And just like that, when you feel like all hope is lost, your anxiety has hit an all time high and emotionally you are depleted…love wins. I feel like this is an ongoing trend in my world. It’s almost like I have to reach the point of “I give up God!” For Him to say, “finally! Now let me do what I do.”
I rarely write a follow up to a previous blog, but that is just what this is. If you haven’t read my previous post “Rise”, then feel free to pause here & check it out. For those that have read it, recall that I had to stand up, rise and be in the uncomfortable, possibly confrontational world of approaching hurt. Loving someone who didn’t love themselves. Knowing my words may feel like judgement and rejection over love & grace.
So this conversation happened. It was hard. It hurt to look someone I love in the face and say words that were necessary but vulnerable, loving but direct. I had to stand my ground and not let the internal voice of avoiding conflict sway my end goal. My end hope. The hope for peace to come over their soul like a tide sweeping over the beach. For the pain to be washed away & the path to be made clear. As tears fell down my cheeks and the words left my lips “I love you too much to enable…”, I felt His spirit take over. I felt the strength in His agenda, knowing my physical body was much to weak to take this on alone. I felt His love flow through me, delivering words of grace & hope. I felt His comfort drying every tear as I sat there replaying the conversation after it was over. So what was the end result you ask? Well, after the tears were dry & the words were spoke, we finally experienced peace. So much peace! I got to spend an entire weekend celebrating, laughing & loving without a drop of the disease suffocating and drowning out life. I got 2 whole days of healthy behavior & genuine reactions. I got 2 whole days. Now I also realize this was just 2 days. Two days away from the temptation. Two days surrounded by love. Two days of nurturing the spirit & soul. Now home awaits. Pain is still stagnant behind the front door. Fear still rests in the bed, resisting the sun to rise. Disease still smothers the mind with lies and vices to fix those lies. This is where I hope these 2 days will find their permanent home in the long term memory. I hope these 2 days will cast hope on the moments that feel hopeless, strength in the hours of weakness & faith in the days of fear. This is where I will pray. I will ask the God that created us to display His miracles. Display His mercy. Display His purpose.
Love wins. I may not have solved world hunger, rescued every refugee or put an end to the countless injustices this world faces daily, but in 2 days I did the one thing that was asked of me. Asked of all of us. I loved my neighbor as myself. I put love above my own needs, intentions and desires. I made love my end game & I can tell you friends, it was worth every tear. There is no greater gift, greater joy than seeing your love being received. Being held. Now don’t get me wrong, there were no grand “thank you’s, hugs, or standing O’s” but there was a smile, a few tears & a hug that said it all. This is where words were not necessary (and for this words of affirmation girl, that is rare), faithfulness was necessary. Faithfulness to my plan. Faithfulness to His plan. Faithfulness in trusting His plan over my own.
So as I put my period on this sentence, I know the story will continue on. I know tomorrow will be a new day full of new hope. I know evil will try to knock us back off course, because that’s it’s favorite thing to do (it’s so not clever…just persistent). I know that suffering will still happen & pain will still arise. I also know that I will still be able to love “my neighbor” through all of it. I know that our Father will not only use this pain but serve in it. I know that He will redeem it and provide justice for it. I know He will shine His light among it. I know this because I am told this, promised this, given this. I not only know this for myself, but I know this for you. I know this for your addicted family member, broken friend & abused loved one.
Friends, lets have those difficult conversations. Let’s stand up for love. Let’s love those that can’t love themselves. Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”
He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13
It is always my hope that these words find those they were intended for.
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