I’m beginning a five week Tuesday series. I’ve asked some friends to join me in sharing their answers to this question: What life lesson have you learned that has changed you the most? Please stayed tuned as Shelli Littleton, Michelle Lim, Tiffany Parry, and Jill Kemerer also share what life lesson changed them the most. And please join in the conversation each week!
I thought I’d begin by sharing my answer.
“What’s love got to do with it?” Everything, it turns out. Sorry if I just put Tina Turner into your heads.
A few months back, a friend asked me, in essence, what’s happened in my life that’s helped me grow in my relationship with the Lord. As I watch friends struggle in their walks with Him—and in understanding Him—I’ve been challenged to consider how one keeps growing in their relationship with Him. For me, this relationship has deepened in fits and starts. But I can pin the season of my life where I began to have a broader understanding of God and what my relationship with Him could look like.
Hubby and I had been married about a year-and-a-half when we decided to start trying to have a baby. Many things in my life had come on my time frame, and I expected this life-change to be the same. I know . . . I was naive. We got pregnant eight months after we began trying, and I couldn’t wait to embark on the parenting journey.
When the process of our miscarriage began, Hubby was away on business, and I was scared. It took a couple weeks for us to actually lose the baby. In that time span, people prayed. Some offered the advice that I needed to have more faith that this baby would survive. Though I wasn’t angry with God when the miscarriage occurred, I couldn’t understand why He didn’t allow us to keep our child.
Over the next couple years, my relationship with God went into a tailspin. I still studied His word. He still spoke to me, to the extent that I was willing to receive His words. But I began to distance myself from Him. I knew the truths of His word in my head, but my heart was hurting.
The pursuit of motherhood became an idol in my life. I prayed hard. Hubby and I tried everything to get pregnant again. Nothing worked.
Uncle Sam moved us from Colorado Springs to Las Vegas. I remember driving around town one day, questioning why God loved other people more than me. He gave other people children. He gave teenaged mothers babies. Why wouldn’t He allow me to become a mother? It was all I wanted.
And that was the problem.
First of all, on that day while I made my stops, God spoke to my heart. He showed me that He didn’t love me less than those who He’d allowed to have children. He couldn’t love me any more because He already loved me completely, perfectly and passionately. And nothing would change that. The way He told me this changed my perspective of who God is, and about His love for His children.
As I began to embrace this truth, other things became clear. My eyes were opened to the fact that I had made an idol of motherhood. When I realized this, my heart began to break. At the same time I began to let go of the yearning for children. Because I realized and believed He loved me, I came to the point where I could say (and believe), “God, if you choose never to give me children, I will trust Your plan for my husband and me.”
As I began to walk in the confidence of His love, I found it easier to trust Him with other areas of my life. I haven’t perfected this!
How we perceive God’s love for us will affect the relationship we have with Him. It will affect how we come to Him, the depth and freedom of our faith in Him.
Knowing I am loved helps me to choose to trust Him, even when life gets hard. I’ve learned to come with the ugly things in my heart and hand them over to Him. I’ve learned to trust Him even when I don’t understand the why’s of what’s happening in my life.
Knowing I am loved gives me peace and confidence to walk into each day, even in the most difficult seasons. This is what love has to do with it.
What about you? What does knowing you are loved (by God or by others) do for you? How have you seen God’s love in your life?