Thursday, April 25, 2013

How do you LOVE? Who deserves it?

This is my eldest girly-girl, Elissa. Well, she is my eldest child regardless of gender actually. She was the unexpected, life changing, help me grow up quick, I am going to be a Momma, surprise when I was at the ripe old age of 19. I should note here about how I matured incredibly to the age of 20 in the 9 months I was prego with her. 

be who god meant you to be and you will set the world on fire @christovereverything christ god hope love jesus quote bible christian pretty pattern wall art print shop etsy love trust pray truth church cross rock cornerstone faith prayer world life faith dreams humble patient gentle
{Source: Pinterest}

The early years were not easy on either one of us. I got married after I found out I was pregnant because that is what you are supposed to do, right? Despite the well-intention of the people in my life this was a very BAD idea. The relationship I had with her Father was toxic, unhealthy and after a windy, spinning, explosive 6 months married Baby Elissa and I  were left alone. 

The dreaded moment I had always feared officially arrived... "What would PEOPLE think?" was on our doorstep and ringing the doorbell.  Do you know who I was  worried about? Who it was I was most concerned would have negative thoughts about me, look down on me? The people I grew up going to church with. Hmmm, interesting eh? (Nope - not Canadian, I just like saying it) 

Why is that? Why when we make mistakes or end up in hard times do we first fear those who claim to have Jesus Christ as their Savior? What Jesus stood on this earth for is the very thing we are needing extended to us in those moments and yet we fear the hearts of those who love Him. We fear they will reject us, judge us, distance themselves from us or simply just be done with us. We are afraid we are no longer GOOD ENOUGH.

Me: My heart is not big enough. God: Mine is.
{Source: Pinterest}

At that moment of abandonment, almost 25 years ago, was it my overactive imagination at that time that made me believe I would be judged? Was it insecurity?  Is it possible the enemy wanted to make me believe I did not have the Body of Christ that I was connected to?

Could it be that because I was raised in the church I felt there would be no grace for me not "knowing BETTER?" Honestly, I think that was it. I was a Christ follower. I had parents who were leaders in the church. I knew right from why did I choose WRONG? It was on me - all me. I made the decision and therefore I deserved the disastrous outcome. I had it coming.

I had absolutely no doubt these same people I was concerned about would be spreading their arms wide open for those messing up who did not know Jesus yet. They would also have a ton of grace and love for those that were victims to someone else's sin. Somehow my situation seemed different. Again it came back to my choices led to my outcome. My belief was there is no grace for that, because I had asked for it. 

Here is what I believed their thoughts for me were: If only I had listened to those who had been speaking into my life. If only I had watched the example of others. If only I had been in the word more, prayed more. If only I had a better understanding of how much God valued me. If only I had waited until I was older. If only I had been ready.  IF ONLY....

IF ONLY I had ...
I would...

I have to say I had a person in my life who represented Jesus to me through it all. If I only had broken pieces to bring - she offered me her WHOLE love and the hope of Jesus. If I only had enough strength to barely walk in the door she offered her loving arms around me to help me make the journey. If I only had messed up ideas on how to proceed from that point on? Catch this... she did NOT always give me the answer that she thought was right for me... she would grab my hands and offer words up to Jesus to help me decide. She believed Jesus was BIG enough to speak to me and she believed in me enough (despite my messes) to believe I would listen and try to follow.  If what I had to bring was a mess - she loved me despite of it - possibly because of it. She was a safe place where I knew I was unconditionally loved. She reminded me that Jesus was the answer - no condemnation. Just come - COME to Jesus.
Do All Things With Love

A part of me would like to say that her example of Jesus love in my life changed my sin pattern and my messed up decision making forever. But it didn't. What it did was show me that the act of love is far greater than words. She taught me to love people despite where they have been or where they are headed. To love people despite of their situation, even if it was their choice. I would go so far as to say ESPECIALLY because it was their choice. 

It is time we believe to the depth of our core that JESUS is enough. It is time we act it out. We are to LOVE WHOLEheartedly - we are to love EVERYONE. 

PSALM 103 
1-2 O my soul, bless God.
    From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
    don’t forget a single blessing!
3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
    He heals your diseases—every one.
    He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
    He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
    He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
    He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
6-18 God makes everything come out right;
    he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
    opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
    not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
    nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
    so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
    he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
    God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
    keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
    like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
    leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
    eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
    as they follow his Covenant ways
    and remember to do whatever he said.
19-22 God has set his throne in heaven;
    he rules over us all. He’s the King!
So bless God, you angels,
    ready and able to fly at his bidding,
    quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
    alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
    everything and everyone made by God.
And you, O my soul, bless God!

-Simply Sublime

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