True Love Hurts
She bailed again! I had changed my schedule for her twice even knowing that one of those times she didn’t have a legit excuse. And actually… I tend to be pretty gracious in this regard but it had hit a sore spot. I knew the real reason I was so angry was because she had communicated to me time and again by her actions that I didn’t really matter to her and it hurt. I should have walked away from this relationship a long time ago. I was so done… until I had a conversation with God that sounded something like this…
God: Will you do something for me?
God: Will you love her outrageously? Like, look for ways to be excessive?
Me: Yeah, no! She doesn’t deserve it. I’m not a doormat.
God: Do you think I’m a doormat?
Me: No God, I just think you’re extremely special and gifted in this area.
God: Do you believe that I live in you?
Me: Yes. I can see where this is going… what if I don’t want to?
God: Will you do it for me?
Me: *sigh* Yes… I will do it for you.
God: Good! Then we can work out a few kinks in you too.
Me: Whaat?! I thought I’d be getting serious brownie points right now. Back that up. What kinks do we need to work out in me… and how much is this going to hurt?
God: Relationships do hurt sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I’m not at work. If you do all things as unto me, I promise you it will be worth it in the end. Are you ready? This is gonna be good!
And so… when God prompted, I followed. He planted beautiful ideas of how to best love her in my heart and I got over myself enough to let Him have His way. Yes, He did a miracle in two hearts and that relationship has become a beautiful testament of His power… because honestly, this girl and I had more reasons to be enemies than friends. And today, she is someone I can laugh with, cry with and receive hard truth from… she is iron that sharpens me.
But this story isn’t over.
Shortly thereafter, I felt God nudging me again. Except for this time, the recipient was worse! I wasn’t just hurt by this person, I was pretty sure I didn’t like them at all. And I didn’t really believe the redemption would be as worthwhile. I toiled within myself for a few days, because although I could plainly see this was what God was leading me to do, I didn’t feel as strongly that I had to. I was distinctly aware that it was my choice. Finally, one night over dinner, I told my husband my decision. I was going to extravagantly and excessively love this person whom I didn’t really like. And I was all prepped and ready for a nice little pat on the back. So, you can imagine my shock, when he just sighed and looked deep into my eyes and responded by saying, “So, when are you going to start treating me better than your crappy friends?”
In a moment, I knew he was right. In a moment, I realized that this cross that God kept prompting me to carry wasn’t temporary. It wasn’t something I could be picky and choosy with. If I was going to take up this cross and follow Him, it would be heavy and awkward and painful all the time. And just as the weight of this decision felt like more than I could handle, I heard His voice once more. “You are right… it will be a long, hard road. But I am familiar with long, hard roads… and crosses. And I assure you, I will carry the majority of the burden for you. I just actually, desperately need you to say yes… to be my hands and feet.”
Here is the truth friends… our weaknesses hurt one another. Because we are all a little bit broken…. and broken pieces pierce. And the only way to healing is the love that God leads us in to. When we hurt one another it is as if we are hurting our own body. When we bring about healing for another it is as if we are healing our own body. Broken pieces can pierce… or they can chisel… and give us opportunity to be better crafted into His image.
Maybe we should ask ourselves some hard questions.
How often is our love inconvenient?
How often does it hurt?
Because… If love doesn’t hurt us sometimes, we’re probably not doing it right.