By: Sarah MacKinney
Last week I took my 8 year old daughter to a concert fully anticipating an evening of fun, bonding and excitement. While we indeed accomplished all that, little did I know that God was accomplishing something even bigger in my spirit. You see, I had a few weeks prior to that night where I was feeling drained and overwhelmed; stressed, tired of giving. Can I admit that you to you here? I know many of you know exactly what that looks like. I talk about it often in my blogs. I was on the verge of a pity party when I would sit in my room and think about all that I had been doing to serve and give, and how little I was getting back. Yep, me. A Pastor's wife, a mom of 5, a teacher, a friend, a lover of Jesus....me. I was tip toeing really close to a pity party. Fast forward 2 weeks to the before mentioned concert......
There I was, jamming with my 8 year old, and the words to a song hit me like a ton of bricks. Seriously. Like literally, a ton. "I am tired, I am drained, but the fight in me remains. I am weary, I am worn, like I've never been before. But empty's never felt so full. This is what love feels like. This is what love feels like. Poured out, used up, stretching me to the end of my limits. But this is what love looks like." What? You mean I am feeling this way because I am loving people? Well, why did I never pick up on that before? I guess that moment, that night was just what God was waiting for; He knew my heart was ready. This is what love looks like; being stretched, being tired, giving without receiving at times, feeling weary; these are the side effects of loving deeply. Please hear me when I say that you should not allow people to continually use you, abuse you or treat you like a doormat. But I am speaking to those moments in ministry, in mommy-hood, at your job, in your church, etc where you feel like you give, give, give with little in return. Can I suggest to you, like it was shown to me; that this is what love does? This is what love looks like.
Can you imagine Jesus when He was on the earth? How much did He serve? How much did He endure simply because He loved people? When you plan a big event at church with little attendance and you feel sad and disappointed, take heart....that's what love does. When you spend your day cleaning the house, doing the laundry and cooking and everyone comes home and it is suddenly destroyed; you get up and do it all again the next day. Why? Yep, you guessed it. Because that is what love looks like. When your friend forgets your birthday or doesn't ask you about a special event in your life; you overlook it. Because that is what love does. Are there certain situations we need to address so we aren't enabling others? Absolutely. Do we need to take time to rest? You know the answer. I wrote about that a few weeks ago, needing a break. Even Jesus rested. But we rest so we can get up and do it again. We rest so we can pour out more of ourselves. We take a break so we can love deeper. Rest, indeed rest.
To anyone who is feeling like I was a week ago, take heart....there is hope! You are not doing this in vain. All you are putting into your family, its worth it. All you give to your ministry, its worth it. The long hours making sure your home is clean, the lawn is mowed, the food is edible; its worth it. The nights you stay awake talking to a friend because she is going through a trial, its worth it. When you go to a concert with your 8 year old and jump around like an insane teenager, its all worth it. I've said it so many times but it is worth repeating. This is what love looks like! The joy and the pain, the giving without receiving; all of it. It's worth it. Because THIS is what love looks like. "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:11-12 Remember, when we love each other; His love, the love of the Father, is being made complete. You are fulfilling His commands. This is what love looks like.