This week is all about love.
In my life I’ve experienced tremendous, extravagant love. Coming from a large, close family of origin and then raising four humans, least to mention the friends and fur kids that enhance our experiences, that’s easy for me to say.
The flip side of that coin is I’ve also experienced innumerable disappointments, tragedies, more pain and heartache than most everyone I’ve known along my way. Whether measured, like on a Richter Scale, counting the scars on my body and my mind or by the number of incidents, the figures are staggering. Experts have told me more than once, “you’re a miracle, even if only by surviving.”
Unlike flipping a coin, in my life love wins every time.
For a long time, any form of love barely stood a chance with me. Out of fear and ignorance I couldn’t trust that goodness actually existed in the world. But God sent the right people at the perfect times to break through my fortress before I self-destructed.
Even now I can’t boast about my checking account balance, properties or an 800+ credit score. Writing about the unfortunate, cruel and some nefarious events I survived would shock most people, disgust many and enrage some. I suspect a new list of such things would cause many readers to miss the greatness I’ve experienced, the joys, the heroes in my life, and especially the love.
Much like scores of survivors, those before me and those to come, I’d be pretty arrogant to consider myself more than any other human. Some of the moments of my life that I wish I could do over all happened when I felt most alone and deprived. And who wants to relive that? While I did the best I could, that doesn’t make a great person. It makes us humble, and I’m real good with that.
Of all creatures humans are an amazingly complicated species. We are profoundly affected by elements like weather and toxins, with variables from our gene pools, our histories, present experiences, pain, comfort, affluence and more. Combine all that with circumstances, each and every person is absolutely unpredictable from moment to moment.
I’m also convinced an unmistakable distinction in people is in their response to the presence of God’s Spirit.
Now, I am certainly no Joan D’Arc, Corrie Ten Boom or Mother Theresa. Nobody would mistake my work for that of Anne Graham Lotz, Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore – yet. Not your average, everyday Christian either, I’ve narrowed my bio to that of a loving, seasoned over-comer, a grandmother and a yet-obscure writer/blogger. But I’ve learned one thing above all else is most important. Just one:
Love is a choice.
Once we get Love firmly planted in our souls, nurturing it, feeding it more of God’s love from the Source, His Word, it takes over in the most marvelous ways; forgiveness flows, envy ebbs, offenses lose their grip on us and we stop taking ourselves too seriously. We learn to love God, so we can love ourselves and better love others. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I’m living proof love wins.
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)