This is often something I have wondered, especially with shows like the Bachelor on TV. I mean you see these men and women get to the end of the show and admit they love both the finalists equally. I never really knew if that was possible. You know, I thought, surely there is SOMETHING that makes one of them stand out above the other.... surely they could just look inside themselves and determine who they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with!
Then I fell in love with two things....
According to the Bible, we must "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27
So, my first love is God. I can honestly say that is not a struggle for me. God is greater than anything in my life, husband, kids, family, work, hobbies.... God is greater.
So on one hand I have an incredible husband whom I love with all my heart... I mean this guy loves me through an incredible amount of mess even when I am selfish and full of just stubborn sin. And we have 3 incredibly beautiful children who I am blessed by every day. If you want to know the meaning of unconditional love look into the faces of these 3 kids who love me even when I fail at mommy-hood. I mean I screw it up big sometimes, yet I still get kisses and hugs and just forgiveness. I know we are to look at God as a Father and we can compare His love and grace to a parents' love, but you know I think to get a glimpse of grace I can simply look at my children and how they love me through all my imperfections. So, I have this life I love, who wouldn't! I truly love every minute I spend with these 4 incredible people God has put in my life as part of my journey.
Yet, I have another love. Something I love equally as much. I never thought I would say that about anything, but I love serving and giving of myself to others. And at the moment that "others" is defined as the people of Sri Lanka. It perhaps could be expanded but for now that is what it is. I am in love with these people and this place. There is a sense of freedom, of feeling so completely at home, and so joyful working as part of the English Program we lead. I can honestly say, I feel as thought I am living out God's plan for my life when I am there.
So how do I endure this impossible idea of loving two things so completely? How do I love one without cheating on the other? I have yet to find a solution. When in Sri Lanka, it is as if I put my family in a neat little box and don't allow myself to spend too much time thinking about them, because when I do the thought of not being with them makes me incredibly sad.... but yet when I am with my family I have to do the same thing with my love for the people in Sri Lanka. I have to tuck one or the other into a neat little box and make sure I don't spend too much time thinking of either one.
Then I begin to think, this can't be God's plan. I mean why would he allow my heart to be so torn and broken. But then I realize I am not God (thank goodness, wouldn't the world be a screwed up place then), and I realize it comes down to one thing. I HAVE TO TRUST GOD.
He created me. Look at Psalms 139, "O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!" The verses go on and on to say how well God knows me/us and in creating me, he knew what he was doing. He gave me the big heart that he gave me for a purpose and all I can do is live the life He has placed in front of me, this beautiful adventurous journey. I need to trust Him with my family, I need to trust Him with my friends in Sri Lanka, and I need to trust that He knows what he is doing because He knows everything about me and how I feel. I just need to work on living one day at a time, loving the people in my life so completely that they can't help but feel the presence of God. If I do that, regardless of if I am in America or Sri Lanka, I will be living out God's plan for my life. I may feel as if my heart is living in two places completely around the world from each other, but if I am loving people as God would love them and TRUSTING that He is in control, I am doing exactly what He wants. I can't worry about loving one more or less than the other. I just have to love. It is the greatest commandment after all.