Loving Deeply

  If I were to summarize what following Jesus looks like in one phrase, it would be: to love others well.   Loving others is easier said than done. Loving others takes time. Loving others is selfless. Loving others is work. But, it’s so worthwhile. To step into another’s shoes is a beautiful thing. It teaches you. It molds you. When you experience life with others, you open up the opportunity to grow and learn even more. Sometimes, loving others looks like sitting in the quiet with nothing to say but arms open for a hug. Sometimes, loving others looks like going the extra mile to be nice and forgive when someone has wronged you. It looks like turning the other cheek. Sometimes, loving others looks like refusing to slander another person. It looks like stopping yourself from making a joke at another’s expense. I’m learning the power of loving people where they are at — sitting in the immaturity — sitting in the ignorance — sitting in the poor decisions — sitting in the victories — sitting in the pit — sitting in the brokeness — sitting in the struggle — sitting in the confusion — sitting in the frustration — sitting in the hurt. 
“When you choose to love someone who is damaged…you take on the weight of 
their past,
their pain,
their guilt.
You must be strong. You must be patient. 
You can stop the bleeding…and help them scar over, But they will always, always be a little broken. 
If you can handle that…
If you can accept the dents and cracks…
If you can get them to trust you…
you will never find a better ally than one who is damaged. 
Above all else: they know about survival. After all, they are still here…”
    I love this. Everyone is a little bit cracked and broken. If you haven’t experienced something in your life that has left a scar, you haven’t experienced much of life yet. To truly live means to fail – to be hurt, but to triumph. The more I learn this and the more I learn to love in these times, the more passionate I become about becoming a counselor. I love helping people. I love listening. I love seeing victory. But what about when you aren’t seeing victories? What about when you are frustrated with God. How do you lean in to Him in the hard times? How do you keep pushing into him? How do you encourage your friends? These are all still things I’m learning. I honestly don’t know. Beth Moore says, “Sometimes we stand to learn the most about God from the situations we understand the least.” There’s so much truth in that quote. Today, I’m leaning into that. God is present. God loves us, and he loves well, and I will continue to try and love others in the way that he loves us. Love others well.          
     Loving others well also means loving those who were once so easy to love but then walked away. This is, to me, the hardest thing to do – they are the hardest to love. It’s one thing to forgive them, but being able to love them is nearly impossible. But we are called to love them – and love them well. This challengs me a lot, and hopefully it will challenge you too. Take time to really think deeply about
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