"God loved us first so we can love others." 1 John 4:19
God set the perfect example of how to love and be loved. So how to we emulate that to others around us? I believe it looks different for each person we are loving and caring for. There's always more to each person than meets the eye. There's pain, joy, sorrow, struggles, lies, among a variety of other obstacles that one person goes through on a daily basis. We don't always know where someone is at in life, so how do we go about loving that person? How did Christ love others?
I am faced with this question as I tend to get wrapped up in grief, lost in my thoughts, and consumed by all the obligations and requirements in my life. It can get exhausting and at moments, time consuming. So, it must be said that I am thankful for everyone who has loved me through the different seasons in my life over the these past 9 almost 10 months and of course over the past 26 years. I am very quick to admit I am an imperfect person but I am willing to allow the Lord to work in my heart to make me more like him. As I have said before and I will say it again "Love others and love them well.
The words "part of the process" are very common in my vocabulary lately. I will forever love Kyle, who he was, and who we were. I am just learning how to make that a part of my daily life, yet continue to move forward and be present with those around me. Trust me I know he wasn't perfect nor am I, but what I saw in him was the attitude of wanting to grow and learn. He wanted to take every opportunity to love others the best he could. He didn't do it perfectly and neither have I. Maybe I have written this before but it encourages me again today. Our prayer for our relationship was this:
"We pray that you show us a unity we could never Imagine. We thank you for this amazing relationship and we pray it never strays from you. We pray we can mirror your imagine in our relationship."
Now I pray:
"I pray you show me what unity in and from the body of Christ looks like in a way I could never imagine. I thank you for an amazing relationship with a God fearing kindhearted man. I pray I can mirror your image in my relationships."
I of course struggle each and every day to love others and sometimes even myself. During this fall season and well any new season in my life, I always like to look back at what others seasons looked like. Who was apart of the the seasons, who the Lord brought into my life as well as took out. I look at what I wrote about who loved, supported, cared for, and spent time with me in each season. I am thankful for you all. One of the biggest supporters through all of this is my wonderful momma.
So often we get caught up in ourselves and forget to love those around us. We are concerned with out schedules, deadlines, needs, wants, school, work, or events. So when do we make time for those who don't fit into those categories? Do we slow down to listen? Do we put our phones down to focus on the face in front of us? Can we step away from social media to spend a lot time with a friend who is in town for a couple hours? I ask myself these questions as well, so: What stops us from just being present?
My mom, has always been good at making time for me. She is always there for me, no matter what,. I never want her to go unnoticed for who she is and how she loves. If you ever get a chance to meet my mom, you should ask her to share her story with you. She has such an amazing testimony of what it looks like to come from a life without God, tragedy, loss, pain, confusion, doubt, yet she is filled with joy, love, compassion, care, truth, a tender heart, and unconditional love for those around her. She has a servants heart and is truly a woman after the Lord's heart. She does not have all the answers, but she knows how to trust God no matter what comes her way.
She wrote about 30 notebook pages to me 4 years ago right before I moved out here. She sent it with me in hopes that the words written would maybe encourage, challenge, or remind me of who the Lord is. I haven't opened this book in at least a couple years but here is part of the first page.
"You are following the Lord's leading and only blessings will come from that. Everything you have experienced up until now has been the Lord guiding, directing, giving, taking away, pushing, pulling, and preparing you for this very journey you are about to embark on." Oddly fitting for the season I am in right?! Thought so, too Just wait...... 9-18-13- "As a mom I want the very best for my children. I pray you wait upon the Lord for His (timing). Particularly (with His choosing) your spouse. Marriage is a long road and you certainly don't want it to be an uphill climb. I will try to be more diligent in prayer for this." -MOM
This hit me hard as Kyle and I talked about how the timing was just perfect for EVERYTHING that came our way. Everything from our first date, down to picking to the venue, and everything in between. I didn't even know Kyle when she wrote this. I hadn't even flown to Port Alsworth yet. Yet, the words 4 years later remind me that the Lord has His perfect timing even when life is HARD and frustrating at times.
My mom continued to share with me what she learned in one of her women's retreat. So now I share with you as it fits exactly where I am at in life.
9-23-13 "We are to have a resting heart----Psalm 37
We have inhibitors:
- Fret-Idea of becoming irritated-angry
- Envy-Grudging desire (jealousy)
- Time perspective
- Comparing to others
- To trust in the Lord-Do good in Him
- God gives always for our good (He never withholds), Always in His timing
Our security measures
- Trust-have confidence/don't let your emotions lead you
- Do good
- Dwell-stay in the Lord feed on His faithfulness. If God tells you to move THEN move
- Delight yourself-understand where REAL satisfaction comes from
- Commit-Take all concerns FIRST to God and LET God carry them
- Rest-BE STILL Who is this that even the winds and waves obey Him
- Wait-Refrain wait-expectantly
- Refrain from anger-refrain=letting go-walk away
- Be meek-HUMBLE-humility ALL else above me
- God will-when He says He will-be assured it WILL be done.
Practical ways to rest and enjoy the ride called LIFE
- Learn more of God and who He says He is
- Allow God to be God
- Release MY grip on all of life
- Know and be sure God will follow through"
Mom had no idea what I was going to go through these past months. She (and my dad) trusted God with me and my life here. She trusted that God was going to do what He said He would. Thank you mom for leading me back to the Lord each and every day. Thank you for following the Lord and demonstrating a Godly woman for me to look up to. You, mother, are one my best friends and a person I thank the Lord for. We are learning together and I never want to stop. I love mom. Never stop loving! 💕💕
"God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him."