Today marks one week until I am back in Virginia to start up my sophomore year of college. Summer flew by! While I am remarkably excited to return and dive into a new living situation (maybe I will start a new blog/continue this one to keep a record of that experience!), parting will be a sweet sorrow.
I am bummed to be leaving home because it seems as though I am just starting to get the hang of loving and serving my family well. The beginning of the summer was a bit of a tumultuous transition as I, in my prideful independence, struggled to embrace the humility and selflessness that is crucial to family life. Thus, patient love was a hallmark of my growth this summer in several ways.
First: the Lord has been incredibly patient with me. The evidence of this is present in my trail of posts detailing how He has shown up in my life week by week and helped me to learn how to be more like Him. When I ask Him to speak to me and guide me, He has never failed to give me instruction. I thank God because I feel like I have had so many breakthroughs this summer – discovering new, healthy ways of thinking about the issues I face and learning how I can better honor Him. Although I still struggle and fall often, He is all encouragement and grace.
Second: My family has been so patient and generous with me. They have demonstrated the way that “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). When I am grouchy or unkind to them, they are quick to forgive me and reconcile with me. My family has supported me and cheered me on in my pursuit of a Nurse Aide Certification, which I recently received – praise God! – and has attentively listened to my stories of work, adventures, and life back in Virginia. Their love has been unconditional – in the midst of difficult situations growing only stronger.
Third: I have learned the importance of having patient love for others. Just as the Lord loves with unending generosity and mercy, so should I! This summer I have learned to let go of control and to do all things with love – choosing not to sweat the small stuff and instead looking for the good and beauty in everything and everyone around me. By the grace of God, I am growing to love better.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 famously begins, “love is patient, love is kind…” I think when I get back to Virginia I will write these verses and put them on my wall where I can be reminded daily of the characteristics of God’s love. Our purpose is to love others like He does, in thanks and praise to the God who has loved us deeply and ceaselessly. Praise the Lord who will continue to patiently teach us to live and love like Him!