Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...

Awakening Greatness - 10/7/2014

Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...

Wow – these five characteristics say it all. There is so much more to say about love, but today as I am sharing about the love I have for my husband these say it all – especially the bold faced word proud.

If you want to know the truth – I have been struggling. Struggling fiercely. Struggling with obedience, mainly to God…but it seems to trickle down into earthly areas too. You see, there is stuff I can’t do right now – stuff I was told not to do, stuff people would appreciate if I didn’t do, stuff I should do…and stuff I shouldn’t do. (Super clear I know!)

Two weeks ago (to the day) we were faced with something huge. Something life changing. Something tear and fear evoking. It has been a roller coaster. We knew it was possible we may be called to board, but we were kinda standing in the back of the line hoping the cars would be full (at least I was). But God, (yes Just like the Bible says over and over) But God, felt we could handle this – God protected us – and God will use this.

Human nature wants to know – and I hate writing a blog post with such vague ideals, but rest assured when I can say more I will. But, this isn’t about knowing what happened and why, it is seeing how God has molded my heart into one of obedience even when I didn't understand and didn't want to do what I was being asked to do. I was told to act - It needed to be done and there wasn't time for soul searching and wondering. If you are reading this, you just have to walk this line with me.  It is so hard, but so worth it.

My first act of obedience came in a suggestion regarding my FB account. Jeff was on board, and deactivated his right away. Then the suggestion came to me that I remove my married name. Excuse me – that is who I am. Honestly, that is who I longed to be since I was 15 years old. Then it was just kid, stuff – but we have stayed with it and grown our marriage and life into something we could be proud of. That’s the good kind of pride right?!? – I tell myself that sometimes. I actually wrestle with it – what kind of pride is good, or ok, or does good pride even exist?

Well I did it! Jeff sat at the table with me, and I said, “Can’t I come up with some sort of alternative last name, or remove my maiden name too.” Have you seen Father of the Bride 2? We revert everything back to some type of movie line, and for 30 seconds, I even thought of changing my last name to Zankman J. I didn’t though…I just hit the delete button 6 times…each time erasing a bit of who I was just like the photo in Back to the Future… With each click of the delete button, I hesitated. I did not want to do this, but knew I should. I did not want to deny my husband, but knew I was actually honoring him. I knew the world may not understand, but at this point they needn’t be my concern.

For the last two weeks, I have prayed for a resolution in my heart. I was obedient, I was being safe, but I still didn’t like it. Finally in reading about love, this one simple line that I have read over – and over – and over – and over…(you get the picture) had new meaning.

I always thought about love not being prideful when it came to friends or strangers, or God…or maybe in relation to my husband being the first to apologize, forgive or something along those lines. I wrestled with the worry that people would feel I no longer loved my husband, or worse, he no longer loved me, with a simple name change on Facebook – Stupid maybe – childish certainly – but that’s what I do. Hi, I’m Sarah, I’m a people pleaser, and I worry what others think.

Thankfully, that is not where the story ends. I don’t want to be a people pleaser, I desire to be a God pleaser. I don’t need this world to understand me, because we weren’t meant to live in this broken world. It doesn’t come easy though…after two weeks of worry, and telling myself, “Do not worry about anything…..” Two weeks of praying, and two weeks of searching God my answer came in a verse I had read a thousand times.
  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud1 Corinthians 13:4

A name does not define me, but I was worried as to what it may look like to not be associated with my married name. I didn’t want to deny my husband when he needed me most, but that is exactly what it felt like. Just a simple act, that I feared would be misunderstood and gossiped about. I really don’t know why I cared – I knew the truth and what was really going on, and that it had nothing to do with our love. In denying my own feelings of pride about my marriage, I was actually showing my husband in the best way possible just how much I loved him. I wasn’t denying him, I was honoring him just like I promised to do in every situation almost 17 years ago. To love him in this way meant showing him, myself, and God that love is in fact not proud.

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