If you read Love's Mess Factor on Monday, you were reminded with me that many times love and life involve some mess. Love doesn't run from the mess, but that doesn't make it easy to love. Valentines Day is over, but I'm guessing that if you felt some mess "pre-Valentines Day," you're probably still living in it.
I love to love people who love me. You? Sometimes it's harder to love than others, which is why Jesus asked, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them" (Luke 6:32).
My friend Patty has experienced some of the unexpected and unwanted mess of love and life, but she has done some beautiful things for love in the midst of it. I want you to hear from her how she's come to love, even in the hard places. Maybe it will encourage you in your hard places, too.
I still remember the wave of emotions. The fear, the insecurity, the overwhelming sense of failure. The weight of this unexpected circumstance seemed unbearable. Without God, it would have destroyed me.
I’d been praying ever since he had declared his “I’m 18 independence” and walked out of our home. The day was here ... my son had returned home. However, nothing could have prepared me for the words he spoke ... “I met a girl. She’s pregnant.” It was one of those moments when you know nothing will ever be the same.
In the days, weeks, and months that followed, my husband and I met and embraced the young woman carrying our grandchild. We also initiated contact with her parents. We prepared and planned, and finally met our beautiful little granddaughter on the day of her birth. It was head-over-heels love at first sight! I wish I could say we all lived happily ever after. I can not.
The relationship did not survive between my son and his daughter’s mother. Over the years, there have been many struggles associated with sharing a child born outside of marriage. Including a very long, and expensive battle for my son to secure his parental rights. It ended with “the popular, new solution” to these types of messes - joint custody. One week with mom, one week with dad.
This brought new struggles. Including a love / hate struggle between our granddaughter’s mother and me. At times she was as close as a daughter; other times she was my greatest enemy. Many times, her family (including my granddaughter) have been unable to even speak of me in her presence. It rips my heart out. I can only imagine what it does to my sweet girl. Two of the women she loves most in the world, and she’s unable to speak of one to the other.
Do I ever get angry? You better believe it. But I take my anger to God. I ask Him to allow me to see her actions through His eyes. That’s what I do for love. I allow God to use me as an instrument of His grace. And I am able to continue loving my granddaughter’s mother.
Make no mistake ... I would never have chosen this path for anyone! It is not an easy path. Yet I trust my Jesus to protect my granddaughter. I trust Him to use this mess for her good and for His glory. And (of course) I pray, pray, pray.
1 John 4:7-9
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
Are you in place hard to do something out of love? If we're honest, most of us have a place in our lives that's a "hard place" in terms of love. I love it that Patty said she takes her deepest feelings to God, asks for His perspective, and lets Him use her. And He helps her love. Great advice from a friend who knows what it means to do something hard ... for love.