"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Journey into Love

I am a fan of collecting quotes from all sorts of sources with which I have been helped in shaping my understanding of words we often toss around but often with no real meaning attached.

Emily Bronte said; “Bliss like thine is bought by years, dark with torment and with tears”.

If I could characterize the month of October, it would be like this > it was a month of tears; of sorrow and joy, a month of having my eyes opened in greater degree to people around me. It’s been a month of bliss down in my soul spilling out at times good and times inconvenient, spilling out in words and in tears, overflowing from a heart too full to contain either the sorrow or the joy of love.

It was a month of changes; most unexpected, some difficult, some grand but all good.

Things mourned were things that God alone knows the worth right now, but I will reap the rewards in days and years to come. God however, reaps the reward now as there is greater love in my heart, mostly for Him but also to share with the people who are in my life and will be in my life in days and years ahead.

It’s nothing I haven’t known and understood for years, but we all know the value of having our ‘head’ knowledge drop those 18” down into our heart where real changes are made.

Love is to be shared, given out freely, no strings attached, no expectations, just joyfully given. Not given because they deserve it or earned it; not given because I love them or because they love me. Love is to be given, with joy and gratefulness and a full heart because I have been loved with joy and from a heart that is love. It has been given to me with no expectations, given not because I earned it or deserve it, just loved because the One loving me IS Love and He shares it freely and He shares it fully; no matter when, no matter what, no matter . . . . just given.

Mother Teresa said, “You love until there is pain, you love through the pain until all that remains is love”. We who love our own comfort will be uncomfortable with this saying of hers, but it is what real love is about, giving and doing for others at our own expense, if we 'feel' it or not.

William Shakespeare said in Sonnet 116, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no, it is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. It is the star to every wand’ring bark, whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.”

“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.” Think on these quotes and you will find that so much of what the world calls love, is not! In a world that turns away and runs at the first sign of personal pain, a world which is characterized by ‘if it doesn’t feel good don’t do it, walk away, live for yourself and do what pleases you.’ A world that falls into and out of love till it mocks the very word and meaning of love. It’s a world that has no idea what the real meaning of love is.

As God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit have all loved one another for forever, that is how I will love. As I allow the Triune God to love me in all Their fullness, this is how I will be changed to love. 

Love is what characterizes God, love is what will characterize me.

I am my Father’s daughter.

One last quote by C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket; safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.”
The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is . . . . Hell.”

I would suggest a great many people are living in their own personal 'hell' far removed from love, either by their own choosing to protect themselves from further hurt or from the actions of others against them. That is a very painful place to be. But it doesn't have to end there because John 3:16 gives us the hope and the promise that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have eternal life." A life lived forever in the presence of LOVE, forever and ever and ever.

Here’s to this Journey into love that we are on. Each journey follows a different path but every journey, if we follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, will lead us to the heart of God the Father.
I bless you in this most important journey of your life.

. . . . Girl on her own Journey of learning to be loved and learning to love.
As the Father is, so shall I be!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Train Wrecks, Plans and Choices

Why did I ever think for one moment that just because I wanted a certain life and spent all my time and energies working toward it that I would get it? 

Who does that work for anyway?

Who did that work for in the Bible??

Did it work for Moses who grew up believing he was the son of Pharaoh’s Daughter, but was exiled to the desert? I wonder what his thoughts were as he wandered in the desert those many days?

Did it work for David who was a lowly shepherd and thought that was likely his life’s work?

Did it work for Jeremiah, Joseph, Amos, Paul or any of the other disciples?

Did it work for my brother-in-law who lost the love of his life when she died in her 40’s??

Is it working for anyone? I know it’s not working all that well for me, at least not yet! Nor for a good many people I know.

When you enter into Christendom and take Jesus as your LORD, you basically kiss away the life you planned for, you say goodbye to your hopes, dreams and desires. What you always hoped your life would be, won’t. What you always dreamed of being, of doing, won’t. And, what you always planned for, won’t either.

What you are left with looks nothing like you ever thought it would be.

What you are left with is “the great unknown” and thus you enter a life of faith, of walking one step at a time into that unknown, at least unknown to me.

What you are left with is brokenness, tragedy, hopelessness and despair.

So where’s the hope? Where’s the healing, where’s the redemption in the midst of the tragedies of life?

If you end the story here, well just take me home to heaven now please! But, if you have put your life into the hands of a heavenly Father who loves us and wants what’s best for us, 
 then you, moment by moment, put your hand in His and walk beside the One who said He would never leave you nor forsake you. The One who said He loves you with an everlasting love, the One who has given you gifts and who created you to do good works which He planned beforehand for you to walk in.

He is the One who knows your future, THAT is Who and Where you find your hope! Certainly not in anything of this life.

What you have is a new life, a life of faith which is the greatest adventure you will ever take.

Yes, it’s unknown, but the Guide of the adventure is not unknown, He is the Lover of your soul, the Author and Finisher of your life, He knows the beginning and the end of your days, has counted every hair on your head (even the ones which have fallen out) and He has collected every tear you have ever cried.

This Guide knows exactly each step you will take, what each day will bring and each twist of the path and each boulder that will get in your way. BUT! He will help you navigate the twists and turns and He will help you either climb over the boulders or walk around them.

The thing is, and here's the 'choice' part, we can either sit and bemoan our wretched lives or whine that it’s not what we ever wanted and waste the days set before us.

OR, we can enter into the adventure of a lifetime and look at each day with anticipation and excitement. "What will this day be like?"

We can slip our hand into His hand, keep step with Him (He knows the way after all) or we can walk ahead of Him and trip over something and get hurt, or lag behind Him grumbling and complaining “this isn’t the way I want to go”.

Well . . . . who said we get to choose anyway?? If we trust our lives to Him, then we trust the way He is taking us is the best way. Because He created us, He must know! The God of the entire universe, the God who created everything wants to personally be involved in our lives, lead and guide us on this grand adventure! He is Sovereign GOD, who are we to argue with Him?

Did arguing with God work for Jonah? I believe he sat in the belly of a fish while he argued his point!

Did arguing or thinking he knew best work for King Saul?? Ahhh, nope, didn’t work for him either! 
When the disciple John’s father Zebedee questioned God he lost his voice!

A good many people in the Bible tried to argue with Him, I don’t read where it worked for anyone! 

The thing is, arguing with God doesn’t work for any of us. 
It certainly hasn’t worked for me!

My stubborn self thinks it knows, but is sadly deceived and must daily, or minute by minute, be brought back into trusting that God knows best. 

Ha ha, I just thought of an old TV show I watched as a kid, Father Knows Best!! 
Well in the life of those who have trusted Jesus as Saviour, Father actually DOES know best and that’s what I need to remember.

The enemy of our lives seeks only to steal, kill and destroy. He will do whatever he can to keep us from trusting God as our Father, and his biggest lie is that we can’t trust God. 

He will discourage us every step of the way if we allow him. But hold on tight to the One who gave His life for you, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus for He will not steer you wrong! He gave His whole life to save you so why not trust Him to look after the life He saved?

Just so you know, I wrote these thoughts because I needed to immortalize them for future reference (probably daily) when I am discouraged by my life. 

The truth is, most days when I think outside of God’s love for me, I think of my life as a twisted train wreck and daily I try to remember that He has not forgotten me, that He has not left my side for even a nano-second and He has a plan for my life. A plan for good and not for evil, a plan to prosper me and I need to encourage myself with those, and other truths. 

I need to remember to keep my eyes on Jesus rather than on ME or on the circumstances of my ‘train-wreck’ life and get God's perspective.

God bless you on the journey you are on. I hope that by sharing my thoughts you are encouraged you if you need it but also hope it lets you know you are not alone and we gather strength from each others’ lives when we share our stories and struggles.

Girl on an exciting, adventure-filled Journey with God