Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Response Is Always...

Sometimes in our lives, I think we sit here thinking, "Boy, I am really something.  I deserve a lot.  I have every right to be offended when people do inconsiderate things.  I have the right to live my life believing everything my emotions choose to tell me.  I will live my life doing what feels best for me."  I am the first one to admit that I live this way fight this off daily.  But lets be honest here....what a huge delusional disappointment.

Now, I believe that I have a purpose in this world.  It is to serve a God who gave everything for me, a God who looks at me, sees that even though I am SO flawed, His love is enough to cover it all.  He reaches out to me at every moment wanting to pour into me His love so that I can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is NOTHING in this world that can separate me from that Love, knowing full well that if I allow myself to even experience that kind of Love for a moment, my whole life cannot be lived the same...because that Love will fill me in a way that every hole in me will be filled and I will, in turn, overflow at every moment with this unexplainable, immeasurable, never ending, cant-be-earned Love.  That is my experience this Love and pour it out onto everyone around me.

What does that look like?  Well, in my marriage it looks like- no matter how irritating, inconsiderate, and rude my husband might be, my response is always...Love.  No matter how many times I get my pretty little feelings hurt, my response is always...Love.  No matter how many times I don't feel listened to, loved, respected, heard, my response is still...Love.  Can you imagine what this would look like?  Can you imagine, if my response was always this kind of Love, how transformational this would be?  Can you imagine the testament to Love that this would be to our children, our friends, our family?  In a world that tells us we have to right to feel however we want, that we can believe every lie our emotions tell us to believe, that we are entitled to all of that, this reprogramming is not easy.  In fact, its often a moment by moment battle.  But the looming question of "Can you imagine what that kind of Love in your marriage would look like?" it keeps me fighting like my life depends on it (because actually, its does) to be filled and fill others with the most incredible, all consuming, undeserved Love.

I think my marriage is the hardest place to apply this.  It is the area tested the most, for me.  Second is my relationships with my children.  I know that there are times when Im THE WORST example of this kind of Love.  THE WORST!!!  When I have shut off the valve that allows Gods love to freely flow into me, everyone around me suffers.  I am learning how to quickly forgive, reconcile  and change...beating myself up, withholding mercy, it only escalates the damaging cycle.  Im learning that truly accepting the Love of Jesus on a daily basis looks like me loving freely, unconditionally, remembering that I do not have the right to be constantly offended and entitled...and when I fall short, (just like when others do) that open door of mercy never closes.  And every time I think of closing it on myself or others, I'm turning the valve that keeps that Love of God from overflowing out of me.

I used to think it was so hard to forgive myself for being, um, a human.  But Im realizing how much more effective it is for me to quickly forgive myself and others....because anything else is just robbery....stealing away every bit of Joy, Love and Blessing that God wants to pour into me endlessly.

Oh how he loves up, receive it, and once you do, you will KNOW, there is no other way in the world to respond to His love, other than living your whole life pouring that very Love into the lives of others....because there is no other response.

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