We all have that one person. It could be a friend, spouse, niece, nephew, close or extended family member… Someone who words just can’t adequately express how we feel about them. This could be positive or negative expression but the example I’m going to give in this post, it’s positive. It’s my daughter. She’s changed me.
I know every parent at some point says their entire life has changed after having kids. For me it’s more than just my day to day or how I choose to spend my time that’s changed. Sure those things may have changed some but what I have noticed is my relationships have changed. My heart has changed. I’ve noticed people more. I’ve noticed brokenness more. I’ve always had empathy but since having my daughter I’ve found myself feeling and hurting and loving so much deeper than ever before and not just my daughter but people. People I didn’t used to appreciate or recognize as much as I do now. I’m still learning what to do with these emotions so I’m not saying this to sound proud or like I have things figured out. To say I don’t have it figured out is an understatement.
God uses different people or experiences to show us things He wants us to know. He has definitely used my daughter to show me His never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love for me and others. My heart aches for those who are hurting and the unjust situations in our world many others and even at times my own family (albeit on a first world type basis) experiences. I believe God’s heart aches at these things too.
I called my mom on her birthday. I texted her in the morning but later that day I dialed her number into my phone and called her. I told her I know I texted you earlier but I’m guessing you wanted to hear my voice. When I think about Marijka getting older I can’t imagine living as far away from her as I see my parents having to do from their children and grandchildren because myself and my siblings are spread across the country practically in every corner. I’ve spoken with my parents and in their heart, as well as I can imagine in most parent’s hearts, they wish it were possible to be everywhere with everyone but unfortunately it’s not so they do the very best they can trusting God with the rest of their children’s lives they can’t be a part of.
Life happens and I know there will come a day when my husband and I will watch M drive away and have to trust we’ve done our very best possible with the time we had and trust God with the rest of her life. Right now though, I can’t imagine it so I call my mom and let her hear my voice and try so very hard to put myself in hers as well as others shoes. It’s uncomfortable and painful but I feel the need to in order to be the person I want to be.
Think again about that one person. Someone who words just can’t adequately express how we feel about them. If it’s negative emotion I’m curious what the relationship would look like if we took a moment to step into their shoes?
If it’s a positive emotion or deep love that person stirs in us, I’m curious what the world would look like if we spread that love among friends, family, even strangers. What if we couldn’t go on with our own day to day tasks without making sure others around us were able to accomplish theirs along side us? What if we loved everyone the way we love that one person? Too hard? That one person is most likely someone you’re really close to. It may even be yourself. If it’s someone else, you’ve probably had a relationship for awhile and trust has been solidified right? Definitely. You wouldn’t, you couldn’t just love a stranger right?
Well on our own you’re right we couldn’t and we wouldn’t. We may try but we are human and our love is conditional whether we like to admit it or not. I love my daughter and if asked I would say it’s unconditional love. Loving certain people is easy no matter what they do. You may get frustrated or your attitude briefly changes toward them but your love doesn’t change right? What about others though, strangers, or those you’re not so close to? There’s a condition. Humans are incapable of loving unconditionally on their own. We don’t like to hear we’re incapable of things either but it’s true. This, this is why I love Jesus. He makes the impossible, possible. Only through relationship with Him can I truly put myself in other’s shoes, love them unconditionally, and truly make a difference in relationships. He is my example and He can be yours too.
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our life’s for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, (I think we are addressed this way because we are all God’s children) let’s not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:16-18
It’s time to ACT. It’s time to stop talking about change and it’s time to stop waiting for someone else to make a difference. Start praying now. The power of prayer can be described in a whole other post but in a nutshell it’s where you begin not end. Start with prayer, start with silence and listen for direction. It will come and with that go, RUN, and make a difference in the life of someone you may have never imagined coming in contact with. It can happen. It will happen and someone’s life in addition to yours will be better because of it. Let’s make the world a better place one person/situation at a time.