Photo Credit: Karen Peeler

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!” Luke 6:32

Last year was a year of transition. My youngest, separated from her husband and in a moment, everything changed. The roller coaster became too much and pursuing peace, my daughter divorced.  It has been almost a year and life is slowly rolling back into a steady rhythm. Stretched might be my word for 2016!

Many days I would sit in my bedroom, weeping before the Lord, crying out for wisdom as my pain poured out at His feet. God would cover me in comfort and compassion while challenging me to step out and continue to love, no matter the circumstance.

One of the greatest dangers when relationships end is choosing to pick up the cycle of un-forgiveness and bitterness. Another is the blame game, and competing to see who inflicts the most pain. All of these create roadblocks on the pathway to healing. They are traps the enemy sets for everyone involved. He longs to not only kill marriage, but severe the relationships surrounding the couple. If we are not mindful, he succeeds.

I do not believe there is an adequate word to describe the endless pain rushing in and out when family ties end. Grieving what was and focusing on what is becomes a constant pursuit. Processing, takes purposed prayer, support from family, and supernatural faith! While surrendering to walk God’s way, I have learned a few lessons.

When we push our flesh to the side and walk in the spirit, the Father is glorified.  Jesus said to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and it was not a suggestion. I believe in boundaries to protect life from chaos or cruelty, but that is different than returning evil for evil. As my heart broke watching my daughter struggle, and her husband walk away, I had a choice. Punish or push into the power of Holy Spirit to show me how to love like Jesus. Most days, I chose love.  

Luke 6:27 states “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.”  Even on hard days when I wanted to bury my head in the sand, I would force myself to do good and turn away from hate. This was not about me. I wanted my grandson to know we did everything in our power, partnering with heaven, to love, and promote unity.

I want to encourage you today. God forgives so we can offer forgiveness. He bottles tears and binds wounds. And when we ask, Holy Spirit releases wisdom to navigate the rough waters and guide us toward the shore. We can love even in the midst of pain, because Jesus first loved us. I know it is not easy or simple but it is possible. Heaven calls us higher than the ways of the world. Returning good for evil, and joy for pain is part of our eternal DNA. Satan is powerless as we feed those who are fighting against us, with God’s love. No matter how hard the struggle in the flesh,  return good for evil through the power of the cross! Choose love and watch God birth new and greater things within. 

“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15