Do You Need A Hug?

Jen’s Gem: Nothing can separate you from God’s love.

This year marks ten years since my Mom passed away. Ten years. While it doesn’t feel like yesterday, it certainly does not feel like a decade. Isn’t time a weird thing?
If my mom was still here, she’d have seen a lot of changes in her fifth child’s life. When she passed, I had a high-powered job at a large company. In her mind, I was set. Good job. Good benefits. Good health. Her wish for me had come to pass.
She wanted me to get a good education and a good job so that I’d never have to rely on anyone tosupport me. She wanted me to be independent. Perhaps this was borne out of her own circumstances as a stay-at-home mom where her financial security was largely reliant upon my Dad, who worked three jobs to care for his family.
Her closet was not filled with the latest fashions. She did not go on extravagant vacations. It’s likely the most expensive piece of jewelry she owned was her wedding ring. She pinched pennies and cut coupons until the day she could no longer do so. Even as my father or brother would go to the store, they left with coupons in hand and a list of which store had which sales.
I suspect this came from growing up during the Depression as she and my father shared this mentality. When I would tell her that I just bought what I needed at the store with no coupons or weekly sale papers in my hand, her face would scrunch up in disbelief. Having the dry cleaners iron my work clothes because I hated to iron nearly put her over the edge.
Isn’t it funny the memories that pop into your head about loved ones who have passed away? Little things that happen to me on a nearly daily basis make me think of my Mom. When I’m cooking dinner, I think of the b-zillion meals she cooked for six kids over her lifetime. When I am Uber-ing my kids, I remember her carting me to my various activities. When I hug my kids, I remember her hugs and how for those brief moments in time, I knew that everything would be okay.
That’s what mom hugs are supposed to be like, right? No matter what you’re going through, if you can hug your mom, all was well with the world. I think that’s a gift God gives us. He puts a “special sauce” into every mom so that when they hug their kids, they get a little glimpse of heaven, of unconditional love. I bet my Mom has enjoyed some really great hugs from Jesus – her reward for giving them throughout her life.

If you are blessed to have your mom with you, I encourage you to give her a big hug today. While you’re in her embrace, ponder for a moment that feeling of all is well, of love without bounds, of acceptance, of forgiveness, and of pride. That is a tiny little slice of what your Father in heaven feels about you every moment of every day.
Just like your Mom wants you to call her or visit her more often, so does God. He’s got an open invitation for you every day and He’s using a hug from your mom as a sneak peek into His love for you.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to spend a few moments on the below Bible verses just to get a sense of how much God loves you. I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting some key phrases that have spoken to me and perhaps they will do the same for you. I pray that they will comfort you just as a great hug from your Mom would. 
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrownot even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39)
Happy Mother’s Day and may God bless you richly today and always!

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