Monday, March 28, 2011

unconditional love.

Unconditional love.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses,made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Galatians 2:4-7

The theme of unconditional love has been coming to mind a lot lately, thanks to the Holy Spirit. Its hard for me to even begin to try to understand it but I felt the need to write what has been on my heart about it lately.

Unconditional: not limited by conditions; absolute: an unconditional promise.

Last night Katelyn and I were driving home form spending time with our Haitian family in Oneonta and we were talking about unconditional love and what exactly that would look like. We talked about how we feel we love someone unconditionally but then truly don’t realize what that means. There are connections made in this world spiritually that no human being can ever understand, but I can tell you that the Spirit inside of me has definitely understood the Lord’s goodness and His unfailing love.

As the Spirit draws closer to my heart and as I learn to be one with the Spirit all of the time, I learn to appreciate every moment in life. Yesterday afternoon I received a call from my friend Kayla and after calling her back we spent an hour out of our busy bustling lives to be one in the Spirit and feel as if the Kingdom of Heaven had come down into our conversation. The Spirit is so jealous for these moments and I have been receiving them so often lately, but this particular one made me pause and think about the greatness of the Lord and the love that He has shown us. We talked about being married to Christ and what that would mean for the rest of our lives: things we would have to sacrifice and suffer through, and then the joy that comes from knowing it is all for His glory not our own. O what it would be to be forgotten in this world except for Christ that He may receive all glory for all of these precious moments He gives us. After being completely in the Spirit and completely madly in love with the Lord while on the phone with Kayla, I was drawn back to reality after hanging up, yet still feeling the ever presence of the Spirit. So anyway, after spending time in Oneonta and driving back to Birmingham, the Lord was challenging me to question whether I could truly say that I love Catinie unconditionally. I was made aware of the very few relationships that I have where I would legitimately love that person no matter what he or she did to me. I was challenged to think of the cost of being one in Christ and to die for His glory, I was challenged to name the people in my life who I would give my life for, and it made me reflect on the relationships in my life where there has been a connection made that has not ever been made with any other single human being. The connection I made with Jasmine in Haiti is one that I will never understand, and every time I think about it I just see the Lord in all of His greatness ordaining each and every one of my steps, and Catinie and how unnatural it is for me to love a 6 year old little girl as much as I love her, and then there is this strange but BEAUTIFUL friendship with Kayla. We met in the craziest way, but I am so blessed that she got the nerves to introduce herself to me, and the rest is history ☺ It means no matter what Kayla does or says that the sibling bond we have can NEVER EVER be separated just as we can never be separated from Christ after believing in His sacrifice. So maybe that’s just it, maybe after fully giving my life to Christ every single aspect small and large then He begins to give us these automatic spiritual connections with people. And then there is Simon, a little boy I met about 2 years ago while visiting his village: Buloba in the bush of Uganda. We spent 6 days in the little village and every moment Simon and I had together he was either holding my hand, riding on my back, or I was teaching him English through the bible. My heart has been attached to him ever since I left Uganda 2 years ago, and I have been praying for a moment to see him again ever since then. Anyway, while we were driving home last night I looked at my facebook and noticed my friend Amanda had written on my fb wall that Simon was in Auburn and that he asked about me. I immediately felt tears come to my eyes and my heart dropped to my stomach. I was so upset that I had missed an opportunity to see him, so the wheels started turning and I tried to get Amanda’s phone number from her to get in touch with the family whose house Simon was staying at. It was 10:30 pm I had just gotten home and I felt the Lord pushing me to make the 2 hour trek to Auburn so I could see Simon today. As tired as I was it didn’t matter how far away Simon was, my heart was pulling me to see that precious boy. After praising the Lord all the way to Auburn in order to stay awake, I arrived safely at Kelli’s front door and fell asleep in amazement that it was a Sunday night and I was in Auburn. This morning I woke up and headed to Cornerstone church to see Simon. Right when I pulled up he was getting out of his host family’s car and I ran up to him and yelled his name and immediately we embraced. There are few moments in life when I can easily envision the angels rejoicing at a human relationship, but I have no doubt that in this moment there were angels surrounding us jumping up and down praising God for how He ordained that moment. His goodness just never fails, and right when we think we understand Him He throws an incredible moment like that into our path, and we realize that only by His grace and His mercy, can we have the most joyful life we could ever dream of. Despite the sorrow, despite the trials, despite the suffering and persecution, our God is still a GOOD God. All I can do is to let my flesh die and let the Spirit rain, and recognize that there is no other place in the world that I would rather be then completely in the will of the Lord so that I can be a part of His story and experience His vastness, His expansion to the ends of the earth. He is moving rapidly, and I am blessed beyond belief to be given the privilege to walk within His will and hold His hand in remembrance that He truly is the unconditional Lover of my life, and I became aware of my unconditional love for Him as my Husband, my Beloved, my Savior, My Rock, my Redeemer, my Brother, my Friend, my Life. Man, HE LEGITIMATELY IS MY EVERYTHING, and I must praise Him for eternity!

For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called. Isaiah 54:5

But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him"— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20