I think I need to share a serious struggle with you all. But before I do, let me preface with recent events that you all may or may not know about. Nate Henn - strong advocate and fighter for Invisible Children was a victim of a terrorist attack in Uganda this past July.
I do not know who this man was, however, a seriously large group of people do. I was able to learn about him in the Hangar today. In case you are wondering, the Hangar is the name used for the student ministry program at the church I am working at this summer. We are currently working on a summer-long series called, "Summer of Love" emphasizing Christ's teachings of love and how to give it, receive it and accept it into our lives. Along with the series, we are have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers, including a friend and staff member who happened to be a person friend of Nate Henn.
Today, our speaker did a fantastic job sharing the story for Nate Henn. To learn more about Henn and his remarkable efforts, check out this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-c4G2bIcxU He shared with us Henn's uniquness: his ability to follow Christ's Word. John 13: 34-35 was the scripture focus of the day:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
The point our speaker was trying to make was this: Henn lived his life not only to the full and for God's purpose, but he lived his like to love God and love others deeply and wholeheartedly. This is something I am finding that I struggle with. And it is something that I wish I could change about myself. Through prayer and time, I am sure it will - but more and more, I think I am learning about my struggle. Everyday, I am constantly in contact with people: people I work with, people I live with, maybe even people I sometimes don't want to be with. Either way - I am around people. It is hard for me to have much alone time... in this case... past midnight, I finally do have some alone time! When I am around people, I try to be a light. I really do - I want Christ to illuminate inside this flesh of mine - I want to do all things possible to glorify Him - even if that is by making someone laugh, or providing listening ears - I want to be able present God to others through my actions. Now don't get me wrong; I know I am not always the best at doing so, but I put forth a lot of effort. But the thing I struggle with most is loving others the way God loves others and us.
After a lot of thought, I think there are a few reasons for this:
1) I am scared. I am scared of failing those who show love to me. I hate the thought of not being able to invest enough time. I can only be so many places at once - but I try to invest so much of myself... But I hate the thought of not spending enough time with someone who needs it. That's when I feel like I fail.
2) I am scared that if I get too close, my heart will be shattered. Not that this happens a lot, but I get easily discouraged if I pour into someone who has no interest in me. This causes me to guard my heart with all types of people - friends and family.
3) I am scared that the love I show won't be enough. My mind moves a mile a minute and sometimes I get teased for being all over the place - which I agree, if I have a million things going on, yes that is true. But what if I don't solidify my focus enough - I need to work on this!
There might be other reasons I cannot identify - but the truth is that I am seriously scared of showing 100% love. I like a lot of people!! I do. And I really like those who are earnestly seeking God - I want to reach out to them and show them God's love - but I am scared about showing love to those who are closest to me. I need prayer for this. I recently had a conversation with a friend who mentioned to me that she noticed I am not so "touchy-feely." She insists on giving me hugs whenever she sees me - and that's great! The push is good. But I still fear. I have a very hard time telling someone I love them. I take that phrase so seriously and if I say it when I am not ready, it bothers me. I think it is one of the strongest most powerful things we could ever say. But sometimes, people need to hear it - and I rarely have the guts to say it to someone I am unsure if I actually love.
I am praying that God breaks my heart for what breaks His; that He blesses me with His love and the courage to share it with others. I am praying that God can teach me more about Nate Henn - his vision to help others selflessly and love God and others with an unending and free love. I do not want to be afraid anymore of failing. I just hope that the Lord provides me with the ability to love as much as possible so that He can make a change in people's lives through this vessel.
Thanks, A.G. for the talk today and the encouragement. I think I have learned a lot this summer and I appreciate your words today.