This past year (2014) a couple things happened, were said, done, and felt. All these different things however made me grow more in love. I love love. Is it not the best feeling? I love learning more about God’s love and growing in it. I usually write to music and tonight’s music belongs to Steffany’s – No Fear in Love.
The first thing is a family situation I had no control over. I love and care for this person deeply. I thought I could change what this person was doing, because in God’s word what this person is doing is wrong. Naturally, I thought that as a Christian I was supposed to tell this person what God says about it in His word continuously until that point got across.
Welp, the only thing that accomplished was resentment and a long separation— and I hated it. I was at that point of falling on my face because of all the lies from them in the beginning. I became the icy, cold, queen Elsa and got to the point where if I never talked to this person again in my life, well, that was just the way it was going to be. I lived in Colorado during this period as well so it made things extra icy-er. I may as well have built my own ice palace on a mountain hike of bitterness but God had other plans. Instead, I learned that I needed to love this person continually no matter what pain and without conditions. Though this doesn’t mean I give up my beliefs about Gods word, it does mean I stop condemning not just outwardly but also in my heart. So I’ve stopped doing that. It works all for the better because quite simply, that’s what God says to do.
I learned that loving unconditionally means showing love no matter what your differences are with people. I refuse to believe that in order to show love to people, you need to lay down all personal beliefs from God’s word. Trust me, love is enough without having to give up your faith in what God says about something. I learned the impossible is possible in the most incredible of ways. God’s love is enough.
I think that if we do everything in life with love in our hearts we can never really fail (especially when it comes to our differences). Anyways, it was a long road coming but I feel we’ve gotten to a decent place now. Though we have our disagreements on things, we’ll never stop loving each other just because we have them. Just as I can’t change their beliefs, they can’t and shouldn’t want to change mine. I’m just supposed to love and that’s simple enough for me. We hug, laugh and love each other just like we always did. Love really does conquer all. “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). Below is a great quote by Mr. Rick Warren that is quite fitting to end my little point on this.
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
The second thing is disease. What in the world? How does disease make you fall more in love with love? Well firstly, this one really did make me fall on my face— in my kitchen in Colorado. But besides those moments of physical weakness most the time I’ve always known God has been with me through it all. I love Him so much for that. Sure I still get these pains and those pains, I still take medications and I’m getting so used to needle injections I stopped feeling them, but I’ve learned throughout it all how to be content. Content with sickness?! Blasphemy! Nope, just content in life. Being grateful and just knowing that I’m okay because I know God is bigger than illness. I’ve kind of gotten to the point where I’m focused less about getting healed right now and more focused on what I’m doing in the now that gives glory to God, such as being thankful. Having a thankful heart gives us a chance to see God’s goodness and we can give Him glory (2 Corinthians 4:15). I strive to do that more.
I think sometimes we lose the chance of being there for people in their times of deep pain because we’re trying so hard to heal them “quickly”. I want to be the person that’s there for people walking alongside them, holding their hand. Knowing this different kind of struggle has made me more in love with showing love and compassion to others who suffer. We need more compassion.
We were already told by Jesus we’d be faced with troubles in this world (John 16:33) and sometimes those things suck, but it gets a heck of a lot easier knowing that nothing can touch our souls, and that God has promised us a spiritual security for all of eternity (John 10:27-28). Thank you, God. Isn’t that a good feeling?
To be in love with Christ is quite possibly the greatest love of all. No, it is the greatest love of all. This past year I could have easily veered off the good road. I could have built my own ice palace and stayed there making snow castles. Would I have glorified God in that place? Probably not and my snowman wouldn’t of liked warm hugs. Would I have known this more intimate love I have for God if I had let sickness take over my soul? Most likely not. The thing is as we grow older we learn more about the things in life that truly mean the world to us like showing love to others, glorifying God and being with family. We do these things all the while keeping wisdom close to us, His Holy Spirit within us and having thankfulness in our hearts (Colossians 3:16). We learn that no matter what raging storm life throws our way, Gods always in the boat with us. We’re going to have differences with people in life, but this does not mean we cannot love each other despite those differences. It’s called not casting stones— just don’t do it (John 8:7). Love is a much more profound route to take. At least, that’s what I’ve learned this past year. I’d love to live the 70+ years I have left on this earth in this way. But more than anything, I’ve learned that you can fall in love with God even more so in your trying times. And though you may totally face plant right on your face on your kitchen floor, God will pick you up, wipe the hairs off your face and walk with you again and again, every time. His love never fails.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:9-11).