Love and Only Love

Last night, I had the lovely opportunity to connect with a friend on a heart-to-heart level. I won’t go into details about who or what was going on, but pretty much this girl was going through some things in her life, and I was there to listen. The relationship I have been developing with her has been a beautiful one. The first time we hung out, she was pretty unsure of what to believe in the world. She knew there was some greater purpose in life, but she was still in the process of discovering what that purpose looked like exactly. Thankfully, she was more than willing to enter into spiritual conversations with me. I listened to her beliefs, and she listened to mine. She had a genuine interest in what I had to say, even if my purpose, Jesus Christ, wasn’t quite what she believed in. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement and purpose in that moment.

Complete amazement and humility filled my heart as I saw how God was working through me, bringing to life conversations that I had prayed about just hours before. I had always doubted my ability to share my faith effectively, but somehow God was equipping me with just the right words to meet her where her soul was, showing me that no, this isn’t me. This is God. And He is so alive and always there to answer my prayers.

Since that first day, things have only grown more joyous in my time with her. Our spiritual conversations continue every time we meet up or chat. I see her confidence and excitement grow, and mine does too. She went from being unsure to having complete confidence that a god exists.

Last night, I messaged her just to check up on her. She told me some really personal things about her life, stories of past hurt and current circumstances. And all I felt was love and understanding in that. I just wanted to spill out the love and healing that God had been doing in my life, and well, I guess that slipped into writing out the whole gospel to her again, this time, with elements of my own testimony.

I’m not exactly sure if she has personally chosen to enter into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not even sure if she is completely 100% for our god, but she seems to be pretty close. She has heard the Gospel and felt power through that. She knows that a loving and perfect Creator is there to love us through it all. She knows that we can lean on Him and anticipate our Sunday after our Friday (The good, the restoration, the resurrection even if things seem to be falling apart now). And she finds comfort in hearing about my god. All of these things are so worth celebrating. I look forward to what’s yet to come in our friendship and in each of our faith journeys.

The original intent of this blog post wasn’t to pour out every single detail or even focus on what God has been doing in her life, but I guess that’s just all so exciting that I can’t help but share about it (don’t worry, she knows I’m writing this). The reason I came to this keyboard and to this computer screen is so that I could share what God has been doing for me through my friendship and conversations with this girl.

He has first of all, shown me the power of prayer. He has been showing me just how present and alive He is in me. I have been praying over this friendship and my conversations with this girl, and well, He rocks my world by answering those prayers in big and obvious ways. He brings things up that I never could have imagined happening. And all of that has only brought me unearthly joy and excitement and confidence in Him. I just want to keep sharing that goodness with others.

God has also reminded me of the beauty in sharing, the beauty in being used for His glory. In my couple years of having a true personal relationship with Christ, in understanding the whole evangelism thing, I haven’t had too many opportunities to share my faith by myself in a way that has brought someone to Christ before me. I have always been sharing the Gospel alongside other people or simply inviting  people to church or Cru to let others do the work. More times than not, God uses me to plant a seed, and I just have to sit back and trust that He’ll make it grow. I didn’t see how God could use such a quiet girl to effectively communicate the Gospel, and better yet, have a response to any challenges that people may give. I had always hoped to be a person who could lead another to Christ, but I never though I would be able to see that so immediately before me. But as always, God knows more than I do, and He has other plans for me.

God used me to really listen and to really connect with another heart and to speak His love through that. That connection alone was just as powerful as simply speaking words. He filled me with the wisdom and confidence to meet this girl where she was. If she had some doubt about Christianity, my words seemed to find her perfectly. I was communicating Christianity as it was, combatting any broken image of the church that she may have received growing up. And I know that was God and God alone, and I am more than happy to give Him full credit for those conversations.

And lastly, I think that sharing the Gospel brings a new clarity, a new perspective, a new life to it for myself. As I was writing the Gospel out to her, I began to see power in it that I had never seen before. Being Christians, we hear that “God is love” and “God loves us” so much that sometimes we can kind of just “know” it, rather than “feel” it. We tune it out a bit and become so accustomed to it that it loses it’s wonder for us.

When I shared the Gospel with her, I saw and felt the love in the Gospel more deeply than I have before. I was writing about how every piece of the Gospel is complete, perfect love, and nothing other than that. It was clicking, and as I was writing, I was understanding that in a new way for myself. “God really does love us. His love is so huge that I can only grasp a sliver of it, and that sliver alone is far greater than everything in this world combined.”

I can’t help but reflect on the fact that God created this world and thought to include me in it. That He carefully and beautifully designed me with a purpose that no one else can fulfill on this earth. That’s pretty cool. There is no way He could have done that without being completely in love with me even before I even existed. And just that thought alone is enough to make me think, “Woah. THAT is some pretty cool love.”

However, we as humans chose to mess up that perfect love and unity with God. We brought sin into the world, and with that, we created brokenness and hurt for ourselves and for other people. All of that “gunk” keeps us from reaching our perfect God on our own. But God’s love continues, and He still chooses to love us.

He loves us so much that He sent His only son to this earth to live the perfect life that we failed to live. He chose to wipe away all of the sins and imperfections and messes in our lives that kept us from Him. He offers us complete grace and forgiveness when we repeatedly show just how much we don’t deserve it. And with that sacrifice and with that grace? I can’t even begin to comprehend the magnitude of love He has for us.

And now, Christ is standing before us inviting us into a personal relationship with Him. He invites us to carry our messy lives and damaged past and years of seemingly unshakeable mistakes. He desires for us to bring all of these things to Him and to simply drop them at His feet. He wants us to personally make that decision to place Him on the throne in our lives. He wants to be our greater purpose in our lives, and He wants be our light and guiding force through our sorrows, joy, and everything in between.

For Him to relentlessly pursue the mess of a person that I am, for Him to deeply desire to be my friend, for Him to love me through everything? That is huge. That is the Gospel, and that is what I want to spend every day of my life proclaiming to the world. Love and only love.

I pray that I can continue to be used as God wants me to be used. I desire to always have a burning excitement for His word and to have no other option but to pour that into other people. I pray that I can be given many more opportunities to share the Gospel and have the ability to do so fearlessly. I pray that I can share Christianity in a way that other people understand and love and desire and that I learn just as much in the process. I pray to remain humble and fixed on my Lord, to rely on His strength and not my own. And I pray that I can listen to others, that I can come alongside of them during every phase of life, that I can offer them love and forgiveness, rather than judgment. I pray to always be a reflection of this abundant mountain of love that God has for us, and that He can wow me with every pebble that I begin to understand. And I pray that you all can experience the same.

 

Take care. And love always,

Mara

_____________

P.S. I’m always here to be a listening ear for other people. No matter where you’re at in life, no matter what you’re going through, I’m here. You’re not perfect, and guess what, neither am I. So let’s do life together. There is beauty in your vulnerability, and nothing brings me more joy than to connect with other people heart-to-heart. Everyone’s story deserves to be heard and loved and valued, and if you’re needing that from someone right now, please do not hesitate to send me a message. Also if you’re curious about how you can receive this perfect love of Christ in your own life, I’d love to share more with you. I’d love to tell you more about my own faith journey and hear about your own beliefs as well. I’m always a message away. Thanks.

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