Sunday, December 30, 2007

Love Without Fear

For several months now, this 'love' thing has weighed on me. What exactly is God asking us to do when we love another? Are we to love only when we receive love in return? Are we to wait until someone loves us first before we love another? Are we to 'guard our hearts' and only love in pieces? Or are we to love with our complete being expecting absolutely nothing?

Often people comment to Alex or me, "Oh, I could never be a foster parent because of the hurt of letting go." The letting go hurts, a bunch. However, when we make statements such as the one above, are we really allowing love to work in us? Or are we acting, at least partially, with our own interests (to be loved in return) in mind?

When we began this interesting journey, we expressed that same statement above to one another. The hurt of letting go was precisely the reason we wanted to be an 'adoption only' family. Then Covenant Kids got hold of us... and they asked all of the families in training to pray about being foster-to-adopt families instead of straight adoption.

This is such a difficult thing. I do not claim to understand the depth of God's love for humanity; nor do I claim to understand the love we are to show to a hurting world. I do know this - such a love, one that exists beyond all self-motivation, is supernatural. It is of God. It is impossible for believers to 'create' on their own.

1 John 4:18 says "There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life - fear of death, fear of judgment - is one not yet fully formed in love." (The Message)

Do we experience and exhibit 'well-formed' love? Other Bible translations express this same concept as 'perfected love.' Do we allow the Holy Spirit to lovingly work through us, trusting that God will assuage the grief of letting go? Do we really even trust God with our hearts?

2007 has been a year of serious contemplation, meditation and transition for me. It has been a year in which I finally gave up (at least partially) my agendas, my expectations, my perfect plan. Surrender is a much better place... it requires so much less of my energy. Plus, it allows me to truly experience and share love without fear. What a concept.


Christy said... give up our own agendas is one of the hardest things to do...fear of losing control, I guess. But when we do and allow the One we trust to guide us and be in control, what a blessing to behold :)
Thanks for posting this...we are similar in more ways than you know!

Blessings on this new year and what lies ahead for you and your family-
Christy :)

gracie :) said...

Wow. I'm getting to live this out in a very real way right now. My love has always been so guarded. And I'm being called to give it out unreservedly for little people who may not even get to become a permanent part of our lives. And if so, the challenge continue to give it freely even when I KNOW how much it hurts. Thank you for ever challenging and encouraging me on this path we share together!

H said...

Love is in and of itself something of the abandonment of fear. There are risks with your choices, and the benefits to honoring God are always immeasurable because He is unfathomable to us. (You know I do believe it is really that simple. I also figure you will want to chew on this one.)
I've developed a habit of praying to see some small bit of His purposes for the stuff that hurts, and He has consistently given that blessing. I am usually blown away by what He does to transform ordinary into extraordinary.