Someone close to me made a few less than desirable decisions that affected our relationship lately. Naturally, two choices immediately appeared in my head: walk away or fight to keep the person that I loved. Very quickly, I realized the importance of that person in my life and knew that I would do whatever it took to offer the most mercy and grace possible. While there are way too many reasons to list, it all comes down the the fact that I love them so much. To me, 'I love you,' is never, ever, EVER circumstantial. If I can say those three words on a good day, I want to be 110% sure that I can say the same even on a bad one. Being hurt is one thing, but being circumstantial is another.
While dealing with these hurt feelings, I consulted two of my closest friends. One friend offered some wise words and re-instilled in me that forgiveness was essential in whichever decision I made. Another friend thought that it would be best to cut my losses to avoid being hurt again in the future. Both of them made some really good points as my best friends and I am forever appreciative - but I had to wonder and ask...
Do you have someone in your life that has NEVER hurt you? If so, I'd like to know how strong your relationship is.
I can honestly say I don't have a single person in my life that has not hurt, offended, worried, or disappointed me at one time in our relationship. In fact, I can also say I don't have a single person in my life that I haven't hurt or let down in one way or another. My health has taught me that trials, challenges, and tough times have a way of making us stronger and drawing us closer. Together. To God. To peace. To strength. Whatever it may be. Fighting even when it hurts and is really, really hard is essential. The fact of the matter is that hurt is not the problem... Giving up on unconditional love is.
Now, the world teaches us to love conditionally, circumstantially, and when it is most convenient. It teaches us that love doesn't have flaws, it doesn't hurt, and it doesn't involve sacrificing any parts of ourselves to meet the other person where they are. But JESUS teaches us that loving unconditionally, wildly, and mercifully is the only way to do it. He understands the importance of loving us at our very ugliest and absolute worst because THAT is when we need the grace that only love can offer. He teaches us that love is ALWAYS a sacrifice.
The world says to walk away from people who hurt us. It says to get rid of people who don't appreciate us... But I have to wonder... If Jesus did that, where would we be?
I'm making the choice to LOVE today. Not when it's convenient. Not when I feel like it. Not when it's easy. Instead, I'm making the choice to love when it hurts... Because that's when it matters most.