I Love You...Even If...

8:48 AMHeather

Oh so many years ago (21 as of September 9th, to be exact), I started dating this super cute and fun and amazing guy.  Honestly, I'd crushed on him for a few months, but he had a girlfriend.  Operative word being HAD.  And, so, as the Lord would have it, we went out.  And four days later, we had a DTR talk.  You know--Define The Relationship.  We dodged a bullet there because we agreed that we did NOT want to be in a relationship. Period.  End of story.  

Ironic, isn't it?  Because, as they say, the rest is history.  I can distinctly remember about 4 months into our non-dating relationship, I had a shocking realization.  Chris was not perfect.  I know! I could hardly believe it myself.  Because I was so head-over-heels with this guy that I was not dating but with whom I spent every free moment.  I could just hardly believe he was putting up with me.  And then, I realized that he had some faults.  Minor ones, of course.  But, there they were.  I can vividly remember sitting in my bedroom at my apartment at Baylor and mulling this over.  As I sat there on my bed thinking it through, I had a very distinct thought.  I believe it was that still small voice of God nudging me.  "So, what are you going to do about this?  Are any of these things deal-breakers?  Because you have to decide.  Choose to love him even if these things never change...or decide it's time to walk away."

Obviously, y'all are NOT kept in suspense as to what happened--seeings how I married the guy and gave birth to his children and all. But, I think I realized at that fork in the road that something was different THIS time.  Because THIS time, I chose to love.  I chose to pursue it to wherever it led.  I knew there was something incredible about Chris, so worth everything I might commit to him. And, thank the Lord that I did!  I made a very distinct and clear choice to push on, accepting Chris for who he was.  While I had a feeling that he might be THE ONE, I didn't know for sure that I would indeed love him till death do us part.  

While I was camping out in Psalm 103 today, this whole situation came to mind.  I was reading verses 13-18:

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.   

Here's the thing.  God knows our faults and weaknesses and shortcomings even better than we do.  He sees it all.  He knows our lives are but fleeting days on this earth.  He knows our stubbornness and our tendencies because he knows exactly how we are formed--all the good, the bad and the ugly.  

And, He, too, stood at a crossroads.  Are any of our faults deal-breakers?  Could He love us--even if these things didn't change?  Could he accept us, warts and all?  And, He answered a resounding YES when He sent His son to die on the cross so that our sins could be removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  In fact, His love is so big that it's hard to even comprehend--it's from EVERLASTING to EVERLASTING, pouring out on generations to come after us.  

INTENTIONAL challenge:  I don't know about you, but I all too often focus on my failings instead of God's love.  I see my shortcomings instead of resting in His great love.  I am realizing again and again lately that I don't really KNOW and believe Him for his great love.  That is why I don't always live like I'm loved.  Oh, that I could grasp how wide, how deep, how long, how high the Father's love for me is (Ephesians 3:18)!  I am asking Him to help me grasp it--to let me float in the ocean of his unending love--and be changed by the reality of how great His love for me is...even if.

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