Paige is one of my dearest friends, and I’m so thrilled for her to be a part of The Well. Her love for the Lord is bigger than she is, and you can see it in every aspect of her life. She truly fears Him, and her joy comes straight from Him alone. Paige is definitely a leader & a woman of example in the Kingdom of God. I’m so thankful to have this Godly (& hilariously sassy at times) friend in my life, and I’m even more excited that you all get the opportunity to know this amazing young woman as well!
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What is love? I’ve asked myself that question on so many occasions and each time I have a different answer.
Love comes in so many forms. I’m going to talk about three different forms of love: love as a choice, love in a romantic fashion, and love from the Father.
In the summer of 2015 I went to Bozeman, Montana where I was with a program called Summer Job Project. While I was there, I learned that love is a simple choice. I know it sounds so generic and easy, but I had never viewed it in such a way. I watched 26 students and leaders live in harmony with each other under the same roof for three months. We were able to do this because we woke up each morning choosing to love one another, and let me tell you it wasn’t hard! Ha shocker, right? When you choose to love, life is so much sweeter and fun. I have never seen anything like it. I had never experienced friendships like I did when I was there and it taught me that I can be friends with anyone; whoever they are I just have to choose to love them. Think about how much better your life would be if you decided to love. It can be so effortless whereas hating someone takes a lot of energy and wasted time. Just think, when you’re angry with someone they consume your thoughts, bring unnecessary pain, and could ruin your day with just one sentence. But you could use that time enjoying your day, letting nothing get in your way, and allowing joy to fill your life. Now don’t let me fool you, there have definitely been times when I couldn’t stand someone and wasted a lot of valuable time thinking about how to get back at them. However, I know that when I choose to love instead of hate, my life reaches a new level of contentment.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:12-13
Now, we have all heard of this next love I’m about to discuss and that of course is romantic love. I have only fallen in love once and I can remember exactly when it happened and how it made me feel. I recall an overwhelming joy that filled my heart and how I longed to be with that person all the time. It’s truly amazing how love can transform a person and draw them to do things they never imagined doing. But that’s what happens when you fall madly in love. Therefore, remember that love is very powerful and can indeed make us do things unimaginable. I am a total guru when it comes to love and so I’ve read like a thousand books (might be a bit of an exaggeration) on what a Godly relationship should look like and in those books I have read testimony after testimony that if you put yourself in a tempting situation that you will more than likely fall; it happens to the best of us. We’re caught up in the moment and all walls come down and we do things that we will later regret. I know I may sound old fashioned in these days, but I don’t care! I truly believe that a man and woman should wait until marriage to give themselves to one another. It’s such a beautiful and sacred thing that shouldn’t be given to just anyone. Please don’t misunderstand me, I do not condemn anyone who has had sex outside of marriage, but I hope to inspire you to think about waiting for your future spouse. A word of advice my pastor once said [that I will never forget], “How far would you want someone to go with your future spouse?” I know I personally wouldn’t want another woman sleeping with my future husband. So remember, love is a very precious thing, so don’t take it for granted.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…” -Hebrews 13:4
The last love I want to discuss is the Father’s love. Now, I know that I said I had only fallen in love once… Well, I was talking romantically. The first time that I truly fell in love was with the Father. I remember the day I realized that I needed to give everything to God, and from that day on everything changed in my life. Something I have truly struggled with is letting God love me, I can’t explain it but I put up a wall from letting Him love me to His full extent. I am still opening up and letting God love me more and more each day… I don’t want to limit the love that He can show me and I urge you to do the same. Once I open up my heart and let Him love me, I can feel His sweet presence and watch Him work in my life. A lady once told me, “Think and ask how you could possibly ravish the love of the Creator and He will reveal the truth to you.” I am still working on this & I encourage you to do the same. God’s love for us is so precious. The fact that He will love us regardless of how many time we mess up and no matter what we have done in our past is absolutely incredible! Take a moment and think about someone who has wronged you over and over again. How long would you put up with them? Honestly, I wouldn’t want to forgive them anymore, but God’s grace for us is endless. He shows His mercy on us daily. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I mess up on a daily basis, but in His eyes I am blameless… How is that even possible!? I really can’t tell you but I am so grateful for His relentless love for us.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” -2 Corinthians 5:18-19
As I wrap things up, I hope that you will walk away from this post choosing to love those who may not deserve it, love passionately but cautiously, and let the love of God ravish your heart.