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There is a beautiful song out there by JJ Heller called “Love Me” (http://bitly/yxfoU).  As I was driving home the a couple of years ago, my then 15-year-old son mentioned to me that he loved this song and asked me to turn the radio up.  As I began to listen to the words, tears rolled down my face.

“Who will love me,  for me?……….not what I’ve done or what I”ll become…..”

How many times have I given CONDITIONAL love to my children?  I love when they make good grades. I love when they score in a basketball game.  I love when they clean their room.  I was immediately ashamed.  My prayer is always, ALWAYS, that my children would know that I love them just for who they are — not what they do, not what they accomplish, but just because!

I wonder how many are reading today who wonder the same thing.  Who will love you for you — without strings attached, without demands, without conditions? I wonder how many are silently slipping away, drowning in your past horror, shame, depression, loneliness, or hurt.

Maybe, just maybe, someone needs to hear this, maybe it was written just for YOU:

“I have called YOU back from the ends of the earth….For I have chosen YOU and will not throw you away.  Don’t be afraid, for I am with YOU.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am YOUR God.  I will strengthen YOU and help YOU. ”  Isaiah 41: 9-10

Many of us have experiences with church and religion (as someone in your life probably dragged you to church at one time or another),  but never have an experience with relationship with God.    There’s a big difference between religion and relationship — true relationship.

There are many people out there searching for something to fill the void in your lives — drugs, alcohol, dead-end relationships, financial success.  We were never designed to have another human being complete us.  Your identity can never be placed in another man/woman – they will let you down — not because they are bad people, but because we are all imperfect.

I want to encourage those of you who haven’t tried the church thing in a while to give it another try.  Many say that they have felt fear of being judged as one of the reasons for lack of church attendance.  Some churches may not always do a great job of making you feel welcome.  But just because the parking attendant at the Knicks game doesn’t do a great job making you feel welcome doesn’t mean you still won’t go in and see the game, right?!

Don’t let one or two that haven’t made you feel welcome keep you from experiencing the real encounter, the real excitement of all that church has to offer.

Author/speaker, Jennifer Maggio, is one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parents and women’s issues. She is an award-winning author and founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She currently oversees one of the nation’s largest single moms support groups and has helped to launch more than 1500 others in churches around the globe. She is a regular on radio and television. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.