Sunday, June 8, 2008

No greater love...

I thank God for His grace, and His love, and His patience with me as I continue to learn to let people in, to get to know me just as I am. It's taken me a year of living in community here at the Women of Hope house to get here, but it's beginning to happen.

I was so blessed on my birthday when each of the women shared what they appreciate me - it's a birthday tradition here and everyone who has a birthday here has to endure it. Well, that's how I used to feel about it - that it was something I had to endure, because I wasn't able to receive appreciation and love, or to truly believe the words that were spoken about me. This year I was tempted to go to that place of steeling myself to endure the words of appreciation as Elsie initiated the sharing, but the Holy Spirit convicted me that those thoughts and feelings were prideful, and that if I chose to go there I would be sinning against God and against my sisters. So I chose to humble myself and stay emotionally present instead, and I was incredibly blessed by the love that I received.

God has blessed me by bringing me here to the Women of Hope house and I am finally able to acknowledge and to receive that blessing. In a recent session with one of the women of the house, we were studying a chapter in The Purpose Driven Life which stated that the reason we are here on earth is to learn to love. I was convicted that it is also for this reason that God has placed me here in this community. I need to learn to love, to give love as well as to receive it. This has been an area of great wounding, fear and pain for me in my past life, but since I've given my life to Him, God has lavished His love on me and has been healing me through the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ. I pray that I might be "perfected" in love so that I would never again ignore or do harm to another person because of my pride, and that I might focus less on my own needs and desires and instead choose to lay down my life and my desires for the love of my brothers and my sisters.

The women who live at the house have been experiencing some struggles with addiction and other distractions as they draw closer to the Lord and His love. Please pray for an encounter with the living Christ for each one of them. It was the revealation that Jesus is alive and a personal experience of His love for me that transformed my life. And please pray for the leaders too, that we would have wisdom and discernment and will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as we minister to each of the women who live here. The leadership team is Elsie, myself, Mun Hee and Winnie, a Church Army student who is doing a summer placement here with us. The women of the house are: Kelly, Andrea, Jen & baby Sierra, Sarah, and joining us soon, Camille.

Thanks for reading this, and for praying for us. May God bless you richly.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 ESV

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