Loved Unconditionally

by: Sandra (Inmate at Ohio Reformatory for Women)

What is it like to be loved unconditionally? First, I want to share what being loved unconditionally means to me. Unconditional love is being accepted, faults and all, being shown how much I'm cared for through words and actions, and not being judged or put down no matter what I have said or done.

I have made some horrible mistakes in my past of which I have repented of and am now in the fourth year of a seven-year sentence. Throughout the past four years, I have seen many instances of unconditional love expressed to me. I've been the recipient of an enormous amount of unconditional love from God, my family and friends. I feel so much love from all these people, and it is such a blessing.

Unconditional love is a precious gift and I never want to take it for granted. All my family members have shown unconditional love to me, and I truly realize how deep their love for me was and how unconditional it was once my sin was exposed. They each told me how much they loved me and that they were here for me. I was assured that we would get through this together. Through their letters, visits, phone calls and conversations their love poured out to me in my life and not once have I been treated unkindly or like a horrible person which is how I felt on the inside. They forgave me for my wrongdoings and have stood beside me, encouraging, supporting, praying and loving me without limits every single day. Each of them have taught me what it means to love family unconditionally and that will be in my heart forever. Many of us have experienced the support and love from our friends when things are going well, and we are on the mountain tops, but how many of us can say our friends were right there with us in the darkest hour, in the pit of a dark valley?

I'm proof of the unconditional love many of my friends have showered upon me throughout my life, but especially through the four years I have been incarcerated. My friends are willing to stand up for me when people put me down and talk about me. My friends have not judged me, but have shown their concern and love by their support, prayers, and not treating me differently now as a felon. The unconditional love from my friends is a part of me that I'll never forget.

Both my family and friends have talked with me about the decisions that I have made in the past. They have discussed with me why it was wrong, what I've learned through this and they have helped me to move beyond and forward doing what is right and what I was born to do. They have taken their time to help me address and learn from my past decisions. They all have shown me unconditional love.

It's embarrassing to take the skeletons out of your closet and face them, but my family and friends have been there helping me do this without judgment and criticism. They love me unconditionally and I am so grateful and appreciative for each of them.

Our heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and loves us more than any family member or friend does, which is absolutely amazing to me. I now feel and understand how much my family and friends love me and to know that God loves me more brings so much peace and joy to me. We are so blessed to have God's unconditional love.

God's unconditional love for us is shown each and every day of our lives. In Psalms 139 and verse 8 David says, "If I ascend into heaven you are there, if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there." God is saying that He is here with us in the good and the bad. He loves us so much and He is willing to remove us from our sinful past.

I know from personal experience how bad prison is, but I trust in God's promise of being with me each and every day. As stated in Hebrews 13 and verse 5, "Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have. For he himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you." He is showing us His unconditional love because no matter what we do or where we are, He is always with us.

God expresses His love through His unlimited forgiveness, protection, healings known and unknown, provisions of our needs and desires in accordance to His plan for us.

Psalms 103 verses one through five describes the blessings God pours out on us because He loves us unconditionally. The proof of God's unconditional love is all through His Holy Word. The ultimate proof of God's unfailing and unconditional love for us is found in John 3 and verses16 and 17. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."

God's love is never-ending and will never fail us. God's love is unconditional and the greatest blessing one can ever receive when feeling lost and alone with no concept of hope. I have learned His love is always there for us to receive and be wrapped up in. God has shown me, in more ways than one, and through the use of my family and friends, how much He loves me. I hope you can see and feel the unconditional love God has for you too.