My Thirties

Just a few weeks ago, at the beginning of January, I turned 32. I don't really feel like I'm 32.

When I spent time with some people I grew up with, recently, the one consenus among us all was that we still feel like we should be teenagers.

And yet here we are adults, many of us married, most of us with kids, some with multiple kids. Time has passed whether we have registered it internally or not.

If you had asked me at 22 what I wanted out of my life, I would have said, "To make a difference."

Today, at 32, I no longer feel that way. It would be nice to make a difference, but I won't feel like I have failed if I don't. If you asked me that same question today, my answer would be, "When I see Jesus, I want to hear I loved well."

I loved well.

It's not easy, is it? People hurt us. People we love deeply often hurt more deeply. Relationships end. Friends walk away. Family turns their back. Loved ones die and that is never easy.

Our pastor said today, "We will be misunderstood, that is why we should love each other. We will be mistreated, that is why we should encourage each other."

Those things make loving well difficult. Sometimes it seems the loving choice is hard to find, sometimes even more difficult to do.

Are there people God has called you to love that you struggle to love?

Loving is up close and personal. It takes facing the ugly parts and choosing to love any way. What is wrong with us? When did we decide that we would only love when people conformed to our way of thinking, talking, acting? Why do we think its okay to sit in a pew and talk about love, but act any way but lovingly when we walk out the door?

You know why its easier for me to go spend time with the people in our local housing authority than a whole host of people who attend church every time the doors are open? Because they know they're sinners. They know I'm a sinner. And they celebrate the good things without judging, condemning, and rejecting the not-so-good things.

I loved well. 

I'm pretty confident in and of myself, I suck at this. I'm selfish. I want it my way. I want it when I want it. I don't want to be patient. I don't want to be long suffering. And if you know me, you're well aware that overlooking someone's faults is NOT my forte.

The only way I will be successful. The only way I will hear this one day. The only way this will ever make it in to my eulogy is to let Him do it through me.

I loved well. That is my goal every day - some days I just try to do it by myself.


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