This past weekend I got to witness the marriage of a dear friend of mine. And it’s got me thinking a lot about love-not just love in marriage, but friendship type of love in my family of Christ as well of God’s love for me. Love is powerful! No seriously, it is powerful and can change your life. I can tell you this just based on my own life.
God’s love changed my heart and saved my life when I came back to the Lord and really made Him lord of my life the summer before my Senior year of high school. It changed me from continually struggling with suicide to having a purpose and hope. His love continues to change me as I grow in my relationship with Him more. His love is powerful enough to uplift, restore, and give eternal life! I sometimes still have a hard time believing God really does love me. I know it’s true, but I look at my life, my past and based on the conditional love we so often see in the world I have a really hard time wrapping my head around it.
Love from Church Family/family in Christ
This is the one that honestly surprises me and freaks me out the most. It’s one that I’m still growing in and don’t always know how to handle it, but it is powerful! Love from my church family took me from someone who knew she wanted to follow Christ and serve Him, but didn’t really know how to do that. I was someone who was disconnect who saw no real need to form deep close relationships with people, especially in the church. Who kept her emotions, struggles, hurts, and dreams buried where no one could see. She was a girl who wasn’t sure if she wanted kids or even marriage. She wasn’t even sure people were necessary unless reaching the lost. She was content with church hoping, collecting many surface-level friends. She was a woman who thought she should be the head of the house, don’t need a guy, issues with authority, and don’t see it as possible to read and understand the Bible.
Yep, she had issues…errr, I had issues! And I still do, I’m still working through things, but it is because of the love I have seen and experienced by my church family and now ever connecting extended church family that those things above have changed or are changing in my life. That’s powerful! It’s so powerful it honestly terrifies me sometimes. It’s overwhelming when it’s unlike everything you experienced growing up going to a different church almost every Sunday. And the churches we went to longer than a Sunday or two were more often than not really bad experiences. But even when I’ve freaked out, pushed people away, and made a million excuses why I was dropping off the planet they stayed there still loving me.
Their love has helped and is helping me understand God’s love. It has softened the hard wounded parts of my heart, torn down walls, and ultimately continually encourages me to grow closer in my relationship with God. They are there to point me back to God and help me sift through the enemy’s lies so I can realize what is true. Their love and support took a very isolated and unconnected girl and have helped her realize what the family of Christ should look like. Their love has helped me heal and therefore grow more than I have ever thought. Life in the church family isn’t perfect, but the love that is underlying remains and ultimately triumphs!