Music is a very important part of the life of our family, so when my firstborn said she wanted to try out for the grade 5 divisional choir, I was thrilled! She was accepted and I was (not surprised and) so pleased ! She was so brave walking into the rehearsal room, knowing only one of the sixty other children seated in the risers, and I felt so proud!
This morning I drove her to a bus where she confidently hopped up the steps, off for three days of choir camp. And I - well, I was....speechless. I know every mother asks herself where has the time gone, and I have wondered it many a time.
But today I marveled again to see the girl she is becoming, and wondering what the Lord might have for her future, should she choose to follow Him.
She's growing up. She's so intentional about becoming independent and applying the things she has learned about life in her almost 10 years. I don't think she knows (even though I've tried to tell her) how much of an inspiration she is to me.
This past weekend I was at a women's retreat at one of my favorite places in the world, Faith Bible Camp. It was a perfect fall weekend, the leaves were golden and the sun was warm. The speakers shared what God had taught them about 1 John. I had read the five chapters before the weekend to prepare for leading the worship times, and the Lord had already been softening my heart to hear.
Probably the most well known part of the book of 1 John is chapter 4:7-8, because of praise song written to these words :
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God
because God is love.
One speaker spoke of her deep conviction as she thought about the "hate" she'd been holding on to for a particular person. Another speaker challenged us to put aside the fear that keeps us from loving others as Christ loves us.
There are many people in life that are easy to love. Sadly, sometimes it's even easier to extend love to the homeless person on the street than "that person" (you know the one!) in your life that drives you crazy.
"God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given you."
God has given me His love, not to greedily hang on to and cherish for myself, but to extend to others. No excuses. No "yeah, but...."
The bottom line? It's time for me to grow up. Love isn't going to just happen in my life without being intentional, without confidently hopping up the steps of the love bus (cheesy, I know) and trusting that as I follow God's command, He will give me courage and strength to persevere when loving is too hard.
Not worrying about protecting myself, no fear.
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear."
1 John 4:18