My Story

Welcome to Real Life. I'm Peggi Tustan. Join me as we take hold of the life that's truly life by taking hold of the God who's truly God. To know God is to know his love.

Do You Really Love Me, Lord?

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17, NIV
For a long time, I couldn't own this verse. I knew intellectually it was true. God loves me. He loves everyone, right? I could easily believe God loves you. But I struggled to experience his love myself.

Because I struggled to experience God’s love, I started to believe a lie. I thought God’s love was tied to my behavior. If I behaved better, God would love me more. I lived under a cloud of guilt. I wasn't doing enough. I wasn't good enough for God to love me. So, I tried harder. I volunteered, joined committees, coordinated conferences, cooked meals, sang in the choir, etc. Every morning, noon, and night held some commitment. I was exhausted. Finally one day, I hit the wall. I had an emotional breakdown. I was such a mess, I could barely function.

In that broken place, where I could no longer work to earn God’s love, I felt so loved by him. I knew he allowed my breakdown. He loved me too much to let me believe a lie. We don't have to earn God’s love. His love isn't like the love we experience in this world. You do for me, I’ll do for you. You love me, I’ll love you. God’s love isn't based on our goodness. It’s based on his. 

God loves me because of who he is, not who I am. God is love.[1]

God does want us to live a holy life. But our behavior does not affect his love for us. We can’t do one thing to make him love us any more (or any less) than he already does. He loves us so completely, it would be impossible for him to love us one drop more. I know it. I feel it. I believe it. 

God loves you! It can sound almost trite. The reality is anything but. The reality changed my life.

Take it Further

Reread Zephaniah 3:17 above. Let God quiet you with his love. Declare aloud: God takes great delight in me. He rejoices over me in song.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV

[1] 1 John 4:8, 16


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