Love Always Hopes.

December 11, 2010

Alas, we have come to the end of the Love series. It has taken large amounts of time due to this blog not being my top priority.

I might have missed one or two, depending on how you divide up Paul’s love list.

Either way the last thing with love we will talk about is this;

1 Cor 13:7  [love] always hopes.

Love always hopes.

This blog is going to get personal fast. And for this blog to have its intended purpose, I have to go back a few months and tell you more about my life.

So this last May I was engaged. And by the middle of the summer, I was no longer engaged.

Due to some doubts, and fears, and other things, my fiance felt she needed to break up with me. And she felt led by God to do it. And I think she was.  Not that God would give doubts and fears, but what God wanted Jessica to do with those doubts and fears, became his leading.

So at first I was convinced I would never be in a relationship with her again.  People would even ask if I ever saw myself getting back together with her again, and I would say “Only if a homeless man walks up to me, says that he is a prophet and that I am supposed to marry Jessica Lee Stephenson.”

I was pretty sure about it.  Probably due to the hurt I was feeling.

One day though, one of my best friends, when hearing me say I was pretty sure of my no-Jessica-future said, “Anthony, you can’t know what God is going to do in your future, you can only know what he is telling you to do right now.” (modern day prophecy being the exception)

He was right.

What I was doing though was suppressing the fact that I still loved her.

I knew in principle that I had to cut the love from me, so I wouldn’t even let myself consider that I still loved her.

And when I did realize it, I was pretty wrecked.

And I began to ask God what he wanted me to do with those emotions. And I wasn’t really sure.  I prayed to God a lot about it.  I wrote him a lot of letters describing my hurt and hopeless feeling.

And then I don’t know what exactly happened, but I wanted to love Jessica no matter what.

So I thought about that idea. And then one night we randomly hung out.  And it was really fun and good.  And after I really wanted to go on a walk with her, but she had boundries of not hanging out with me too much.  And so as I realized that she wouldn’t go on a walk with me, I realized that I was desiring her love more than God’s love, and that was not okay.

I went on a walk with God instead.  I prayed and told God that I wanted to desire His love the most.  I repented for the sinful desire of Jessica’s love.  I told Him that I still wanted to love Jessica no matter what, as long as I was loving Him first and foremost, and desiring His love first foremost.

Through this time, I entered a waiting period.  Some of the boundries Jessica set up got stricter.  God was giving me the opportunity to really love Jessica no matter what, and to really pursue His love first. And during this time I would pray that God change my heart, or show me if I wasn’t to love Jessica how I was.

Through this time, I always had this stupid hope.  I call it stupid soley because having this hope didn’t make sense in view of the circumstances. It was hope that God would redeem my relationship with Jessica for His glory.

That’s what I think it means when it says that Love always hopes. This idea that if you truly love someone, that no matter what happens, you are filled with hope that your love and their love  is only going to get better.  Even if it doesn’t look that way.

And through this God began to heal Jessica’s heart from things, and God began to work on some things with me.  I began to learn to trust on and lean on God more than anyone more than I ever had.

Through God confirming things, using people, and His word,  I felt that he was leading me to one day be back in a relationship with Jessica.  But first he had a time of waiting for me.

During that time of waiting God sanctified me so much.  Even before I realized I was in that time of waiting, God was making me more holy.  The break up caused a speed up in my realizing its time to be a man process.  It helped me realize how I have learned to deal with conflict and communication.  The break up brought about far more good things in my life than bad things.  Clearly God was using it, and clearly God is the ultimate author.

And yesterday, Jessica asked me to be her boyfriend again.  And through this process there have been some clear realizations about some things in my relationship with Jessica that were not okay.  Ways she thought about me, or ways that I treated her.  And my friends have been very protective of me because of those things.  But every skeptical question, every thing I would need to hear, was told to me by God or Jessica.  Its really amazing and redemptive to see what God has done.  It is awesome and clearly can only come from God when a person goes from a place of thinking they can’t love you no matter what, to making the choice to love me no matter what, as well as asking God to help them to do it.

There is so much more to this story.  Just ask my roommates.  I am sure some people out there are skeptical.  But I don’t really care. I can see what God is and has been doing.

Love is not put to shame.  And I was not put to shame by hoping for the love that God had for both of us, whether He wanted us to love in the relationship, or out of it.  God is good. And redemptive. And awesome. And I thank Him so much for not only redeeming me once, but redeeming me daily.

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There is another sin I wanna confess.

Before I confess, I have to tell you some background information about me.

Ever since I can remember I have had this deep sense of justice.

God has wired me in this way where I can see the right and wrong in a situation very easily at times.  I think we all have that to varying degrees.

However for me there is this need for justice when I see it lacking.  This would cause me as a child to argue in defense of my siblings to my parents at times.  (hopefully I ususally did it in a honoring way, but probably didn’t always do it that way).

Or to tell random people I don’t know not to mock some poor kid.

So I have this deep sense of justice. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Except when I use it to fight for myself.

That is my confession.  Too often I want to use this sense of justice to make me look better, to make me look right.

Or when I am told about how I am wronging someone, I try and convince that person they have wronged me worse.

And that is not okay.

I realized a few months back, that God has given me a deep sense of justice.  But that he has given me that to benefit others. Not myself.

God, thank you for this sense of justice. Help me to use it for others benefit and not my own, so that I can be a living sacrifice.  Forgive me for using it wrongly and selfishly at times to benefit myself, or make me look better when I am told about how I have sinned against someone.