Series Introduction: Live Loved

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BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM

It’s nice to be loved, wouldn’t you agree? There is comfort and belonging found in the company of someone who truly loves you. When surrounded by people who deeply care for you, facing the world feels easier because you’re supported. But, with love, hurt almost always steals the goodness and joy that exists because of love. You see, no matter how deep another’s love burns for you, shortcomings and imperfections of our humanity will always hinder our perception of unconditional, real and pure love. 

That’s the beauty in knowing this truth—before you could earn love, it was already very much yours. You’ve been tirelessly working to grasp a hold of something that’s been in your possession for your entire life. Somewhere along the way, you learned if you think or act a certain way, people will notice and love you. So, for as long as you can remember, love must be earned and then given. 

Newsflash. We’ve had it all wrong, sis. The love we strive for will never be as good as the love that forever exists IN us and FOR us. To “Live Loved” means to live from a place where you are confident in yourself and in your worth... where your actions are not determined by how much love or approval you can receive in return, but out of truly knowing just how loved you are by those who matter most—and by God. This is something I’ve been reading about in my daily devotion, “Embraced” by Lysa TerKeurst. It has challenged me to think differently about how I live my daily life and how I interact with those around me. 

For me, I’m realizing I don’t have to work tirelessly to earn love—it’s already mine, I’m already SO loved. In knowing how loved I am, I can live in security and allow the love that’s in me to seep into every area of my life.

There is freedom found in living loved—and who doesn’t need a bit more of that in their life? For the month of August, we will dive deeper into this idea, our interpretations, and how we put it into practice. I encourage you to take a good, hard look at your past, present and future. Do you see traces of this truth echoed through the years? Or, are your days suffocated by the monotony of approval-based behaviors? 

I know we’ve all been mesmerized by the search for love, but I’m here to tell you we have permission to stop looking. It is not selfish or prideful to know your worth and boldly live out that truth. You were made to shine, girl. Don’t be the one to hold yourself back from knowing the fullness found in living loved. 

Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.