Thursday, February 9, 2012

When Love Looks Different

What if love looks different than we expect or imagine?

What if love is hard?

What if many don't understand when love looks different?

When we plan to become parents, we have a flood of emotions, including excitement! Particularly as adoptive parents, because let’s face it, no one accidentally becomes an adoptive parent.

As parents, we have great expectations, hopes, dreams and love for our children.

But what if:

~The best way to love them isn’t the easiest way?

~The scars of their past have left an impenetrable barrier to the heart?

~Our love isn’t enough to heal them?

~We know there is One who can, but they can’t fathom it?

~Our tangible kindness causes a response of fear because it is foreign to them?

~They don’t know how to give love back?

What if we love them so much we will do things radical, sacrificial and misunderstood to help them heal?

What does a different kind of love look like?

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. John 13:26

Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, but it didn’t change His love for Judas!

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:20-21

Job had lost everything, and he still acknowledged God’s sovereignty and loved Him!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

God’s love for us is so great that He came down from glory in the form of a man (yet, completely God) and died for the sin of all mankind.

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:39-41

Jesus commands us to do the unthinkable ~ love those who wrong us.

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:13

Lepers were untouchable, yet Jesus touched the man because He loved him!

He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:4-6

This man who persecuted Christians was loved by God, chosen by God and ultimately devoted his life to sharing that love!

Just a few examples of when love looks different.

I’m a long way from loving like Jesus does, but I am “being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor 4:16

We are relying on the strength of the Holy Spirit as we love all our children, but especially one, in a way that looks different. Truth is, it’s hard. It’s lonely. It’s radical. I would say it’s a sacrifice, but can I really use that term after all that Christ has done for me?

Despite all of that, it is good! We have hope! Not because we always make the right decisions, but because God never makes mistakes. We are standing firm on His promises and watching expectantly as He brings healing and victory to our child!

God alone brings beauty from ashes – from the ashes of our mistakes, our sin, our pain, and our sorrow.

And that is a very different kind of love!


April said...

Connie ~
My heart and prayers are with you! I would add that every parent loves with actions different the parents to the right or left of them. Each set of parents knows whats best for each one of their children. Anyways, I love your heart, your ability to share what God has placed in your heart and the way you share with all around you. God is with you all the time and remember with God nothing is impossible!!! :)

Jodi said...

Love y'all and love that God is using you not only in the lives of your children but in the lives of soooo many people -I will will be forwarding people to your blog and esp. this post.
Tough love is just that! But when done with prayer it is just that - tough... love!
Praying for healing!!! Love y'all!

Jennifer P said...

Hard, lonely, radical - those are tough words and you are right, tough love is even harder. The hardest thing about adoption for me is treating kids differently based on their needs. What a journey you are on. Thank you for your testimony that God never makes mistakes! Your heart is right out there on this post. Beautiful!

Kelly the Overthinker said...

Thank you for writing this! Can I repost it on We Are Grafted In? Let me know!

Mis-Wen said...

Know we are lifting you up to the Lord.....I wish this didn't feel like such a desolate place for so many.....thank you for being so transparent and allowing God to shine through you! Much love!

Lori said...

I can't help of thinking of all the ways Jesus healed people. Some simply touched the hem of his garment...others had to have mud rubbed in their eyes.

He IS at work, even if it's in a way that looks different.

GREAT post, friend!

Cari said...

Great post, Connie. God loves and heals in many different ways. We cannot put Him in a box. It's not easy, but it's a choice and not a feeling like the world wants us to believe.

Kim said...

Love you my friend! ...and I love your heart and the love that God continues to place there. I know that each parent has to parent to the best ability that God has given them, and it most certainly is not the same for every family nor for every child.
Thank you for sharing in such an eloquent and beautiful way how hard and how different love is...
You are an inspiration to me and to so many others. Praying for you all!!

lizzielou said...

Praying for you all Connie and sending you love
Jesus will see you through and heal your sweet boy

Chris said...

Keep going Connie! We need to "keep it real" and keep leaning on the Lord.
I really like Lori's thought

Shonni said...

Praying for you sweet friend. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the encouragement ... as we, too, are loving a child that just plain doesn't want to be loved.

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