See, in my early years, before knowing who Jesus was, or that He loved me, or what church was all about, I knew the need to be loved. I don't know if it was genes, or homelife, or a rough childhood with inappropriate relationships (not sought out...too young of me to have thought of that), I knew I needed love...that I craved it...needed it.
Without going into a lot of detail right now, I grew up lonely. I remember sitting alone, rocking myself, bumping my head up against a wall. I remember rocking, curled up in a recliner, I remember wishing that I knew that someone cared. It makes me sad, and sick, to remember these things and to think that no one knew something was wrong...but that's another topic.
SO, for whatever reason, I was always wanting this unconditional love. I knew "conditional" - it was what happened in my everyday life. It should have come from my mom, but for whatever reason it didn't (she died when I was pre-teen from cancer), and I wanted it from my dad - but never felt it was the right kind of love, and tried to fill other things, people, places, in that gap. Nothing fit. It was a round whole and all I had was square pegs.
It wasn't until my LATE teen years, that in a desperate moment I cried out..."IF there is a God, you have to reveal yourself to me...cause I can't live like this any more...". Then HE met me there, wrapped His arms around me, and held me.
Although it took me a few more years to see Him at work around me, find the right church, get plugged in, it happened. I was baptized, I finally knew what that love was about. He fit! Instantly!!
I know that He always wanted to love me...His love was always there for me to take - I only needed to learn of it and accept it.
Compared to human love, His love is so much more - unconditional, never ending, long-suffering (important with me!!), perfect. Now I have to remember to not expect the people I love to provide that same type of love, and for me to try to mimic His love as much as possible to others....something I am still working on....or rather something He is working on me still...it's a life long process...but He's got time...