How to Love People Well in Your Season

I’ll be honest, this post has been a real struggle. I wrote, read, rewrote, and reread, emailed it to a friend and said HELP ME TELL ME I’M NOT CRAZY, talked it over with some other friends, started over, started over again, went back to the beginning, and now here we are. I’m just going straight to the point.

Here’s what the Lord is teaching me:

We love people into being more of who they are.

This came about because I was talking to Jesus about marriage and how it scares me. How I feel like I will lose who I am in it. But because it is a gift from Him, and He desires for us to live fully and abundantly, that can’t be right.

We love people into being more of who they are.

This is the subtitle of my whole life story. The most powerful way God has worked in my life is loving me into more of who I am. He knows who we are; He designed us. Because we live in a fallen world where sin abounds, we are somewhat disconnected from ourselves. In the Garden, Adam and Eve probably knew everything about themselves. Adam knew he was super good at naming things. Eve knew she was a treasured daughter of God.

I have spent almost 27 years with myself, and I feel like I have lived a lot of those years not knowing me. But in the past few years, the Lord has basically helped me become friends with myself. He has revealed talents, gifts, quirks, hurts, personality – all those things that make us who we are.

I went on a solo road trip to New Mexico about a year and a half ago, and had this profound experience of myself. I was singing along to music, listening to an audiobook, cracking myself up – and I literally said out loud, “I’m so fun!” (Makes me sound just a tad psychotic/self-centered, but I’m not, I promise.) I think God finds great JOY in these times where we appreciate His creation, even/especially when it is ourselves.

The Lord has helped me learn to love myself, because I have experienced His love. He has walked me into deeper wholeness. His love changes us. He reveals things to us so gently and in such perfect timing. There have been seasons of major revelations where it felt overwhelming in the moment, but I could trust that He knew what He was doing.

So, while He could (and does) love us just because He loves us, there is so much more to it. There is so much power in experiencing and understanding His love: We get to love each other. The Lord and other people have loved me into a greater fullness. I get to return the favor.

In this season of my life, this looks like loving my friends and my students well. For my friends, it means speaking truth over them when they are struggling to believe it. It looks like 90% of my budget going towards eating out, because real conversation happens at Chick fil A or Sonic. It means opening up my home for whoever is lonely or sad. Loving my friends well means sacrificing time or money to be with them, to love them into who God has designed them to be. It means sitting with them in their shame, and lovingly pulling them out of it.

I get to spend a lot of my days sitting with college students, talking about their life plans/hopes/dreams. I want to love them into greater confidence and hope. I want to exemplify Christ’s love, which makes us more of who we are. Often that means journeying with people towards their dreams.

What does this look like for you, in your season? Who are the people in front of you that you can love into wholeness? Who is loving you into who you were made to be?

Real love helps us learn and lean into who we are. We are called to love each other into fullness. Real love will never make you feel small or less than. Christ’s love calls us away from being full of ourselves, but towards a fullness of self.

Love well today, friends.

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One of those twenty-somethings trying to find my way through this silly world. I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus in everything.

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