Sometimes we are called to love beyond our capacity- to the standard of His measurements. Learning the measurements of God's love are so vast, unconditional, know no bounds, and are poured out beyond understanding makes it hard to attain the equation for this bold kind of L O V E. However, once we are recipient of His love, it is ingrained within us.
He gave us His son Jesus to be the standard we must replicate. He gave us a perfect love that we are called to give freely. The only way to give this love in abundance is to realize you must Love Anyway.
Love Anyway the ones who cannot possibly love you back.
Love Anyway the ones who have nothing to offer.
Love Anyway the ones who are in need.
Love Anyway the ones who are covered in pride.
Love Anyway the ones with which you do not agree.
Love Anyway the ones who have wronged you.
Love Anyway the ones who have no idea you are loving them.
Love Anyway the ones who might disappear from you quicker than you met them.
Love Anyway the ones who might reject you.
Love Anyway the ones who need it (hint- as you look around you'll find this is everyone you meet!)
Starting at the beginning of the year we met a very precious boy in a tough situation. He came into our home with a quickness and left it just the same. He visited on weekends but this too became not enough to keep him from choosing the streets. We lavished a lot of love on our little buddy only to have him take a small piece of our hearts with him when he left. There was an opportunity where he showed back up and I realized- though this boy was not mine, I had much love for him and in return wanted nothing but the best for him. A small glimpse of the Father's love for the return of the prodigal son.
Reflections on 2019 led us to the realization there is a time for Everything Under the Sun. These times have led us even deeper into the revelation of this next blog.
Fast forward to a small baby girl, fighting the monster of malnutrition. This baby was not known to many of you but there was a time when we thought this precious little one was going to be our daughter. Upon finding out about her situation we tried hard not to get too attached because in Haiti these things can change abruptly- so we proceeded with caution. Our first visit- we "cautiously" showed up to meet this joy-bundle and the walls we had built around our hearts crashed down as we saw each other holding the embodiment of hope for us as a family. Upon leaving that first visit we arrived home with tears of joy and the hopes of what could be welled up inside our souls. Simultaneously, we were overcome with the fear of failure and not feeling quite prepared for another let down. We prayed together and knew that God was calling us forward to LOVE without BOUNDS and without FEAR. He quickly reminded us that love is something we must freely give even when there is a chance of loss.
Our hearts continued to fall more and more in love with baby girl everyday until a couple months later when things unexpectedly changed and she was placed back into a situation that was less than ideal.
I began to regret the caution we had willingly abandoned at the tiny, precious feet of this little one- this is me, being vulnerable. Instantly the Lord began to bless me with the realization that although this was hard- it was ok. Although it was painful, it was part of our journey. Although it did not go how we had hoped we loved anyway. It was something God really desired for us- to soften, to embrace, to love anyway.
There it is friends- the way to Abide in Love- love anyway.
Love anyway, the ones who are incapable of loving back. Love anyway the ones who reject you. Love anyway when it is the hardest because that is exactly the Abiding Love- the direct replica of a Father who Loves YOU Anyway.
Kristen & Alex Bradshaw