The rain is falling ever so softly outside my window, my candle illuminating my desk as a type, & I can’t help but feel so wonderfully alive in these small moments. Today, I have been thinking a lot about the concept of sacrificial love. This morning, I was awoken by my mother asking to take my truck to work today because her car had a flat tire. Groggy, & barely comprehending, I said no (because I was going to be using my truck today). I fell back asleep, only to be woken up again by a phone call from my father asking me to call triple A & clear out the back of the van so someone could come & change the tire. Irritated, I hung up the phone & slowly made my way out of bed. As I am preparing myself for the venture outside I get another phone call, this one from my mother, explaining that she needs me to drive the van (after the tire is replaced) to the tire shop so they can replace it. I hung up more agitated than before. I walked outside & started unloading the van, which was so fortunately packed to the brim with recycling & boxes, when the triple A guy arrived. He changed the tire, & left. I loaded the van back up, then hopped in my truck to pick up mom from work. This whole time I am just annoyed, upset that I have to do all this stuff this morning when I had perfectly good plans to head to Starbucks & read my book.
While I drove, I started thinking…& then I started feeling. Bad. Why was I so upset to do these helpful things for my parents? Especially when they have supported & helped me out my whole life. I felt an immediate conviction. After dropping off mom, I got home & decided to make up for my bad attitude by cleaning & organizing the whole house. I guess the scales in my heart are even again.
Moments like these make me overly aware of my faults. By nature, I am selfish. I always want things to be done my way, I don’t like being asked to do things outside of that. And this isn’t a condition that only I suffer from. We all do, in one way or another. As humans we are accustomed to thinking of only ourselves, our needs, our wants. And sometimes we may think what we need or want isn’t bad, so it is hard to comprehend that God does not want us to live for ourselves. But yet this is what we are called to.
With a lot of the new develops in Jeremy’s health, we are entering into unfamiliar territory in our relationship. I, having suffered from abusive relationships in the past, have never been with someone who has cultivated such a healthy bond with me & never for as long as he has. Jeremy, having never been on dialysis this long or dealt with two failed kidneys, does not fully understand where his limits are yet & cannot foresee what is happening day by day. We both know we want to do life together but are completely unsure of what that looks like right now. What is hard, is that Jeremy is in a season of life where he must be thinking of himself first. He cannot take on the burdens of others, he cannot support others, he must remain relaxed & on top of his own care & well-being before anything else. And I am struggling with this. Do I understand it? Yes. Absolutely. & I support it as well. But I am not sure what that means of me. Coming in with the trauma of my past, I have been clinging to the idea of what kind of relationship is healthiest. I have been so cautious, so guarded & setting standards so as not to fall back into the terrible relationships I have been trapped in before.
I have no idea what I am doing.
So, I have been turning to what the Lord has for me. & guess what? I am getting a tough lesson in sacrificial love. God has been working on my heart, helping me to see that Jeremy is not purposefully doing things to hurt me (as my brain so often resorts to thinking), but that he is merely trying to survive. He is helping me by putting me in his shoes, helping me to better understand the day to day that Jeremy deals with. He is revealing to me areas where I can more faithfully fight for him in prayer, & ways that I can encourage & support in a manner that is received as such. He is teaching me how to silence the lies & the doubts that too often creep in, & replace it with truth & trust that what Jeremy says is true (even when he cannot show it with his actions). And so far, it has been very hard. I am selfish by nature remember? To be in a relationship where it has to be one-sided is a little (ok, a lot) tougher than it sounds.
But through this challenge, I have begun to deepen my admiration for my Lord. It blows my mind that He just does this. All of the time. To Him, it IS pretty much one-sided the majority of the time with the majority of His children. Yet He stilled died for us. He still listens to our complaining, He still blesses us, He still shows up, He still pursues, He still sacrificed, He still works in us, even when we have completely turned our backs on Him, even when we slander His name, even when we are mad at Him for no good reason. He just takes all of our mess & then turns it around until we see how deep His love is for us. Here I am struggling to help out the ones that I claim to love, & yet He doesn’t even have to think about it. I am scared entering into this new season in my relationship with Jeremy because I know my human nature too well. In contrast to God’s unconditional commitment to us, well, there really is no comparison. All I can do is bask in the beautiful love that God has for me, & continue to pursue Him above all else; hoping & praying that I can become more like Him, more of the light He created me to be in Jeremy’s life & in others around me.
“Have this in mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Jesus humbled himself in obedience until death for you & for me. He didn’t have to. He had every right, every reason & not to mention the power to do whatever He wanted. Yet He chose this. He chose you & me over any bit of comfort, dignity, power, wealth, you name it. He rejected it. For you. He didn’t have to do this, He wanted to do this. So that we could live a life with His unconditional love. He loved us so much, that He gave up His throne to become the living sacrifice that reconciled us with our Father in heaven. He loves us THAT MUCH! It is just blowing my mind. I have never had much to reference when it came to the relationship we have with God, but then He blessed me with Jeremy & I have learned so much about God’s character, & love through him.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven & on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted & grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth & length & height & depths, & to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
I have made mistakes, & I am going to make so many more, & I am beyond blessed to have not only a God who forgives, but a wonderful man who forgives me also. Thanks for letting me share this with you guys today, it means a lot to me.