Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chosen Love

I heard the heartache in my best friend’s voice, “We had to hospitalize our son last night.  He was threatening violence.”  I could feel the pain and anguish through the phone lines and my heart went out to her.

My dearest friend is living day in and day out with an incredibly difficult situation.  Times without number she has felt that God has asked her to handle situations that are beyond what she can bear.  And yet, every time I see God’s grace exhibited in her life and in the life of her son.

Seven years ago, she and her husband chose to love a young boy that was not their own.  They welcomed him into their family and he became theirs.  He immediately had all the privileges of a son – love, care, family vacations, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and cousins, wealth and most of all he was able to learn about God and His love for him.

(Isn’t that what God did for us!  He chose us to be His own children and welcomed us into the family with all the rights as an heir.  We hold the same privileges as His Son, Jesus. “But when the right time came, God sent His Son . . . God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children . . . Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.  And since you are His child, everything He has belongs to you.”  Galatians 4:4-5, 7)

This journey has not been easy, in fact I know she would say that it is, hands down, the hardest thing she has ever done or will do.  And there is no guarantee of the future.

You see, their little boy, even though he has been given this amazing gift of love, cannot accept it.  His past and the things that happened to him before he came to live with them have scarred his life and are holding him captive.  He is unable to embrace this love, to bask in its warmth and to allow its light to shine in his life.  He has built a fortress around his heart and to let that love in is too frightening and threatening for him.  He wants the love and is drawn to it but then pulls away because it threatens to break down his defenses.

As I watch this gifted and talented young boy run from true, unfailing, unconditional love, I cannot help but see myself reflected in him.  I do this very thing with God.  I am His chosen child and I want His love, in fact I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame but then I find myself pulling away because His love exposes my innermost being and I don’t like what I see. . .  Why is it so hard to receive pure and undefiled love?  Why does my heart do this yo-yo dance with God?  Why do I allow fear to keep me from completely enjoying and reveling in God’s incredible love? . . . . .

And then I think of my friend and her incredible love for her son.  She has given everything for him.  She loves him unconditionally and no matter how she is treated by him, she continues to give of herself, to endure through the pain and to love unconditionally.

She is my hero!  She is the strongest person I know and she demonstrates God’s great love and incredible patience with him every day 24-7, 365 days a year!  In her weakness I see her strength in God grow and in her brokenness and pain I have seen God bring her unspeakable joy. 

And as I see myself reflected in her son, I see God reflected in her. . . His grace that I did nothing to deserve, His patience when I am obnoxious and hurtful, His love when I am unlovely, His gentle touch when I am hurting and in pain.  That’s how my friend loves her son and that’s how God loves me!

                How great the Father’s love for us
                How vast beyond all measure
                That He should give His only son
                To make a wretch His treasure!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Kristi. This is such a great picture of God's love for us, and also a reminder to me of the love I need to show my kids.

  2. That one paragraph is totally me. I fight this everyday and i can't understand it myself.It's a battle and I can't let go.It probably is that I am afraid of breaking down my defenses and for me its not ok to cry and show weakness so I stay in total turmoil all the time there is no peace. Thanks for writing this article.

  3. God's love is so worth the risk! I will be praying for you, that you will know the joy of basking in His unconditional love, my anonymous friend. :)

  4. Thanks I appreciate you praying for me but I doubt that will ever happen!

  5. I would encourage you to read "In a Pit with a Lion" by Mark Batterson. Good book and might just be the encouragement you need. :)

  6. Thanks I will get it next time I go to the store.

  7. I got the book about 5 hours ago and i am starting the 5th chapter already.

  8. That's awesome!! You will have to let me know what you thought about the book and if it opened any doors in your life. Enjoy your reading, my friend.

  9. Well I was feeling more positive and that I was going to try harder to be a better person and then something happened less than 24 hours later and I fell right back in to old ways. So then I was mad at myself and I didnt pick up the book for a few days but I am going to try again.Why is it so easy to fall back to old ways so fast?

  10. Dear Anonymous,
    Did you know that living the Christian life is impossible? - When we try to live it in our own strength. The only way to live it is to put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in us.

    Paul says in Galatians 5:16-18 16 "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses."

    You are not alone in your struggle my friend, may you look to Jesus who gave His life for you, so that you would know Him and be able to spend all of eternity with Him!

  11. I read the whole book and now I am going threw it and highlighting parts that were helpful to me or made me think! It's gonna be a long hard road and there might be times I just don't want to do it cause its to challengeing but I am gonna try! May need encourageing once in a while but I will not bother you to much.Thanks

  12. Anonymous,
    I've been busy with Christmas and couldn't get back to you. I'm always up for encouraging you and will never consider it a bother. I will be praying for you.

  13. Encouraging words Kristi. I am praying for Anonymous & believe the Lord will bring about the change in their heart that causes them to come to Him as a little child, not questioning His unconditional love for them.