job that I’ve ever had in my short, working-professional life. Part of the reason is because I love what I do – designing and sometimes even coming up with marketing campaigns for our quarterly fundraising efforts for the university. I get to exercise my creativity for a good cause, and my portfolio has grown tenfold since I started the designing aspect of this job. It’s awakened a passion within me I never thought I had. But the main reason why I love my job is because of the people I work with, namely my boss (if you’re reading this, Kayhan, welcome! I hope you keep reading). Everyday that I come into work, I’m instantly greeted with enthusiasm, encouragement, and an exuberant “Walteeeezyyyyyy!!!” All of these things are enough motivation for me to keep coming in to work on campus, and enough to make it extremely difficult to leave at the end of the day. At this job, I am always being encouraged, challenged, and met with constructive feedback whenever needed. I’m motivated to perfect myself in my craft and strengthen my skills, while also being a productive member in my department.
Now onto my second job. In addition to being a student assistant on campus, I am also a marketing assistant for a small company in Orange County. This is my first “big boy” job – that is, not as a student worker for a department on campus, making just above minimum wage. I would just like to preface this by saying that I am by no means trying to insult the character of my boss at this job. I am simply outlining my own experience in the 8 months that I’ve been working there, and the unexpected journey it’s taken me in my walk of faith. My boss at this job isn’t as encouraging as Kayhan. My flaws and downfalls are constantly being pointed out, and any criticism I receive feels like a blow to who I am personally. I feel as though my creativity is hindered, that I’m having to fruitlessly prove myself, and nothing I ever do will get me past the threshold of my boss’s expectations. It’s getting exceedingly difficult to get up in the mornings to go to this job, being made to feel like I’m less than and constantly being reminded that I’m falling short of expectations. If it weren’t for my first job, I feel like personal and creative growth would be impossible for me. Despite all of this, I tirelessly work harder and harder to try and gain my boss’s approval. Why? Because that’s what being an adult means, apparently.
Just like I’ve seen both sides of what it should look like to be in a healthy work environment, I’ve also seen what God’s love is sometimes perceived to be, and what it truly is. Growing up under the instruction of hella religious holy people in a Catholic school setting, I’ve been wired to view God’s love and personality to resemble the temperament of my second boss – unreachable, unforgiving, one that is hard to please, and with the smallest step off course meaning eternal damnation. But since I restarted my walk with God, I realized that His love is nothing like that, nor should it ever be viewed that way. God’s love is unwavering, unconditional, and overwhelming. Just like I find pure joy and refuge in my first job, I also find those things in God. My first boss is always there to encourage me, and though I fall short a lot of the time, he uses that as an opportunity to grow me by meeting me where I’m at and helping me, encouraging me, and motivating me to pick myself up and keep going. Though I am inadequate and my life will never match the perfection of Jesus, God still delights in me, and will continue to as long as I pursue Him with a whole heart. There was nothing I could have done to deserve such a powerful and undying love, but there is also nothing I can ever do for it to be taken away.
If you are struggling with finding comfort in the Lord, just know that He delights in you, and He loves you very much and is fighting for you. I hope I was able to illustrate a picture vibrant enough to depict God’s love for you. In the toughest seasons, I’ve found shelter in the arms of God, and I hope you can, too.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”