Staff Commentary: First Loved

There is this truth called ‘first loved’. I can not comprehend how forever in the past, that was what purchased my soul to belong to God. The reality of being Chosen is an identity I neither rationalize nor work for, but have been calmed, comforted,quieted by a thousand times over. Always at my lowest moments does God draw me to crawl to, and collapse in this, being first loved and chosen.
A keen sense of miserable and inescapable inadequacies remind me “I” am not the reason for being called
These are only and always because I am first loved. Perfect love casts out fear. The greatest weapon of faithfulness
is not “try harder”
is not “be better”
is not “fail never”
There are still great haunting fears that seek to slay me, and those are merely toothpicks with which to fight. The greatest weapon of being faithful is perfect love. And I do not own it or earn it. It is given, and placed as a mighty fortress around my pitifully weak self. And in the massive, intimate fortress, God whispers words of still assurance, “You are chosen, you are first loved.”
These words bind strength to my crippled faith, and nurse nourishment to my starving soul. For such truths rest not in me, but are sustained forever in Him. He Himself calls me Chosen, by Him I have been and always will be first loved.
In His calling I rest. In His love I press on through both failure and success. For He composes the greatest hope to endure by whispering,
“It is I who chose you,
It is I who love you first
This is about Me, not you little child.”

-Tori Shirk

Jocelyn Wallace
Jocelyn was the executive director of the Vision of Hope residential treatment center ( on the campus of Faith Ministries until 2013. Her experience in the biblical counseling field goes back to 2002, and includes work in parachurch organizations and Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.