Before you read on, think of one person in your life who you have a really hard time loving. Who is it? A parent? A coworker? Your neighbor? Your boss? Maybe there is more than one. I know I have mine, and if I am being honest, I have not done a very good job at even trying to love this person recently. I will share with you my journey and relationship with this person in order to shine some light on the topic. Keep in mind your person, and see if the way you look at the person changes by the end of this blog.
Many of you may remember when I met my biological mother a few years back. Growing up my parents never made her out to be the bad guy. When I started to ask more questions, they would answer in a way that caused me to put myself in her shoes. A young woman, still a teen, with no mother and an alcoholic father. A young woman who knew that the right thing to do was to carry me to birth. She could have taken the “easy” way out and had an abortion, and I am sure some in her life may have suggested she do so. She did her best, always keeping my best interests at heart. While she never really fully shared why she left me the way that she did, I knew that she knew that I was and am better off because of it.
I decided to forgive her a long time ago. But forgiving doesn’t mean loving comes easy. Although I had forgiven her, I still felt hurt and pain. That hurt and pain doesn’t just stem from the abandonment, it has been interwoven into our relationship to this day.
I felt God beginning to tug on my heart a little over a year ago. I had been praying and asking God why He had allowed this to be a part of my story. Why couldn’t I have the same birth mother as my siblings. Then things would be easier, and I would in turn be happier. Or in another life, maybe she would have kept me. She would have seen me as someone worth fighting for, seen me as her child. God very clearly showed me the purpose behind it all. It is so simple, yet it took me so long to see. He told me that I may be the only example of Jesus she will ever get to see. I may be the only one who will ever be able to share with her the amazing gift God has given me. Reflecting on this, I decided that the best way to do this was through loving her. To this day it is not easy. To this day it hurts. I do the best I can to protect my heart, but when it comes to loving someone there is always a large amount of vulnerability involved.
I think of Jesus. He loves unconditionally always, evident in His life, death, and resurrection. I want to love like Jesus loves. I want to love my biological mother even when she lies to me. I want to love my sister even when she steals my clothes without asking. I want to love my friends even when they tease me for my beliefs. I want to love even when I don’t feel like loving. The truth is, everyone is worthy of love. The truth is, your love may be the only way that one person (that I had you think of at the beginning) sees Jesus.
There are many times in my life that I have been difficult to love. I am so thankful for the people who continued to love me anyway. I wouldn’t be the same without it. Think of your person again. What are some practical and intentional ways you can show them the love of Jesus in the upcoming weeks?Seek God’s strength, it might not be easy. See what God can do through you! As always, I will close with a verse. God bless!
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.”
— Romans 12:9-16