I share this with gratitude for days turning to years, the gift of patience, and the opportunity to glance back and see how far He has brought us.
He has actually transformed my heart (in this tiny little area - please hold while we reach the fullness you are looking for) and healed this relationship. Yay for grace!!
March, 2013: Welcome to my breakthrough!
Lately, God has been rephrasing the same question, and repeating His desires over and over ... as if something important is happening and He wants to make sure I don't miss it.
For days and days,
through conflict and crisis,
sermons and sisters,
guilt and grace,
scrolling ads and Bible study,
He has been speaking.
I love you. Love Me. Love Others.
Not a new message, right?
But a fresh word to renew my mind, refine my motivations and heal this deceptive heart of mine.
I love you.
He really loves me - not the "best-foot-forward" me ... the "just-as-I-am" me.
I have nothing to offer Him in return, and basically, my selfishness is a daily slap in the face to His provision. My impatience is a hindrance to His perfect will. My chronic unkindness towards Him and willful resistance toward His priorities prove my unworthiness.
But His kindness leads me to repentance. His grace is sufficient.
He loves me with a love that never ends. He never gives up.
Love me. Love others.
All that He asks of me is that I love Him back and love other people in the same sacrificial way that He already loves us.
It will obviously take me the rest of my life to fully know and understand and live out the wisdom in this divine relationship.
Right now, there is someone in my life who doesn't seem to love me. (It's not you and it's not her either, so we're good.) I have spent too much time dissatisfied in this relationship ... wondering what I could do differently to earn or deserve their love. I'd even settle for kindness or just baseline human respect.
I've been praying for them.
And it's not working.
But today's breakthrough is this: Guess what? I don't love them.
I say I do. I've always said I do.
But I still want something in return. I have expectations. I am hurt. I feel unloved. I want to be validated and appreciated.
I. I. I.
(which is barely appropriate for opera singers with lemon wedges before a show)
I must LOVE this person. I must love them WELL.
Not waiting for them to deserve my efforts and concern.
Not waiting for them to reciprocate or return the affection.
This is not something that can be fabricated or faked.
God is going to have to do a miracle deep in my soul. He will have to change the way I see this person, the way I hear this person, the way I speak to this person. He'll have to give me a genuine desire to be around this person ... to want them to be near and dear to me ... like they are to God.
I believe God can and will do this because it aligns perfectly with His greatest desire.
I'll find my satisfaction and joy in Him.
He'll fill me up and I'll offer myself to be poured out.
He sets the example, supplies the strength; we humbly submit and joyfully serve.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:34-35
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8