I have never been more stretched, had my faith and this heart that Jesus gave me, put so greatly under fire.. Love and unity are of paramount importance to me.. This is the burden which is also a blessing that Lord gave me: to love even when it’s difficult, even when it sometimes seems undeserved, in fact especially then. There is so much pain in the world, those hurting can often look like the ones that do not deserve it as they lash out, likely from pain. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did for me, for us? I did not deserve His love, but He called me and loved me in-spite of me. In-spite of all my hurt, all of my ugliness, all of my wretchedness.
So I answered the call when God put this mission on my heart. For five years now, I have loved a person that I believe loves me to some extent. For the first year there was loving, and acceptance of me. So it was much to my surprise when the first time came, that was just plain hurtful. I believe there are conflicting feelings here, because where there is very love and friendliness towards me, even parental like love, there are times that have been incredibly hurtful to me, sometimes overtly. Hurtful words, digs, things that would chip away at me, at my heart. Almost always done when I was isolated, or over the phone, although sometimes the digs occurred in front of others, but with a laugh.
I believe all comes from a place of unimaginable pain. Pain I cannot even begin to understand. I know that, and I have patiently endured much, to show love. Love that is so deep within me, I can not separate where it is, and where I begin. On my own, I am nothing, I have no redeeming qualities. But God tells me differently. He gave me this heart, and it has grown so much it consumes me. I have to be so careful with it though, because it is so vulnerable. The same heart that makes me love so deeply, also can be hurt very deeply.
I am in a place of deep hurt right now, but even through this I choose to love. My heart is heavy.. I want unity more than anything else, and here in my personal life, I have found division. Division that was not necessary, but has happened none the less, at least temporarily. I pray that it is temporary, I pray for them all the time, daily of late. I found myself in a place that was so incredibly difficult. I prayed and had many praying for us, as well. God showed me that I did have to say something about this conflict. My job was what was asked of me, and to do so in love. So I did.. I really did not want to have this conversation.. but I knew that I must.
So with God’s help, and only His help, I did have that conversation, in a loving, calm, compassionate, and sympathetic manner. No matter the hurtful things that at times were said, I remained calm. I truly felt sympathy, and was so apologetic for both having to have this conversation, the pain I was sure the content caused, and the pain that is felt on a daily basis. In the end no matter how calm I was, or the compassion, patience, or understanding given, all that was heard unfortunately, were lies. I am certain the enemy spun them just as fast as he could, to drown out what I actually said. Unfortunately in the end, the lies triumphed, and now we are here.
This skewed reality has now become real in their minds. Just as I said in the conflict, about perception unfortunately becoming reality, so it has played out and has affected our relationship currently. What I was trying to change, to give an opportunity for changer and clarification where needed, morphed into this mess we are in. Once that conversation was over, I knew of the unfortunate disaster that had taken place. That was when all that I had held back, what God had helped me to hold back, came flooding in, in torrents of tears, and deep soulful heart aching sobs.
Even through this, I chose love, and still do. I hurt for the hurt that is felt, and the hurt that is caused others by this ripple in reality.. I hurt that division has taken place rather than reconciliation, and shared understanding, mutual goals, and love. I sought Godly council from a few trusted friends, ones that would not be afraid to call me out if need be. That is what I wanted here, I wanted truth, unity and love. If I was wrong in any way I wanted to know, and to make amends. That is not what I heard however.. God showed me that I did exactly what He wanted me to, and did so in love, to the best of my ability.
Does that mean it was perfect? No, it does not. It meant that God wanted me to know, given all I went through, and all of the gifts, grace, love, and abilities He had developed in me thus far, I did the right thing. I did the best thing, and He was proud of me. God did not want me to feel guilt, were there was none. Given my desire for truth and love, I did go over things again and again in my head. I rethought, reevaluated, recalculated the possibilities, always searching for the best possible outcome, and more importantly how best to please Him. I desire all I do to be done in love, and I want to know when I am wrong. In this situation both from the words the Lord gave me, and from my council, I did the best I could, and God gave me peace in that moment. I have carried it since then, and that is such relief..
Since then however the word of God has been used as a weapon.. This is hard, and so complicated.
I want unity, and love, and pray that is desired on the other end of this relationship..
There is so much more, but the point of this is how to love, when loving is hard.. The ways I still love are multifaceted. I do so by seeing people, these people included, as people that are in pain. Most people who are acting or reacting negatively are in pain. There is almost always a hurt behind it. If you can look around the person to see their pain, or at least remember that none of us knows exactly what someone else has been through, then you can rather easily imagine they have been through something you can not understand. We all have hurts.
Second, but primary for me, is to love as God loved me. Does that look perfect? No, but if you can think of who you were, who you are, and despite all you may have done, that the God of the universe loves you, called you by name, and made you His, though you did nothing to deserve it, that makes it easier. Yes, in the moment it is difficult, and you will make mistakes. But if your desire is to please Him, and to love as He first loved you, as He still does, more than we deserve or can fathom, then it becomes easier. Remember that mistakes, are learning opportunity. God will always give you another chance. Perhaps not with the same person or situation, but He will give you as many opportunities as you are willing to try, perhaps more.
Here is the other thing, if you are trying to obey, and please the Lord, to work for His kingdom, and if you have done the best that you can in His name, then you are not the one being rejected. Yes, it may be taken out on you, but ultimately it’s not about you, it’s about their relationship and journey with God. If they are angry with Him, or don’t believe, then it is so easy for them to take it out on you when you represent Him, in His love.
I still do (and choose to) love and pray that God will heal this hurt. In fact, I love all the more, because of the hurt and need for love. I have forgiven, though I admit it has been difficult. I choose to forgive, because it is right, and because being angry will not make anything better. Though I admit, it took God to quell the rage I once felt inside, due to all the hurtful things said and done. Only He can do that. I thank Him for that, and for the Godly council that also pointed that out to me.
I pray for reconciliation.. I pray for unity, and for peace. I pray that truth will flood hearts and minds. I pray that just I once had to have it pointed out to me that in my relationships, they are not my enemy, that it will be seen that neither am I. I pray that God’s love is felt, and the healing that only He can bring will take place. I pray for unity and restoration.
I leave this in God’s hands, and pray that He will continue to help me love, no matter what actions take place. I admit that is so difficult when it comes to my kids. I know God is growing me in this area. I submit to Him, and ask that He helps me to learn all that I can from this situation, and to apply it to every situation I am in. Growth can be difficult. Actually, it always is, who am I kidding?! But I am grateful for it, and desire to learn, so that I can do more for His Kingdom… I am grateful for this, and for the insights the Lord gives me as He teaches me. I pray that this will help someone else in challenging circumstances, to choose love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV “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.”