“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Ephesians 5:1-2

Recently, I have been able to experience the joy of transitioning into adulthood! I am confused about why nobody told me that this is not very fun. No one told me that your bills were going to come on the same day that your laptop crashes and that you literally have to pay for everythingggg that you do. I can’t tell you how often I’ve started asking friends to go for walks to hang out instead of go somewhere.

I grew up with two extremely great parents. I am so blessed to say that my parents have never made me feel anything but loved. I always came home to people who asked me about how my day was and cared for my every need. There was never a moment where I mistrusted their goodness to me because they had proven it over and over again. This life transition has made me start thinking about this love that I experienced growing up. I think about how it is so much easier to feel loved when people are demonstrating their love to you each day.

This realization has caused me to think about how we don’t take God’s love for us at face value. There are still days when I feel like I have to earn His love, even though I know that is not true. There is no one capable of loving me as much as God does, but instead, I would still sometimes rather settle for the love that I can experience from the world.

I think that if we could live our lives understanding the magnitude of the love that is freely given to us, we would live totally different lives. The love that encapsulates every fiber of our being. The love that looks past our selfishness, deceit, and wrong doings and still, even then, looks us in the eye and chooses to love us again the next day.

There have been several recent circumstances that have caused me to feel like my hands were tied. Recently, I was almost at my wits end. I was just so tired of asking God to show me what I need to do, and feeling like I wasn’t getting the answers. In that moment of desperation, I felt a tug on my heart that the answer was that I needed to be like Jesus. I sat there and thought about it and literally asked myself “What would Jesus do in my circumstance? Could it really be that simple?” I realized that the answer to my question had been right there in front of me the entire time: love. I am called to love. I am asked to lay down my defenses and love. I am called to love others even when I don’t feel like it, even when it feels like the last thing that needs to happen in a situation. I had been searching the entire time, wondering and seriously questioning what God would have me do in this situation and the answer is that He would want me to respond in the way that He would. I know that this probably sounds elementary, but I think we must ask ourselves if we are truly trying to be more like Jesus or are we trying to make situations benefit us.

The pain that can be felt from being in situations where you feel so neglected, hurt, wronged, or disappointed can feel so deep and irreparable. As we shift our focus to the cross, we see a savior who because of His great love for us, paid the ultimate sacrifice. If Jesus was willing to leave Heaven for us, then I can choose love in this situation. But like seriously, think about leaving perfection to suffer for those who would daily, if not hourly, neglect, hurt, wrong, and disappoint you. It is inconceivable.

There is something so powerful in the idea of grace and love. We all want to feel loved. We all want people to like us and feel like someone cares, whether we like to admit it or not. Knowing this about ourselves and others, we continue to believe that other people have to earn our love. We don’t give it away freely. We still feel like grace needs to be deserved. We aren’t flexible, but we love the idea of a God who will just give love and grace to us. We are so selfish. When we live from a place of love, we understand the importance of giving grace and love to all. When we live from a place of love, we are more selfless, patient, kind in circumstances. When we live from a place of love, we are becoming more like Jesus.

May we strive each day to be more like Jesus. To focus less on our own personal hurts, and more on the love that is lavished on us.

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