God doesn't just love you, he likes you.
This is something my youth pastor told me twenty years ago, and I'm still just starting to get it. Tonight, I told a room full of young people the same thing. Each one of them is dealing with a mess of some kind, and the amount of self-esteem in the room could probably fill a tea cup. Each of them will be in some kind of mess or another for the rest of their lives. But it can be a good mess, and they can know they are loved in the midst of it. He knows them. He is with them. He loves them.
I want to know this, too, but I have so many defences against his love. I long for it, yet so often keep it at a safe distance. My prayer of late is that he would completely disarm me. Oddly enough, (though it should have come as no surprise) the most disarming thing can be a good laugh. God knows my deepest pain, and my best joke.
God likes me. What a life-changing concept.