Loving Well

One of my favorite things about this life is that I get to live it with people. I love people. It seems no matter where I go my world of friends is opened up a little wider and my list of favorite people is ever expanding. I get why God saved them for last when He was creating this big beautiful world. They are truly a work of art!

One of my favorite things to do is to spend time getting to know someone. I love hearing their stories, finding out what makes them feel loved, figuring out their personalities. I don't go part way in friendships. When I'm in, I'm in. 

Here's some honesty though. Although I love people like crazy I often do not love them well. What do I mean by loving well? I mean loving them with the same love that Christ has for me.

God's love overwhelms me! I can't reach as high as it goes, I can't grasp all that it covers, I can't wrap my mind around it's depth. And yet, Christ commands that I love others as He has loved me, and if Christ commands it, I want it! 

You see, my love is selfish. It's full of pride and full of impatience. It puts unhealthy expectations on others. It seeks to be loved in return, it seeks to be treated well. It's conditional, it's all out for me.

His love though! Oh, His love is altogether different! His love knows no boundaries. It isn't based off of what it will receive in return. It isn't looking for what it can get out of the relationship. It doesn't run at the first sign of trouble or fade when it feels tired. It's constant. It's sacrificial.

My Jesus desires my presence. He longs to teach me, guide me and direct me. He longs to make me into the Amanda that He created me to be, constantly opening my eyes wider to all that He is and all that He desires to do. He protects, shelters and builds up. His love gives life and life abundant. His love is not out of obligation. He doesn't have to love me, it isn't forced. His love is a choice. 

His love led Him to a cross. His love led to unimaginable pain and suffering. His love led to a giving up of everything He had, even His very life. 

This is how I am to love people well. It's a letting go of all that is me. It's a giving up of myself. The greatest way to love is to lay down my life and that goes beyond a physical death. To lay down my life means to give up my rights, give up my wants and give up my preferences. It means that my time, money, talents, possessions, physical strength, mental ability and even the breath in my lungs is surrendered to God and used as He sees fit in order to bring life to those around me. 

In order to love as He loves I must be abiding in Him. This love can only come from the Author of love Himself so when I find that I'm in need of more I have only to turn to Him. He is ready and waiting to pour out His love and train me in how it is to be used. 

When I love His way things work the way He intended. I don't feel empty when faced with rejection or offended when hurting people throw insults and angry words my way. I am satisfied with the greatest love I could ever receive and that brings a confidence that this world can not shake. And though loving people will bring hurt and pain, as goodbyes come and friendships are paused only to be continued once Heaven is reached, I don't have to fear, I don't have to be depressed. His love sustains even through the changes and challenges this life may bring. 

Personal Update: 

For those who may be wondering...

I am loving life here in Colorado. Each day I wake up and am so overwhelmed by the beautiful life I get to live. What a privilege it is! Sure there are struggles. Some days I have to fight against loneliness when I think of everyone back home. Some days I have to let go of worry as I think of what's next in life, but my God is so, so faithful and I have no reason to believe that that will ever change. He's brought so many beautiful people into my life here and is already growing me in many ways. There is such a peace in knowing that this is right where He wants me. I love hearing about what God is doing in your life so please stay in touch, even if it's just a quick comment! 

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