Monday, May 18, 2009

The Dare of a Lifetime....

What a journey that I am embarking on. I can't even begin to describe these last 10 days of being on the Love Dare. Actually, it has been more like 2 weeks, but I am not reading the book on the weekends, I like savoring it for my mundane weekdays.

For those of you who may not be too familiar with the Love Dare book, it originated from the movie, Fireproof. I had been wanting to watch that movie since the day it hit theaters, but never did. So, finally, I rented the movie. Lem reluctantly sat down with me with some popcorn and we watched it together. I couldn't help but sheepishly grin as we were sitting on the couch together, watching a Christian love story unfold. It was the purest form of quality time for me.

He ended up really taking a liking to the i knew he would. We talked about how God is always with us, but we don't always seek Him. It's hard. I admit it. 1 husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat later, it's hard to take time to really spend time with God these days. It almost feels like something I have to schedule in, and then it still may not happen. Yikes...that hurts to say, but it is true for me.

As God's perfect timing would have it, a few of my friends and I had recently decided to give our little bible study another go. We call ourselves LOV, ladies of virtue. NOT because we are all that virtuous, but because the first book that we read together as a group was, "The Virtuous Woman". Hence, the name of our little group.

Well, me and the girls, walked into Lifeway 2 weeks ago looking for a new book to start together. As God would have it, The Fireproof movie and Love Dare Books were on a huge and overwhelming display at the front door as soon as we entered. We walked straight over to them and picked up the Love Dare Book.

We weren't sure if this would make a good group study, because it was so personal and more marriage oriented. Boy, were we wrong. This book has shown me more things about my love walk than any other book that I have read in my 34 years of living. And, I am only on Day 10.

Our first meeting to discuss the first week of the book was last week. We had so many stories to tell. Many remarkable things to say about our experience with the book so far. God is so perfect in His timing. We could not believe how He had lead us to this book in such a precise and timely manner.

I shared with the group my own personal experiences with each days lesson, and told them that the most surprising part was how it was helping me in not only my marriage, but the other relationships in my life. Seeing how selfish that I can be, focusing only on my own desires, wants and needs has been pretty humbling and eye opening to say the least.

After reading this and seeing my faults over the years in my marriage, God gently and so lovingly showed me how all of the things that I thought Lem needed to change, really had everything to do with what I needed to change. Whoa. To be able to see Lem through new eyes and more importantly through God's eyes, has made all the difference in our communication with each other. Now, don't get me wrong, we will still have our "times", but walking in unconditional love as God calls us to do, sure makes it easier during these "times".

Today, as I was reading this book in my oh-too-short morning quiet time, these words shot through my soul and pierced my heart. I had to read them again and again to make sure they would sink in. I don't want to ever forget this and pray that if I do forget, that God will pull me back in line and straighten me back up. It was this that I read..."The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love."

Oh, how many heartaches I could have saved myself if I had only chose to love like this. My mistakes with my husband, my children, my parents, my friends. These mistakes, too many times rear their ugly heads, and I find myself repulsed for making bad choices and choosing poor words. But, freedom comes when I can know that God has forgiven me, and that it's never too late to walk in unconditional love for others.

Suffice it to say, I am still learning. I have many challenges ahead that will soon come beckoning at my door. I will want to take the easy road and self-protect, but unconditional love will be gently knocking at the back door, whispering to me that there is another way....God's way.

Thank you Lord for pruning me daily. I have so far to go, but how beautiful is the journey at times.

I have found a quote that I never want to forget, it is now taped to my computer screen.."Indifference makes an excuse, but love finds a way."

learning that it's never too late,



Mary said...

I think we're on the same journey, Sister (only I need to get this book and rent the movie). That was such a great quote. . .I love it that I can look to you for inspiration in this area.
Thanks for being a light in my life!
I love you so!!!

Rebekah Hudgins said...

I love it that we are all finding our way in marriage with our spouses and feeling connected, somehow.

Almost like a search party, "hey Joe, I found something over here!" And we all run over to see.

It helps! Thank you for always encouraging me!!

Love you!

Greer Dierkes said...

Hey Jill!
I hope it's not too random that I was reading your blog through reading Mary's blog :) I love what you wrote and that book has been popping up everywhere for me...maybe it's a sign? I need to rent the movie and get the book...looking forward to it!
Thanks for sharing!

Tracey said...

I bought the movie and book for Darren's sister and new husband as a shower gift.... We will be starting it in August with our Sunday School class. I can't wait to start!!!

Thanks for giving me a sneak peak at what we are about to embark on!!!

Much love,