As Much As He Ever Has, Justin Davis

Today’s “How He Loves” post is from Justin Davis. Justin and his wife Trisha are two incredible people. They know all about brokenness, restoration, and redemption. Through their ministry at Cross Point Bellevue and Refine Us, they teach others (like me) the power of authenticity, truth, and grace. I am honored to call them friends.

Read about 8 things that destroyed their marriage here.

Read about 8 things that restored their marriage here.

Find their blog here.

And Justin’s twitter here.

About a month after Trisha and I separated, we went to our counselor’s office for a very pivotal appointment. The first phase of forgiveness had taken place; trust had begun to be repaired; Trisha had allowed herself to be vulnerable again. The mission of this appointment was to confess anything that I had not confessed about the affair over the course of the previous thirty days. We walked in, and our counselor asked if I had anything to say. Unfortunately, I did have something to say. I had details that I had withheld for the previous month that I confessed right then.

Trisha freaked out. She got up and left me at the counselor’s office. I had to call the people I was staying with to come and pick me up. About an hour later, a lady from our church called to tell me that Trisha was filing for divorce the following Monday.

In that moment, I have never felt so unlovable. I have never felt so undesirable. In that moment, I felt so worthless and so invaluable.

Later that night, my counselor called me. He said to me words that I couldn’t believe at that time, but desperately needed to hear. “Justin, I have no idea if Trisha will ever be able to fully forgive you. I have no idea if your marriage will survive your choices and your sin. But I do know that your Heavenly Father loves you. He loves you as much in this moment as He loved you when you were leading the church or preaching sermons. He loves you.”

Singer/Songwriter John Mark McMilllan wrote this song that Lindsey has asked us share our thoughts about this week. I had heard the song, but had never seen the video until she sent it to Trisha and me. In the video he says this:

    The kind of love I’m singing about in that song is not a pretty, clean…it’s not a Hollywood, hot pink kind of love. It’s a kind of love that is willing to love things that are messy; the difficult and the kind of gross. (You can watch the complete video here.)

Maybe for someone today, your choices have you feeling unlovable; untouchable; unforgivable. Maybe you are not just questioning someone’s ability to love you, but you are questioning God’s love for you.

Can I just share with you the words that changed my life in my lowest moment: He loves you. Oh, how he loves you.

He loves you as much in this moment as He has ever loved you.

Is it hard for you to believe that God loves you unconditionally?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Absolutely beautiful. I've heard you tell this before, Justin, but being able to read it and go back over each phrase, and consider how you processed each moment of this season is so powerful.

    Michael W. Smith has a song called Never Been Unloved that comes to my mind while reading your post. Some of the lyrics are:

    I have been unfaithful / I have been unworthy / I have been unrighteous / and I have been unmerciful
    I have been unreachable / I have been unteachable / I have been unwilling / and I've been undesirable
    And sometimes I have been unwise / I've been undone by what I'm unsure of
    But because of You and all that you went through / I know that I have never been unloved

    I've had a lot of love in my life that claimed to be unconditional, until it was "go time", then it was a very different story. Yes, a lot of those things have left me struggling to adequately comprehend unconditional love, but I know it's real and I know it's how He loves. I know it with my head, and I'm learning to know it with my heart; learning to know that I have never been unloved.

    My recent post The Strength Of My Heart

    • I'm not normally a MWS fan, but those lyrics are powerful. It is amazing to me over the course of my life the people that I thought would be there and love me unconditionally, had conditions. Then people I would have never expected love from, came through unconditionally. Just like God.

  • Lindsey – I love this series!

  • Yes, it is hard. Really hard. It's unbelievable really.

    Thanks Justin for sharing. I hope you and Trish know how much I love you guys. In case you didn't know, the best way to gage my affections for someone…is to see how much I make fun of them 😉

    • Lindsey…thanks for the opportunity to share. You are true friend to us, and a member of our family! We love you, appreciate you, and are grateful to call you friend.

  • Whoa. This was so painful to read, but I totally appreciate your candor.

    Thank you for sharing the skeletons which no longer hide in your closet. I'm passing this along to a friend who cheated on his wife.

    • Thank you Bianca…by the grace of God my wife and i have found a love and a depth of relationship with Christ and each other that we didn't know was possible. Our prayer is to be a ray of hope for people just like your friend.

  • Wow, thank you for sharing this. This is the first post regarding marital indiscretion I have seen that does not chastise either party. SO much love in this. I hope others are as blessed as I am by reading this.

    • Berean Girl…thank you. What we've realized is that all of us deserve chastisement. It is only by the grace and love of a God who took it in our place that we have any hope. Thanks for your encouragement!

  • i have a hard time with the "why" He loves us.

    why He loves me.

    i know me. i aint pretty. but, i know His love isnt conditional…like mine. i know He doesnt break promises…like i do. i know He can be counted on…unlike me.

    maybe thats it. maybe i look at wordly love closer than i do His love. where so many have failed the love test here…He never will.

    My recent post Plan B Study Wk 1 – “Reality”

    • Wow…"I look at worldly love closer than I do His love." Guilty as charged. It is so difficult for me to love unconditionally when I haven't been able to to receive his unconditional love.

    • you are so pretty…

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  • Kimbi

    I hope I eventually feel lovable. After reading this, it brings me hope that maybe, in the future, i can feel like i am worth something. Thank you for this post. Makes you have faith that there is hope…

    • Kimbi…I will be praying for you. There is hope…there is a future…there is worth that is found in the unconditional love of God. I am praying you sense it and embrace it as you are able.
      My recent post As Much As He Ever Has

      • Kimbi

        Thank you. Sometimes the feeling of being lost and worthless does its best to take over. Hope feels so far away…so I have picked up the bible and started reading. Although this is all new to me…I am networking to find people that will help me on my journey. Your writings have inspired me to know and learn more. Thank you for all you share.

        • kimbi…let me know if i can do anything to help. i know those feelings – lost and worthless. we all do. sometimes just saying it out loud takes the power out of the them.

  • I don't think I ever doubt God's love for me. What I wonder is, WHY? My goodness, why on earth would He love someone so flawed, so pitiful? But boy, am I glad He does.

    Thank you, Justin. As always, your words hit home with me.
    My recent post Away…

  • Makeda

    Lindsey this series has been so powerful. Thank you for doing it. Justin, thank you for once again sharing your heart so plainly and so openly. I have read your story and heard the journey you and Trish have walked but it still moves me to awe to watch what God has done in your marriage. The idea of redemption is heavy on my heart right now and I sense God lovingly trying to redeem some things in my life. But like so many who have commented I struggle to receive the unconditional love of the Father. I am working on it but I have definitely not gotten there yet. Thank you so much for sharing this and giving me hope that my story can be redeemed and the Father does in fact love me.

    Again, Lindsey this has been so, so good!

    • thanks makeda. i agree. i'm loving these posts. i am learning a ton from my friends' stories.

    • Makeda, as Trisha and I were talking, that is the first time I have ever shared that experience publically. We have told people over dinner or coffee…but as I heard the song, Dan's (our counselor) words came flooding back into my heart and mind and reminded me of this truth all over again. Thanks for your willingness to travel with us on our journey of redemption.
      My recent post Unspoken Expectations

  • Chrystie

    I so loved this post. All I can say is praise God that we have a God who loves us so faithfully, perfectly, and wholly – even in the middle of our muck. What a great post! Thanks for sharing it!
    My recent post This Is Our God

  • I had the opportunity of seeing John Mark McMillan and Gungor in concert earlier this month, performing in a small church I'd never been in, surrounded by people I did not know, yet all singing and dancing and worshiping along to the words of this song.

    Truly powerful.

    I recently finished a book asking the question of why faith matters; why God matters. The parts that caused me the most tears were the ones about His grace; how he loves. I don't understand it, and actually really struggle to believe it, let alone experience it.

  • there is such power in this truth. i wish my heart could cling to it better than it does. the whole idea of unconditional love is so hard for me to fully grasp…
    My recent post in other news…

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