A life of blessings and trials, learning to fully rely on God brings me to where I am today…giving my best effort to live Christ’s love.
Having a clear understanding of Christ-like love, an agape kind of love, is crucial for any Christian and especially for the Church. When we forget to live like Christ and model his love, our witness is damaged and our worship is disrupted. Agape is a selfless/self-giving love, a love in action. A love given to us by God through Christ, it is to be reciprocated back to God/Christ and to our fellow humankind. (Matt 22) It is both vertical and horizontal just as the cross that bore our Savior.
Agape has always been a part of my life in some measure. I do not believe a true understanding came for me until the spring of 2002. Two years prior, in 2000, my daughter revealed to me that she was same-sex attracted. I struggled with God for two years—asking him to change her. I knew he could if he just would. Asking God if I should disown her, as some believe you should, I never felt him lead me in that direction. So I continued to pray all the time telling my daughter what she was doing was wrong. There were people that believed she would spend eternity in hell. I didn’t have a moment of peace. Like many mothers in this same situation, I had no one to share my pain. Dads are so good at compartmentalizing everything. They can put it in that proverbial box, store it away and pretend that it doesn’t exist. I went to the clergy of my church and received nothing. I certainly didn’t want to tell anyone else. So it was God and I—and I wasn’t happy!
Two years into what I call my Jacob’s night of struggle, I awakened at 3:00am as I did many nights, and began to pray, begging God again to do something. This time he answered.
I heard him in my heart say, “Judy, it is your job to love her. You leave the rest to me.”
I lay there a moment, a little stunned, then asked, “You don’t need me to help fix this?”
So I said to my Lord, “Okay, I can do that. I will love her and leave the rest to you.” A peace came over me that I had not felt in two years, a peace only God can give. The next day I called my daughter and told her what had happened. She said she could hear it in my voice.
Today I continue to have peace. God has this and everything else in my life and in hers. I now understand what agape is. I do my best to practice it everyday, loving my God and loving my daughter as God loves us. I choose to live Christ’s love. It truly is the pathway to peace.
(I will share more of this journey periodically.)