Have you ever felt unloved? Me too. Growing up, my mom and grandma would say: “If you don’t do what I say, I won’t love you.” This daily devotional for women focuses on the best thing about you: you are loved by God unconditionally for eternity. Say: “I am loved by God!”
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
Daily Devotional for Women: “I Am Loved”
The format of this devotional for women is “self-examination” so I’ll be sharing my personal story of how I was persuaded by others and believed in my heart that I was unlovable and unloved, until I finally discovered what God says about me: I am loved.
The power of vulnerability is huge, so I trust that sharing my deep insecurities and spiritual breakthroughs with you in this Biblical devotional will encourage and empower you.
I pray that you’ll be moved and inspired as you reflect on your own life experiences when you felt unloved or even unlovable.
As I was preparing my heart for writing this devotional today, I tried to recall when I began to believe that I was unloved. I tried to remember if that was just an idea I was born with or if somehow it was planted in my mind by someone. And if so, what was their intention for doing this?
My Childhood Story: Feeling Unloved
I was born Anna Sergeevna Ermakova on January 18th, 1983. When I look through my childhood pictures, I see a happy, relaxed, smiling baby. Just a few months in, the baby girl was dressed up as a boy in my childhood pictures and the baby’s smile disappeared. The baby was called “Anton.”
Just to clarify: I am still talking about me.
All I see is fear, anxiety, and confusion. The thought of being unloved was not anything I was born with but it was learned from the experience of my daily life with my mom, grandma, two aunts, uncle, grandpa, and three cousins, two of whom, Vika and Yulya, you hear a lot about on this blog, but the third one, Valera, you never hear about because he had mental health issues and practically never participated in life, except he just sat somewhere around the house. Here are some other blogs where I share my life story.
My Life Story
- My Narcissist Mother Story
- My Sex Addiction Story
- My Domestic Violence Story
- My Narcissist Relationship Abuse Story
- My Salvation Story and Testimony
- My Spiritual Warfare Story
- My Depression Story
- My Suicide Story
- My Identity Transformation Story
- My Story of Faith and Fortitude
I was born happy and excited but quickly learned to be anxious and fearful in the environment of my chaotic home. It wasn’t just chaotic, it was a real crazy house. And for as long as I remember my life, there wasn’t even one day of peace in that family. And the only joy I ever saw was when people were drinking.
It’s worth mentioning how I came about.
My mother took advantage of my father sexually, according to her story, while he was in bed with broken legs. Shockingly, you actually can get pregnant from having unprotected sex. And so, my 26-year-old soon-to-be-mother was now pregnant. She didn’t want me. She went to abort me, but the doctor refused to do it due to the threat to my mom’s health. And that’s how I was born.
She had me out of wedlock. My father had another woman who was pregnant already, and that woman gave birth to a baby girl, too. Her name was Zhenia. It’s mostly a boy’s name, so my mom assumed my dad wanted a boy and since I was born a few weeks after Zhenia was born, my mom began dressing me as a boy, which you saw in the picture earlier.
My father had nothing to do with me. My paternal grandmother had nothing do to with me either, through sh lived just a few blocks away. Her son, my father, spent most of his life in jail, and the only grandchild she had in her life was Yana, a granddaughter from her daughter. My father had many children all over the place, som of whom were raised in secret and others, like me, starved to be known but were abandoned.
My maternal grandmother was the only one I knew because we lived in the same small Soviet-style condo with one kitchen, one bathroom, and four small bedrooms. .She was ashamed of me because I was fatherless and born out of wedlock. She told my mother that I was not to call her “grandma” in public because I was an embarrassment.
My family called me a “miscarriage” and they rejected me every day of my life. As I began recalling my memories with the help of my baby pictures, I remembered that my mom called me a boy’s name “Anton” until I was seven years old and she even dressed me up as a boy. That you saw in the picture above, so Anna and Anton mentioned here are both me.
Very early on, I learned from my mother’s temper tantrums that I was unloved. She told me many times in my face: “I hate you and I just want you dead” but even before I could comprehend what those words actually meant, I knew I was unloved based on my mom’s actions toward me.
I was more of a commodity to her. She was the one who mattered in our relationship, and I was there to serve her. My job was to meet my mother’s emotional needs at all times. I loved and worshipped my mom. I always protected her and stood up for her as she was the scapegoat to her mother.
That grandmother was evil, and remember her regularly saying to me: if you don’t do what I say, I will not love you. My mom said the same thing often. I was a commodity, and love was something I had to earn by performing for those two women who were never on the same page.
To say that I grew up confused is an understatement.
There was no stability or predictability in my relationship with my mother: one moment she was nice, the next moment she was violently beating the life out of me, then publicly humiliating me, then telling me the next moment how she’s sorry and that she abuses me because she loves me.
RELATED: Narcissistic Mother
She taught me that love equaled abuse. She said if someone if my life says they love me but they have no “passion for me,” aka they don’t violently physically abuse me, that means they do not actually love me.
I’ve learned from my mom that love is abuse and abuse is love. Later, I ended up in a domestic violence marriage and had to be rescued by the police to save my life. I became homeless and struggled to survive.
RELATED: Domestic Violence
To my mom, I became a convenience at some point.
Sometimes, it was good to have me around to get love and affection from me when she wanted it. Sometimes, it was nice to have me because she’d get complimented in regards to my beauty. Sometimes, it was helpful to have me as free labor on our various farms and around the house to do laundry, dishes, cleaning, and taking care of drunk relatives.
Other than that, I was a burden to my mother in every way, and she let me know that. She had no filters when it came to physical and psychological abuse. I was yelled and cussed at daily, beaten regularly, humiliated publicly, and I cry even now for the poor little girl who had to endure all that in my home growing up. Still, she loved orange – the color of happiness.
That’s me with a big bow in an orange outfit. The little boy is Valera and the other girl is Vika, my cousins. Their mom is the only one wearing hills and a black dress. The man with the bags is her husband, my only uncle. Next to him, the woman in a grey suit is my mom. And the very serious, very tall man is my grandfather with whom I lived and who was the only man in my life, who was the only one to protect me from the evil witches of my household: grandma and my mom. He was hard-working but an alcoholic.
I remember trying to run away from my mom when I was just five years old. I even got all my important belongings into a suitcase (important belongings were my simple dolls and their furniture made out of boxes of old matches, plus some clothes for me). I was so little but already so hopeless – I couldn’t take the pain and suffering anymore.
My escape plan failed, and I continued being abused by my mother and relatives for years. The next time I tried to escape from them was by taking a bunch of pills as I attempted suicide at 11 years old.
RELATED: My Suicide Story
I was given nothing but hatred at home and was so unloved, it caused me to endure unbearable pain and suffering. I chose death over that kind of life. I didn’t want to live. I saw no hope. My second attempt to escape also failed, and I continued being the physical and emotional punchbag for my mother. I was her scapegoat but her golden child was her niece Vika, the girl in the picture above wearing grey pants.
A year after that, I attempted suicide one more time, was rescued, and I changed my plan of escape from that moment on.
It took another 13 years of pain and suffering but I was able to leave that family finally and move to America when I was 25 years old.
Growing up, in our four-bedroom little condo in post-USSR Russia, there were me and my mom in one room, my mom’s youngest sister and her kids in another room, their middle sister and her daughter in another room, and my grandparents in the smallest room.
Nobody got along with anybody.
The family was drinking heavily. They fought physically, and it was violent. Me and my cousins were also taught hatred and abuse. We were always in a state of war with one another. All of us. It was so painful for me but they simply considered it normal. My mother till this day tells me that I had a beautiful childhood and my complaints are unreasonable.
When it comes to feeling loved, I didn’t know what that even meant but I knew I was unloved. My amusing memories about the family explain why I felt that way and how it all compounded to the point of suicide attempts.
A custom tradition was for adult women in our household to gather in one room, put me in the middle of their circle, and start gossiping about my body.
The goal was to criticize and humiliate me to the point of tears so each of them could feel good about herself. That went on for years until I was strong enough to tell them off and fight them off my back physically. The entire gang was led by my mother who was sarcastic, hateful, and jealous.
Some comments frequently made about me during those sessions were “Don’t smile, your teeth are too big,” “Your butt is so flat, look at your cousin’s beautiful butt, your butt is ugly!” and “You have no boobs, you’re so flat, look at your other cousin’s beautiful boobs, she’s a real girl, you’re too flat to be a woman!”
I remember my mother would repeatedly say to me: “Your laughter is ugly, don’t laugh, listen to your cousin’s laugher, it’s beautiful.”
I remember one early morning, I put my makeup on, I’m walking out the door to go to school, she stops me and starts picking me apart telling me how ugly I am and how everything is wrong with me. I was extremely insecure.
[picture of me in 9th grade]
The three sisters all led by my mother used to turn me around and humiliate me by counting holes between my legs criticizing how my legs were too tiny and ugly.
The women would grab my arm and go on about my lack of arm muscles predicting how my arms in the future would be fat and flabby. I was a little girl, not even 13 years old yet.
From my eyes that didn’t look in the same direction and my eyebrows that were not pleasing to my mother to my arms and butt – everything about me was ugly and awkward.
[my childhood picture]
That was all I knew. And that was not love. I knew that for sure. But that was not all – my mother had more hatred for me.
She began telling me that my friends were actually with me not for me but because they loved her and that there was nothing lovable in me or about me. She wanted me to not only feel unloved but also fundamentally unlovable.
I hardly had any friends. I just wanted to die. At 11 and 12, twice I tried to commit suicide during the summer. When suicide as my third attempt to escape from my mother didn’t work, I decided that I would just build a beautiful life for myself and be happy some day in the future.
Here’s a spiritual poem I wrote about the sufferings of that life with my narcissistic mother
A Narcissistic Mother is egotistical and incapable of love or compassion.
She is self-centered and only for herself does she experience any genuine passion.
She is a caregiver who treats her daughter as if the child’s aim were to be of service.
She deliberately persuades her daughter that she’s unloved, undeserving, unwanted, and worthless.
A Narcissistic Mother is one moment raging and next moment she is smiling.
She behaves unpredictably; her goal is to win people’s compliments and admiring.
She has an enmeshed relationship with her daughter where her child’s needs don’t even exist.
If she decides to appear nice, she is pleasant, but in a split of a second she’s violent and pissed.
She uses her daughter to fuel her ego or get some money; that’s pretty much it.
And of course, her true motives she would never openly to anyone admit.
A Narcissistic Mother sucks a life out her daughter and says straightforwardly: “I just want you dead!”
Her daughter ends up with a long-lasting emotional trauma and a life of self-healing ahead.
I grew up and left not just my mother but the entire Russia as well. I had never been back.
I moved to America and in 2016, I married a kind-hearted, Bible-believing, seminary graduate (according to his words) Christian man who treated me with love and care. That was while we were dating.
As I walked down the aisle on 5/14/2016, there stood Michel, the man I loved and adored! He had the tears of happiness in his eyes. Michel declared his genuine love for me to the world that day.
My wedding with Michel was very happy and memorable. I became “Missis Szabo” and looked forward with a hopeful heart to spending the rest of my life with the man I loved and saw as Christ-like.
After the wedding, Michel abandoned our marriage and declared to me: “My bicycle is my other wife I cheat on you with.” He said that he wasn’t interested in me and that all he wanted was to be an IronMan and complete in Kona.
We never made it to even a honeymoon. Instead, right after our wedding, we went to Chattanooga, TN for an IronMan competition.
[picture of us there from IG]
Michel rejected me not only verbally and with his daily actions, but sexually, too, stating that he needed to save his body for IronMan training.
I felt unloved, hurt, and very sad.
Seeing my husband choosing an IronMan bicycle over me every day, I eventually began feeling nit just unloved but also unlovable.
It was as if I was with my mother once again. Michel was the only one who mattered and I was there to simply serve him. I wrote a poem about my experience with a narcissistic husband.
Loving The Narcissist
Loving a Narcissist is like taking poison and dying slowly.He is so miserable and he can’t stand that you are not. He hates you for your joy and wants to make you feel so lonely. That you forget anything good or positive you ever thought.
The Narcissist has a very fragile ego. He is full of insecurities, self-hatred, and shame. For him, to manipulate you into darkness is very intriguing,And to make you feel confused and doubtful is his primary aim.
“The Narcissist wants you dead” – my trauma counselor told me.I didn’t believe her at first but later saw that is was true. With his narcissistic gaslighting and projection, the Narcissist sold meOn the idea that of his own abuse he genuinely had no clue.
The Narcissist won’t leave you alone, ever. You are his Narcissistic Supply needed to survive. He is fueled my the idea of making you suffer forever.He is pleased knowing that, abused by him, you can’t thrive.
You can’t help the Narcissist by loving him, because he doesn’t just feel by you unloved -From his childhood, he feels fundamentally unlovable. That’s not anything you can get for him resolved.
To be targeted and attacked by the Narcissist,All you need to do is to breathe and be. For him to hate you, it’s enough that you simply existBut if you’re happy and joyful, he won’t ever set you free.
He will continue to devastate you relentlessly. He wants you to be drained and miserable like him. To ensure that you feel hopeless, he will work restlessly, until he witnesses with pleasure that being depressed you begin.
Loving the Narcissist leads you not just to dead end. It takes you quickly to the real hell on earth. And as long as to genuinely care you tend,The Narcissist will hate you vigorously and intensely for all he’s worth.
I started to experience severely suicidal depression. Being dead seemed like a much better future than just another day of the future with Michel.
That was until in my despair I turned to the Bible to find out what God said about me. I wanted to know who I was, why I was here in the world, what was the purpose of my life and suffering, and whether or not I was actually worthy of love after all.
At the time, I was under the care of two counselors. My one counselor was a Biblical counselor and the other one was a trauma counselor for victims of narcissistic abuse.
My Biblical counselor Tammy and I met every Wednesday evening and studied the word of God.
I discovered from the Bible that I was loved unconditionally for eternity, which is why I was here on earth.
I found out that I came here for a reason, for a purpose, that I was broght here to be God’s glory on display. God chose to have me here for His special purpose.
I realized that I didn’t come into this world FROM my mother. I came here THROUGH my mother. But the one I came FROM was God.
I was an accident to my mother, but I wasn’t an accident to God.
He planned on having me. He created me. He wanted me. He welcomed me. He loved me when I was still in my mother’s womb, even though she wanted to abort me.
I had a breakthrough: God’s love for me has been proven already and I was purchased at a high price of Christ’s life because God loves me. Yet, His love is like a gift…
Have you ever walked into a room with a beautiful Christmas tree there seeing clearly the gift wrapped beautifully and marked with your name?
And then you got distracted and left, forgetting the gift…
The gift was already yours. It had your name on it. It belonged to you. It was assigned to you so you can have it. Its purpose was for you to enjoy it.
The only reason why you still didn’t have the gift was that you didn’t accept it. You didn’t take the gift that was yours, so you couldn’t enjoy having your gift.
The Bible says that the love of God is already yours. You inherited it from your creator. It’s mine as well, I inherited it from my creator.
The only reason why you may not yet have clear conscience is that you haven’t yet reached out for the gift to take it and have it.
I realized that I didn’t have the love of God because I haven’t reached out for the gift to take it. To enjoy God’s love for me, all I needed to do was to accept it and then have it.
The Biblical counseling in 2016 resulted in me becoming passionate about finding out what God says about me, God’s promises, and everything there’s to know about God’s love for me.
Once I realized that I was loved and lovable, I wanted to know the Gospel so that I could replace with the truth of God the false beliefs that were planted for years in my mind by my hateful mother.
John 3:16 says this:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God proved His love. His love is mine. He wanted me, He wanted me to be His, He chose me, He anointed me, He sent Jesus to be sacrificed for my freedom from sin, pain, suffering, and doubts.
Romans 5:8 says this:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God never asked anythin gof me but to place my faith in Jesus. He never gave me any conditions. Instead, He gave me Christ as a symbol of His true, authentic, unconditional love for me. He said: “I love you. Come to me. Come as you are: broken, doubtful, pained, exhausted, betrayed, hopeless, and angry. You are loved!”
I came close. He loved on me. And He never stopped ever since. I discovered my new identity. I gained my new confidence. I took steps on the new direction. And I built a new, beautiful life of peace and joy for myself.
The confidence I just mentioned is not in me or my abilities. The confidence I have in my relationship with Christ. I learned to understand God’s deep love and to rest in His unconditional love as I go through life.
Romans 8:35-39 says this: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am inseparable from the love of God. I’m loved by Him for eternity, without any conditions. Nothing I can ever do to make God stop loving me. He is crazy about me! He adores me. He is pursuing me. He never let go of me. I am loved. I know I’m loved. I feel loved.
And you are loved by God, too. You are His special daughter. He is pursuing you. Can you see it? He loves you unconditionally and wants you to reach out for the gift of His deep love, accept it, take it, and enjoy it.
I believe in God’s love for you. Do you?
If you do, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it often to remember this truth: you are loved.
I Am Loved
I’m loved by God unconditionally for eternity. For my salvation and life His Son He sacrificed. Nothing can take away from me this certainty -I am inseparable from the love of Jesus Christ. Picture of the canvas in my hands.
How does it make you feel to know that you are loved by God unconditionally forever? Share with me in the comments below so I can rejoice with you.
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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