Friday, March 15, 2013

God is...

Love is patient, love is kind.

I have the words written on an index card and placed above my kitchen sink so that I can read them as often as I stand there to wash dishes and fill water cups.  My hope is that the more I read them, the more  likely the words will seep deep into my soul and perhaps become easier to carry out.

In fact, love is many things.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails...  {1 Corinthians 13:4-8}

I have tried, over the last several years, to focus on this Scripture, specifically in terms of how I love, whether it be my husband, my children, or my friends.  It's an extensive list of what love should look like, how it should behave, and to be quite honest, I fall short in several of the characteristics.  Especially in the patience part.

The past few weeks have been internally difficult for me.  I've reached a point in grieving my mother in which I don't talk about it much.  There's lots of thinking about it and praying about it, but not a lot of verbal communication with anyone about how much I miss her.  I find it hard to discuss it for a multitude of reasons.  Life has moved on,  No one in my life wants to focus so deeply on one specific loss.  To be frank, it doesn't mean as much to anyone else in the world as it does to me, the loss of my mother.  My dad grieves as deeply as I do (most likely more), but his experience is still so different from mine.  Grief is so personal and unique that I have come to feel it's a sacred experience that I would rather not share with anyone.  And so I feel I have slipped into a numb place... I don't want to feel anything at all, and my intimacy with God has become stagnant.  It's still there, but it is neither growing or shrinking, just the same.

My internal thoughts have been, "He must be really irritated with me... I haven't been spending as much time with Him as I should, my attitude is crappy, I am too sad... I am annoyed with myself, so surely He is annoyed with me."

Love is patient, love is kind.

The other day, I stood over my sink, rinsing and placing items in the dishwasher.  I glanced up to see the words on that index card, the reminder of how my love should be to those around me, and something inside me said, "God is love."

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  {1 John 4:7-8}

God is love.  God is patient, God is kind.  God is not easily angered.  He keeps no record of wrongs.  God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  God never fails.

In that moment, He whispered to me, "Sweet girl, I am not irritated with you.  I am here.  I am patient.  I believe in you.  I love you."

You see, I had been reading 1 Corinthians as a flat, one dimensional concept: this Scripture shows how I should love those around me.  But, in reality, not only is it how I should love my husband, my children, my co-inhabitants on this earth, but it's how God loves me.

It's how God loves me.  And you.

Isn't that amazing?

For the first time in a while, I took a deep breath.  Two full lungs of oxygen in followed by a heavy exhale.  This sacred experience I am going through, grieving the loss of my mother, my friend, my confidant, can only be completely shared with and understood by my Father in heaven.  And He loves me.  He is patient with me.  He will not give up on me ever.  Even in the midst of grief that has caused a numbness in my soul.  He will wait for me.

As I type these words, I feel His love in such a different way.  And I pray you do, too, as well.


Kelly Stanley said...

"He will not give up on me ever. Even in the midst of grief that has caused a numbness in my soul. He will wait for me. "

Ahh... So true, and so wonderful. It's a lesson I'm in the middle of learning, too. Amazing how you captured so many of my thoughts in this post. Praying for you as you learn to walk with Him in this new way — praying for all of us — and that's exactly what it is, a numbness in my soul. Bless you, Tamara.

Nana's Notes said...

We who love you here on Earth will not give up on you either...