We can’t help but think of love as Valentine’s Day rolls around. All kinds of love. True love. From the sweet love of a new romance to the deep love built from the many years of a hard-fought marriage.
From the birthing of a new kind of love as we become first-time Mamas to the experienced, yet new form of love, as we release our children into each stage of independent life.
And finally, we experience the love of family and friends and even the love of vacations and chocolate.
Love does make the world go round, doesn’t it? Without it, our hearts and lives are empty. It gives us reason and gives us hope.
And it gives us just a glimpse into how God feels about us.
How He loves us. And what true love is all about.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. -1 John 4:16-19
It’s as if our hearts are made like onions. Layers. Layer upon layer is removed with each encounter of love. And with it we are brought closer to understanding the heart of God. To the center. The purest place.
Where wholeness lay.Loving takes sacrifice and if we get honest about it, love is scary. #truelove #perfectlove #lovehurts #prayer Click To Tweet
But loving takes sacrifice and if we get real honest about it, love is scary.When we love, we are opening ourselves to hurt. But when we love, we experience something bigger than ourselves. We experience a fullness to our existence. It feeds into our hope and into the purpose of our lives. It’s something we can’t afford to live without.
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” -Alfred Lord Tennyson
This Week’s Featured Hope
One of the places we encounter love is in the Church. It’s where several layers of that onion have opportunity to peel away. But it’s also the place where our hearts can be shattered. We feel the love. We walk closer to Jesus. We feel His presence. We recognize His love for us, but then something happens. Betrayal. Rejection. Lies.
Patti from Old Things New wrote a post last week that grabbed hold of my heart. It resonated not with just me, but with many because there is great-big-life-wrecking hurt in the Church. But there is also, life-giving love in the Church. The kind that wrecks us for good. The kind we don’t want to miss out on.
“It is no surprise then that I became church-shy. So afraid of being called out and so hurt by the lies that people believed that I stopped going to church altogether, along with my husband and two daughters. I’m sad to say that I stayed away for several years. And my daughters? I still wait for their return.” -Patti
And as always, as you stop by Patti’s place, make sure to encourage her and give her some love from #MomentsofHope! And if you’ve been hurt in the Church and are looking for more resources to encourage you and give you hope, you can find my post, Just Choose Jesus here.
NEW NEW NEW – If you have been featured here at #MomentsofHope, I have created a Happily Featured button you are welcome to grab! Just stop by the #MomentsofHope page in the menu above or here and you will find it!
Thank you so much for joining me each week in this place where we share and soak HOPE! Your hearts are a gift to me. A gift that encourages me tremendously. My husband often teases me about the smile I wear when I am behind this computer screen either writing to you or reading what you have written to me or for others. Never forget the importance of your words. There are so many in our world today and sadly, many of those do not lift up. Rather, they tear apart and divide. And they cause angst with no resolve. But you, my friends, are not doing that! You are reminding the world of the HOPE that cancels out all darkness. Thank you ♥
What I ask of you:
1. Share up to 2 URLs (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Please leave a comment on the link just before each of your links. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels! Signing up to join the Searching for Moments Community gets you access to the Library of Hope along with post updates and freebies!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab the #MomentsofHope button found here or link back to me to encourage new linkers.