After my father died, my sister and I helped Mom go through his personal items. I couldn’t wait to get into Daddy’s special drawer. It was the one drawer in his nightstand that he didn’t allow anyone to bother. He could hear you opening it from a mile away. I remember as a kid trying to quietly ease open the drawer in order to sneak some quarters from his big bowl of change. (I wanted to feed the Pac Man game at the local arcade.) As I started to reach my hand inside, I heard Dad’s voice, “Michelle Leigh Medlock—get out of my drawer!” He didn’t mind giving me money for Pac Man—he just didn’t want me in his special, private drawer.

For years, I’d wondered what could possibly be in that forbidden treasure trove. Why was he so protective of it?

“I’ll start in Daddy’s chest of drawers,” I called to my mom as I opened the forbidden drawer.

As I searched through Daddy’s things, I found very ordinary items. His comb. Fingernail clippers. His money clip. Pictures of the family. Lots of change. His special engraved calculator he used in business. And a lock box.

I was just about to ask Mom if she knew the combination to the lock box, but thought I’d try it first. Surprisingly, it wasn’t actually locked and popped right open with just a little pressure. Inside, I discovered important documents like his and my mother’s marriage license, a small wooden bible, a Jesus Saves lapel pin, and three tiny plastic bracelets—two pink and one blue. The wording had yellowed over the years, but I could still read “Medlock Girl” and my birth date on one of the little pink bracelets. I held that tiny pink bracelet close to my heart for what seemed like hours.

It was at that moment I realized how very much my Daddy cherished me. He loved me so much that he even treasured my baby bracelet. Today, I keep that baby bracelet in a secret compartment of my purse as a reminder of how much he loved me.

I miss my Dad but I am thankful that I have so many wonderful memories of him. He had embarrassing nicknames for me that he loved to call me in front of my friends. He had the most precious chuckle that I could always pick out of a crowd. He loved eating Hostess apple pies and cherry pies with his coffee for breakfast. (Maybe that’s why I prefer a Snickers and a Diet Coke as my “breakfast of champions.”) But most of all, I remember how much he loved me. It was that unconditional, all-consuming kind of love. I never had to question his love because he showed me every single day.

I realize that not everyone was privileged to grow up with a father like Walter Medlock…. Maybe you are estranged from your father. Maybe your dad was abusive, and you’re still dealing with the emotional scars he caused. Or, maybe you don’t even know your earthly father. No matter your situation, I have good news. You have a Heavenly Father who treasures you, and He has little plastic bracelets—His promises of love—all throughout His Word. Every time you find one like, Jeremiah 31:3 that says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” you’ll want to hold it close to your heart—just like I did. Spend some time discovering how much your Heavenly Father loves you today. It’ll change your life.

Here are a few “promises of love” to meditate on today:

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV)

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT)

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)