Last weekend, I had the privilege of flying back East to meet my niece. It was a quick change of pace as I was able to travel the six hours to the airport, alone. Fly, alone. Both coming and going. It was nice…however, I quickly realized that I’m so used to constant noise, I almost needed a little. Ha. Isn’t that the way of things, I needed a break…got one and then it was too quiet. I sang to Lauren Daigle and Adele as loudly as I possibly could, though, so that was pretty nice.
I’ve needed some time to process all the feelings that went with seeing, for the first time, my sister being a mama, meeting my beautiful niece and watching my BIL and sister work together to take care of this precious little girl that Jesus has given them. I’ll admit, it was kind of cool to NOT be the one feeding a baby at 3 am. I got to spend some good time snuggling and singing and speaking truth about who Jesus is to her and then pass her off to her Mama and Daddy and that was WAY cool.
When I first arrived at NayNay and Bubba’s house, I looked down at this tiny face and was overwhelmed with God’s goodness, with His love, and with love for this tiny human I’d only imagined. I remember praying years ago that one day, I’d be able to share motherhood with my sister. I remember praying that we’d be able to have real conversations that were more than surface level deep and that we’d be able to joke about the craziness of being a parent, as well as the joy. What I didn’t realize all those years ago, was that it would take me working through some pretty intense things, to get to a place where I could just be her sister and not feel compelled to be the mother. It was a crazy good feeling to just be the sister, the aunt, the sister-in-law and not be the one in control and trying to fix things. I felt such joy in watching NayNay be a mommy and not telling her how to do things. It was incredible to see how easily she’s slipped into the rhythm of motherhood, how Bubba has stepped up as such a support person for NayNay, how all of a sudden their house felt like a little home with a family. I loved my time with them and my time with my little Lo-Lo.
Meanwhile, back on the Rez, Justin was manning the fort and thanks to some great support people, the weekend went off without a hitch.
I realized last weekend that love really is a choice. I’m constantly reminded of this truth. It was ever present in the weekend, though. As I’ve spent this week processing my feelings and the events of my time back East and all the things here on the Rez, I’ve stepped into a place where I’m realizing that even those in my life who are hard to love, hard to please, hard to walk alongside, I get to choose to love them or not. Not loving them, though, isn’t being Jesus with skin on and that’s my greatest motivation. I want others to see Him in everything I do. The reality of this truth is that it’s not easy. Sometimes its literally the hardest thing I’ve walked through. Lots of times, it’s not what I want to do at all. It’s not what my flesh wants to lean into…it is what He tells me to lean into. Lean into love…”if I speak with the tongues of men and angels, yet do not have love, I am simply a resounding gong or cymbal.” -1 Cor. 13:1. I don’t want to be a cymbal or a gong…honestly, the thought of that grates my nerves…how much more does it work the nerves of those I’m around? In truth, I don’t have to please everyone, I get to choose whether to involve them in my life or not, I get to choose who to allow into my inner circle, the ones who understand me best…I also get to choose to love. Loving doesn’t mean giving in or letting someone manipulate…love doesn’t mean putting on a smile just to please someone else. Love means truth. Love means honesty and openness and being willing to do the hard things. “Love is…patient, kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not proud, it is not rude or self seeking. It is not easily angered. And keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes and endures all things.” -1 Cor. 13:4-7
If I’m being honest, I’m not really good at the keeping no record of wrongs…forgiveness has always been a struggle for me. But God. He can and does help steer me away from bitterness and anger, every. single. day.
For me. I’m choosing love. Even when it’s hard and ugly and not what I want to see. As a people pleaser, that’s pretty difficult. I’m pressing into Jesus. Trusting that He can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. He loves me that much. He loves you that much too.