I have so, so much I could say. My heart is bursting with the things I’ve recently lived, and I want them to explode all over everyone! But I also want this to be conveyed to you as clearly as possible, so I’ll just say:
I’ve tried living life in love. And nothing is better.
Have you ever been involved in something, and meanwhile you were never quite sure if you were supposed to be there? It really hurts, doesn’t it? You expect it to be frustrating, but it’s more than that. It’s actually painful, very easy to let overtake your thoughts. I so understand, you are not alone in that. But–
Maybe this isn’t something we have to go through.
Do you remember when Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love Him with all you have in you? And the second is to love other people as you love yourself? When He said that, He concluded with, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:40). We ask so many questions about specifics. We rationalize, weigh options, count pennies, take in opinions of other people, envision the possible results, and, amidst all these energy-stealing things, we pray: “Jesus, do you want me to do this? I am called to this?” Nothing is wrong with being practical and thinking things through. But, if you’re asking these questions about something that is good and allows you to love people. . . are they really necessary?
Jesus was about to heal a man whose hand was withered. The Pharisees were ready to accuse Him of healing on the Sabbath, but Jesus asked them: “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” (Mark 2:4). And He healed that man.
There is never a wrong time to love people.
Never. Because love is all we are commanded to do. That’s your calling. God does has specific plans for you, and He’s carrying those out, but if you’re struggling because you just can’t figure out what your job is in the middle of it, maybe your focus needs adjusting. He planted passions in you and gave you His love, and He calls you to simply not let those things collect dust; to use what’s in you to love Him and the people around you. It’s simple. We try to complicate it, but it’s so simple.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, the question doesn’t need to be, “Am I called to do this?” Instead, maybe you should just ask, “Am I loving well? Is this giving me opportunities to love people with passion?” If the answer to that question can be “yes,” you’re right where you need to be, because you’re doing what He’s told you to do: you’re living your life in love.
I’ve been doing something for almost a year because I rationalized myself into it. The hard thing about using rational, non-passionate reasons to decide if something is your calling, is that it’s just as easy to find reasons to abandon it when things get hard. And things got hard for me. I kept finding reasons to leave, but there were reasons to stay, too, and I was carrying that battle inside me at all times. Finally, a few weeks ago I cried: “Jesus, was I ever supposed to do this in the first place?!”
He didn’t answer.
But He did whisper: “Why are you doing it right now?” And I found that my motive was void of love.
After that heart-breaking discovery, I determined to stay. But instead of having a rational reason, or some kind of mission I needed to accomplish, or some kind of person I needed to become– I simply resolved to love people. And it completely changed everything.
I went from being lonely to finding people I could talk to everywhere I turned; from feeling like an outsider to feeling like a sister; from desperately needing validation to receiving kind words from many; from nitpicking everything I heard to building on the good things; from feeling trapped to completely knowing that I am free. There is so much freedom for us when we live in love, and it gives us even more room to worship and live in fullness. I feel full, and I just want to keep recklessly loving.
If anything I’ve said sounds like where you find yourself right now, just love. Don’t focus on anything else. I had been making it much too hard. I thought love was a battle, something I had to work for and labor over. But it is so simple. All I need to do is give myself, and suddenly others give themselves to me, and we live in love for each other. Don’t succumb to the fear. Wherever you are, you are living in freedom. You are free to live in love.