Who am I to know what true love is… When I first asked myself this question, I thought: True love can’t be the earthly love we all throw back and forth to each other. My fairy tale heart begs to differ.
Love is a God humbling himself in human form and paying the ultimate cost for all of our sins. Love is sending your only Son to be a sacrifice for people who mock His name. In 1 Corinthians 13, God reveals to us through Paul what true love is. God knew sometimes circumstances made it hard to love, so He told us that true love is patient and kind. He knew that we were selfish by nature and wouldn’t want to share our loved ones with others, so he reminded us that love wasn’t jealous or selfish. He knew people like me would have trouble controlling their tongues, so He prefaced that love is not rude and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up the wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices over the truth. Once again, He knew we’d have to labor for patience. Love patiently accepts all things, it always trusts, hopes, and always endures. And unlike the love we see here on the earth, God’s love doesn’t need divorce because His love never ends. He’s never going to leave me or forsake me – what a promise!
Lately, I’ve been wrestling with how to love the unlovable. How do I love as Christ has loved me? Why should I have compassion on someone I don’t feel deserves it? The answer came clearly: Because Christ did it for me. Throughout the past couple of weeks, I’ve asked God to show me signs that this type of love still exists in the world today. To my surprise, He showed me in many ways. Although this love is not perfect, it reminds me that while we are all flawed we yearn to love and be loved.
He gave me a mother who calls and knows just what I need to hear. With just a smile of reassurance, she can make worries disappear. She reminds me that I’m loved in every way possible. She cheers me on when I feel like giving up and reprimands me when she feels I’m in the wrong. God knew I needed someone to confide in when I felt the whole world was against me, that’s why He gave me Mom. That’s love.
He gave me a father who lets me fall asleep in his lap until my lap outstretched his own. He knows how to lighten the mood when I’m on the verge of tears. He doesn’t have to say much, but his hugs will always do the trick. That’s love.
He gave me my brother Mike to encourage me with an open ar and understanding heart. He doesn’t judge me for my failures or past mistakes, but advisees me to seek God and find beauty in the simple things. He constantly reminds me how proud he is of me and with few words can make me feel beautiful. That’s love
He gave me my brother Todd to make me feel as if I hung the moon and am the best sister anyone could ask for. He continues to teach me to never settle for anything less than the best and keep pushing towards my goals. Through heartbreak, he reminded me that it’s ok to feel like I love too much. That’s love.
He gave Todd Ashley to love as Christ loved the church, to cherish her, and to one day make her part of our family. He gave me Ashley to be a sister I never had. I can call on her for wisdom and strength when I feel completely alone in my daily fleshly struggles. She encourages me and continues to make me laugh even when laughter seems scarce. That’s love.
He gave me my brother Matt to ensure I’d have a friend for life. He reminds me that I’m strong and I can make it through whatever is put in my path. He knows how to make me laugh and accepts that sometimes I just need to cry and know someone is listening to me. That’s love.
He gave Matt Kayla to love as Christ loved the church, to honor her, and to one day make her part of our family. He knew I’d need more than one sister to deal with all of these brothers, so I got another one with Kayla. She has taught me how to share, how to laugh through the confusion, and to fight against the odds. That’s love.
He gave me my sister Jill to love me during my most unlovable times. She’s my voice of reason when all I can hear is chaos. God knew that I needed a life-long best friend to stick beside me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. She accepts every part of me and is patient with me. That’s love.
He gave me my boyfriend Curtis to teach me that life is what you make of it. He reminds me that love doesn’t give up when things are hard. He continues to show me that if a relationship is centered around God that it can make it through anything. He reminds me that love isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. That’s love.
God showed me that love is present on this Earth and I’m surrounded in it. He reminds me on a daily basis that I am wonderfully and beautiful made. He constantly whispers I love you in my moments of doubt.
I’ve learned that love in my life is family because family is patient and kind, not jealous, not proud, not rude, and doesn’t count up wrongs that other have done. It doesn’t take pleasure in evil, but in the truth. It patiently accepts all things. Family Never Fails.
I’m so proud to have the love and support that God has put in my life. He knew exactly what I would need. He not only knew what I would need, but he knew that each only one of my family members would feel love in other ways and sometimes from other people. Along lives journey, I believe God put people in our paths just so we know we are loved.
My prayer is that we rejoice in what we have been given and that we give thanks where thanks are due. We hold onto our family and we cherish those who love us. The Bible doesn’t say that love is easy and always fun, but it says that it never gives up and never fails.
The exciting part is that even without all of these people in my life, I’m loved by my Heavenly Father. He loves me enough to call me His friend, send His son to die, and DEFEAT THE DEVIL by rising again. He did this for us. How exciting! “We love because He first loved us,” (1 John 4:19) He commands us to love others, even our enemies. “…Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matt. 5:44). He calls us his friends. “Greater love hath no man than this that he should lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13) He loves his friends this much. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).
Our love is not perfect, but we can continue to press towards the mark of the high calling and imitate Christ’s love.