Bam! I made the choice to love.

I spent months of my life diligently working to clean out the black spots in my heart. I dealt with forgiving others, had a few relapses, and then strove to forgive them again. That’s when I began to enjoy the benefits of the freedom that forgiveness brings. My heart was so light. I even resumed some of the activities and obligations that I had had to give up, and other people started to notice the changes in my life. I knew I was getting closer and closer to the end of my journey toward wellness. My victories were preparing me to face a big hurdle yet to come, but the end was in sight. I felt great!

Of course, that’s when God decided to work on a black speck in my heart. It was just a tiny speck, but it had to be erased like all the other black spots if I were to finish my journey. I had to deal with it face-on before I could move on. Isn’t that just like God? He cares so much for me that He doesn’t want even a speck to come between me and the freedom that He has to offer.

At this point of my healing, I thought that I had already forgiven all the people in my life who had caused me pain and against whom I had harbored ill feelings. I thought I was past that point. Unfortunately, however, there was one more relationship in my life that needed attention, and God was calling me to do more than just forgive this woman. She needed my help. Before, when I had dealt with other damaged relationships, I had been able to release the offending person to God privately, without direct confrontation. But this time, God wanted me to handle the situation in a completely different manner. He wanted me to take care of this person in her hour of need.

Wait a minute, God.

I did not love this woman, so how was I supposed to minister to her physical and emotional needs? I did not love her? This realization sparked a heart-wrenching battle.

Oh, God, You alone can help me out of this dilemma.

The situation was very painful. I had come so far, but now this new battle was threatening to send me back into the pit of despair. In fact, I went into a deep depression, so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed or get dressed. I was barely functioning. God commanded me to care for this person physically and emotionally, but my heart just wouldn’t cooperate. I wanted to be a godly woman. I wanted to be obedient. My head knew the Truth, but it hadn’t moved to my soul yet.

How can I do this? How, God? Change me!

In the fourth chapter of I John, John uses the word love in almost every line. Verse 7: “[Let] us love one another…, love is from God…, everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” Verse 8: “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Verse 11: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Verse 12: “[I]f we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us” (NASB). On and on, John writes about love. Verse 17: “Love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence.”

Confidence: that is the word that makes the difference. I have come so far and been obedient to God for so long, and I can do it again because I have confidence that God is Faithful. By emotionally and physically ministering to this person, I can rid my heart of that troublesome black speck. Oh, what joy, what victory, what excitement!

Remarkably, this particular setback lasted only one day. That in itself was part of the victory. One day of struggling and weeping and depression, and then—bam!—I gained the confidence to love someone who, for me, was unlovable. I knew that I could follow God’s command and do it with real love. I could, and I did.

Is there some black speck in your life that God wants to work on? Give it to Him. Has He called you to do something that seems impossible? Do it. Remember your past victories and use the confidence from those victories to move forward today. Today! Don’t take another year, another month, even another week, but do it today. This is my testimony to you, Oh Friend. We can have the victory today. We may wake up defeated, but at the end of the day we can go to bed victorious. Believe it. With God’s help, we can live a victorious life.

Blessings – Lisa

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