Keeping with the discussion of love...
I received an amazingly sweet surprise this past Saturday. My best friend texted me asking if she could come by because she had something "she'd been working on"... okay, sure. Not thinking too much of it... she couldn't have been up to TOO much, I thought, because not only does she have two beautiful children AND a full time job, the previous weekend she had graduated college. I was beyond proud of her for this huge accomplishment that I know she has worked incredibly hard for. I am amazed at the woman she is... she does so much... I like to think of her sometimes as super mom as she texts me to check on me in between playing with her daughter, nursing her son, cooking a gluten-free meal for her hubby and writing another 10 page paper... lol. I wasn't surprised when she said she could only stay a few minutes.
I WAS surprised by what she had in her arms when I answered the door. It was a gift... she had been working for a couple of weeks putting it together. She had conspired with our friends and part of my family to put it all together.
This basket is filled with little gifts...things for relaxation, the angel of friendship from the collection I love and letters for each big process of our rapidly upcoming IVF cycle. It is SO HARD not to break into those letters. It even has drawings for my friends' children... that I also cannot look at until a certain day. I was in complete awe. I don't know where she found the time to do any of this... and words cannot express my gratitude for this outpouring of love. But that's what best friends are for right? You pour out to each other... I know that probably lately I have been a "needy" friend... but we all become the needy friend at some point. When your friends are down you do what you can to lift them up... and this? This was beyond anything I ever expected. My heart overflows to my dear dear friend as I look at the basket over and over. So much love contained here. It encouraged me at a time when I was beginning to feel anxious and slightly scared.
Between my parents... and my best friend... and comments I have received about both things... I got to thinking...
You see these outpourings of love for my little family here? If you think that is amazing... think about this: if our Earthly love can pour out so much emotion... if these gestures say so much about the people we are and the people we care about... How much MORE is the love of our Heavenly Father for us?
As humans, our ways of living and loving are inherently flawed. There will always be a point when we are selfish or careless or mean or aggravated and take it all out on the people we care about most, just because they are in the line of fire... but not our Father. No matter how much we try to love someone unconditionally, we fail. Time and time again we fall short. But not our Heavenly Father.
How much do you love your friends? family? pets? spouse? children??? What would you do for them? Would you give them your all? your money? your home? your LIFE?? Would you give your children's lives??? Our Heavenly Father gave His. THAT is how much he loves you... and me... and everyone. No matter how flawed we are. No matter how many times we fall short. GOD still gave His SON for us.
The story is told clearly in the Bible. You can never forget the verse... John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." He gave him up freely... Jesus gave himself to die on the cross... all for our salvation. He took our punishment... he took our sin. He took these things and replaced them with his blood... to bring us everlasting life. An eternity spent with Him.
Trying to wrap my mind around the vastness of the Lord's love leaves me breathless. It's amazing! There is NOTHING we can EVER do to mess that up! Even better!!
Take this verse... Romans 8-
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No matter what you are going through in your life, God loves you. When you feel alone, God is there. When you are sad, God is catching your tears. So reach out to him. His love is unending. His love is always within reach. Accepting this love is your choice, but it is free to you to receive. And by His grace you are saved (Ephesians 2:5). There will always be struggle. There will always be turmoil in the world. But you are always loved.
And to my dear best friend... Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I still don't have the proper words to tell you how much this meant to me. You are a true expression of 1 John 4: 7-8
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
.... So many days recently I have felt loved beyond comprehension. I hope you all, my dear readers, feel the love as well.