Monday, November 17, 2008

Knock-Kneed Love

We had a guest speaker come and teach the Young Women's lesson yesterday in church. Have you ever met someone and just felt that they were a kindred spirit? That was how I felt listening to her. Even after her lesson, two of the other leaders came up to me and said, "Wow. That was like listening to you. You two have the same life!"

She talked about how her life's experiences have helped her gain a testimony. She talked about the pain she felt at her parents' divorce, and her struggle to understand why she had to come to earth to a family that would break up. I have prayed for peace and clarity about the very same issues. And the answers I've received have been very similar to what she shared. There are things that I could only learn in that way (and through going through a divorce myself), things that will enable me to help other people and have a compassion and tenderness I might not otherwise have. And it's true. I feel like I do understand things that others from intact families may not, and I have been able to help other people through difficult experiences because of what I've gone through.

This woman also said that the greatest role a woman has in life is to love. Sounds trite, but it's actually so profound. That is our gift as women, if we cultivate it. Nothing grows without water and sunshine. She described how she has had to learn to love in some very trying circumstances. Her first son was born with a disability that went undiagnosed for a few years and raising him was very draining and consuming. He wasn't easy to love all the time. And she has had to learn to love a husband that has been very difficult to love for reasons she alluded to, and I understand. But it is a woman's calling to love. And, she said, love is always an act of work and courage. Put that in quotes. It was the best thing I heard all weekend.

"Love is always an act of work and courage."

Chalk one up to another answered prayer. I'm having trouble loving a few people right now. And I needed that boost and perspective. You know how it is, when you've been earnestly praying about something important to you, and suddenly the answer is delivered, in whatever form, and it just pierces you. That's exactly how this was. I couldn't have stopped the tears if I'd tried.

Courage means being afraid and proceeding anyway. Courage means feeling uncertain but stepping out in faith anyway, even with knocking knees. And work is effort. But work is satisfying. Sometimes not right away though. Here's to love. All the way. I want to be known for the way that I love, and I must thank God for putting just the right people in my life who enable me to practice what I yearn to glean. Isn't that just the way it works?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your spirit, testimony and love.

Jennifer said...

This was just what I needed to hear today. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. simply beautiful

Josi said...

Wow, these are powerful words. Thank you Jenna.

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, how wonderful. I needed this.

Suzanne Reese said...

I was here earlier today and didn't leave a comment, but had to come back and thank you for sharing such honest feelings!