I find that when God is trying to teach me something, it is when I least expect it. And when he does, it is ways that I least expect.
God’s Love has been a topic that has been on my heart for quite a while now. I have gone from knowing about God’s Love, to experiencing his love and knowing more of him. And this has impacted my life in far greater ways than I could have ever imagined.
A few weeks ago, I went to Chi Alpha, a campus ministry that I attended my freshmen year and have missed greatly since. I have attended on and off, very sporadically, during sophomore and junior years, and after the LSAT I will be back again. 🙂
The second I got to Chi Alpha, I felt right at home, as I always have. The campus pastor, Alex Graves, spoke on God’s Love. There was a time when I would hear messages about things such as God’s Love and immediately think, “I know about God’s Love.” But the point I broke away from this mindset changed my life.
It is topics such as these that I had categorized and put in a box. When I was at church, and God’s Love was the message, I would take that box out, revisit the information, and return it to the shelf for later use. This past year, God taught me so much more, outside of that box I had created.
At Chi A that night, I was reminded how important God’s Love is in my life, and how much of an impact God’s Love for me has had for me. One of the things I really like when Alex speaks, is how he connects the message to reality. Our evening began with the question, “When have you not felt God’s Love?” I immediately had a few things that came to mind, namely my childhood.
Coming from a broken home, there are numerous things that didn’t go as they should have, and while I know it happens, I wish no other child to be growing up in the same conditions I did. While my life is at a completely different place now than it was ten years ago, it has been a process to heal and move past some things I’ve been harboring in my heart.
For years, I focused my attention on “giving it all to God,” because after all, God makes all things new. But time after time I would find myself right where I began. My sophomore year of college, I really became connected with the unforgiveness I was hiding within. At that point, my focus shifting to forgiving those in my life who had hurt me. Which also, proved to be difficult. I couldn’t just wake up one day and decide “Today, I’m going to forgive.” No matter how much I wanted to, or how hard I tried, I would find myself right back where I had started.
Specifically, I have focused on forgiving my biological mother. At the same time I was working on forgiving her, I was also working on building a relationship with her. Prior to these past few years, we went for six years with no contact outside of mandated court hearings, where we didn’t really engage with one another, and when we did, it was relatively hostile and unhealthy.
So, here I am thinking I can forgive her, yet when I hear her voice, I would find myself filled with anger and realize I was far from having forgiven her.
I went to a conference in September 2013 where the focal passage was Lamentations 3:19-29, and this passage spoke immensely to me.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my potion; therefore I will wait for him.” (verses 22-24)
“His compassions never fail”–“they are new every morning”. These words liberated me from the cycle of failure I was feeling. “Therefore I will wait for him.” So I waited.
And waiting taught me to really truly trust God and trust in his plan. And this lead me to love. God loved me. God loves me. God will continue to love me. And the same love with which God loves me, he loves my biological mother. God loves her.
And because of God I can love her.
And because of God’s love, the chains of unforgiveness were broken.
So, when Alex, ended the night with asking “When have you felt God’s Love?” While I shared of moments in Costa Rica, God’s love has changed my life. God loving me and allowing me to love has set me free.
“In all things we are more than conquerors through HIM who LOVED us.” Romans 8:37
“We LOVE because HE FIRST LOVED US.” I John 4:19