What’s Happened to You Hasn’t Changed Who You Are

by Lysa TerKeurst March 9, 2023
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)

A couple of years ago, our team at Proverbs 31 Ministries was brainstorming a new T-shirt concept. Once it was designed, printed and delivered, it was time to photograph the T-shirt for the bookstore. And I volunteered to model it.

Now, here’s something you need to know about me: I’m not usually the one who raises her hand and says, “I’ll volunteer to model that shirt!” Nope. Modeling is not my thing.

But this shirt had words on it that felt so personal to me: Known and loved.

“Known and loved” had been an anthem drumming in the background during some really hard days when I wondered if I’d survive the circumstances I was facing. And I knew taking a picture of me wearing this truth would be a good way to declare what I desperately wanted to feel.

Because instead of feeling known and loved, I felt forgotten and tossed aside. I needed a reminder to turn to God, open up His Word and listen to praise songs. When I did those things, I could hear the anthem of God’s voice rising above the chaos: Lysa, you are known and so very loved by Me. Trust Me. Turn to Me. Hold on to Me. He held me when I could barely hang on, and He reminded me what was true of me when I was tempted to forget.

I survived. And so will you. What’s happened to you hasn’t changed who you are.

I don’t know who in your life has told you that you are anything less than the most glorious creation of the almighty God. I don’t know who has spoken words over you and about you that have stripped you bare and broken your heart. But I do know whatever statement comes against the truth must be called a lie.

God’s Word is the Truth. And His Truth says you are a holy and dearly loved child of your heavenly Father.

You are wonderfully made.
You are a treasure.
You are beautiful.
You are fully known by Him and lavishly loved by Him.
You are chosen.
You are special.
You are full of purpose.
You are set apart.

I pray those three words — known and loved — remind you of what God wants you to know today.

Even if you don’t feel loved. Even if you don’t feel known or understood. Remember: Our feelings aren't always an accurate assessment of what's true. Cling to the words of our key verse today: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). Then release a lie you’ve been believing that makes you feel like less than who you are, and set your mind and heart on these things.

Oh, sweet sister, we must remember God’s words. Repeat God’s words. Believe God’s words with our whole hearts.

Jesus, thank You for the Truth-filled words of Scripture that are always there to remind me who I really am. When my own insecurities rise up or hurtful comments from others threaten to disrupt this Truth, help me believe I am known and loved. Cared for and prayed for. Chosen and cherished. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


When hurtful situations leave us worn out and unmotivated to spend time with God, sometimes we need more than just a pep talk. We need a friend to come alongside us with biblical Truth and encouragement, showing us practical steps we can take right away. In her new devotional, You’re Going to Make It, Lysa TerKeurst wants to be that friend for you. With 50 morning and evening devotions, You’re Going to Make It will give you an intentional plan to connect with God that you can apply to the rest of your year. Preorder today and immediately receive the first five devotions for your quiet time this week! Preorder now.



Do you need a tangible reminder of God’s love for you? Get your own “Known & Loved” T-shirt from the Proverbs 31 Ministries bookstore today! Purchase here.



Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.


1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” (NIV)

Knowing how much God loves you, would you consider reaching out to a hurting soul today? How can you extend the love of Christ to a friend, neighbor or family member? Share with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

What We Believe

If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.

Join the Conversation