If I need to say it again, I will. I’m madly in love with her.
The problem is, that is the hardest part. When you love someone and they just don’t love you back. And really, please don’t tell me: “Oh, you’ve got it wrong, she does love you.” Or, “Oh, she’ll come around.” Because while all those things are well and good — even possibly true:
It does not make it any easier today.
Don’t feel all sorry for me either- Really, I’m fine. You see, this is the beauty of an unrequited love… It keeps you close to the feet of Jesus. How could it not? The story of Jesus IS unrequited love.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.“
So when she tells me she hates me or hates the color of my skin, the family she’s in or the past she remembers, it hurts. When she says she’d rather be in foster care or she was in jail like her mom, it hurts. Yes, for years you can let is pass as the “adoption adjustment period” but there comes a point in this human life where you simply have to fight harder against a hard heart.
Like the mother you can never please, or the husband who never fully loves or appreciates. The boss who never compliments or the friend who never follows through. The teenager who tells you they hate you or the wife who has cheated time and time again because your love just “isn’t the same as his”.
Dearest friend, hear me say this. To my own heart: listen closely…
It is worth it.
To love fully, even when hurt is the example of Jesus. No matter your religion of christian faith, we can agree on the same thing: the heart of the Jesus story is hurt. The story of Jesus’ life is a life of pain and constant betrayal.
Yes. I know, we tend to say, “I am following the will of God, why does this hurt so bad?”
Friends. When did we start to believe that following the ways of the cross would be easy and painless? The ways of the cross are not easy but they are full of worth.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
So when she wakes up and decides she still doesn’t love you, possibly not even love a single person in the world today: you choose to love.
Each day is different. For me, this day: I choose to help her find beauty in her different skin.
For my girl who has a color she hates and hair that reminds her of her past, I choose to help her find beauty. I look straight into her eyes and say, “The way God made you was perfect. We are all different and you should never be ashamed.”
Hoping one day, it’ll break down the walls of insecurity and she’ll fall into the saviors arms knowing she is wonderfully and beautifully made: no matter where she’s come from or where her story started. Like we used to hold her and tell her we loved her and we were never letting her go- one day we trust those chains will be broken and she’ll stand taller and stronger knowing she has overcome. Because someone chose to love.
Some days, it just becomes a choice: I will love even though it is hard. Do not grow weary because it is hard, friends. Of course it is hard. After all, loving someone who loves you back is such a simple task. Choosing to love is a hard and holy thing.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
I’ll come back to this time and time again. I always do. How quickly we forget the simple message of love. That.love.is.merciful.
I know, to think of children or spouses, co workers or friends as enemies is taboo but I’m only spilling my human heart. When someone doesn’t show kindness or favor, it can be hard to love. When you love them unconditionally and they just don’t love you back: the pain can be immeasurable. You know the way you start looking at them just a tad bit different, maybe not smile quite the same… oh, the temptation to pull back on the reigns of mercy and protect your heart can be so strong.
But this, I think on this: how many times has my savior held me so sweetly and spoken those same words, I’m not giving up on you. Or how many times has he looked deep into my cold eyes and seen beauty?
May you seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God this hard, hard road called: grace.
Choosing right alongside you,
Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.
Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there
= / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.