Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dearly, Beloved

"We Love because He first loved us"
- 1 John 4:19

    Growing up, I naturally thought that "Love" was something that we were born able to do. I would read the verse above and smile because I thought it was a sweet reminder that God loved me, but I would always find myself frustrated because as God loved me, I was supposed to love others. If I was born with the ability to love, then loving others should come naturally. I'm going to be honest, there were and are a lot of people I don't naturally love.... It wasn't until this summer that I realized there wasn't something wrong with me but my perception of Love. 

   I worked at Pine Cove camps for the entire summer this year. This was my second year working there and I was stoked. I was going to be the work crew assistant director. I had a very unique job that served camp behind the scenes as well as the girl counselors who were on the work crew for the week. I was so excited that I was going to be able to pour into these girls and love them. Loving people is fun.... when its easy to love them. God rocked my world immediately. He tested my patience, strength and ability to love my neighbor and community. My attempt at trying to accomplish this feat on my own lasted about a day. I had to rely solely on the Lord to do this job. Although I learned so many incredible things this summer and experienced and witnessed SO many incredible moments. The single thing that stood out to me the most was God showing me the true meaning of Love.

  Like I had said earlier, I went into the summer with a preconceived thought about Love. I had always thought that because I struggled with loving well, there must be something wrong with me. I constantly prayed that the Lord would help me to love better. But oh my goodness did I have everything backwards and upside down! 
   Every week the staff would meet up in small groups and have girl time to talk and get into the word together. During one of those times we listened to a Beth Moore segment (I'm a huge Beth Moore fan). During this segment she talked about Love. I pray that I do this justice because the few words she said regarding Love rocked my entire world. 

  Despite my preconceived belief that us humans were born with the ability to love, she pointed out that we actually aren't. "We Love because He first loved us" we CANNOT love without Christ in us. Love is so much more than an emotion of happiness and smiles... true love is overwhelming. True love takes your breath away. True love makes you want to cry and dance and sing all at the same time! True love is the Holy Spirit moving inside of our hearts. "We love because He first loved us." When we are overcome with the overwhelming feeling of Love, Christ is pouring out His love onto us first. When we say "I love you Lord" we should be saying "I love you too, Lord." We cannot Love without our savior pouring his love onto us first. We are not capable of it and never will be. When we have a hard time loving someone it isn't because something is wrong with us, its because we are trying to Love on our own and we can't! 

  I'm getting goose bumps as my fingers type a million miles/hour here! :) AH! When I worked at camp, I also worked along side my sweetheart. As he and I are so used to being long distance, working in the same city much less the same property was perfect. Being in a relationship in a camp setting is very difficult. God revealed this revelation of his love to me in the middle of such trying but sweet times. When I would see my guy during the day my heart always did backflips. After realizing this, tears would come to my eyes. When I would feel my heart loving this boy I knew it was the Lord loving me, I knew the Lord was allowing my heart to be overwhelmed. I could hardly stand it. As I grew closer in loving Christ I grew closer in loving my boy, I grew closer to loving everyone. He was allowing me to love through His eyes and not my own. Seeing how precious a heart is without the scuffs of the world. 

  I felt like this was such a simple truth to learn but why now? I know and have faith that the Lord has perfect timing for everything, no exception to this. A few weeks after this settled on my heart. That sweet boy of mine asked me to be his forever. Of course I said yes! Although I don't believe that without this new truth on my heart I wouldn't be able to love but I believe that with this truth I am able to love and be the wife I am called to be. 

"Dear Beloved, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God
- 1 John 4:7  

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