Damage is a Direction

Damage is a Direction

Today as I read Dr. Jim Samra’s book, God Told Me I see the direct application of living to listen. I hear a voice that sounds like God on my heart – even today.  First, here’s the excerpt:

Love is a tricky concept, easily perverted, so God anchors the definition of love in the cross of Christ.  With the crucifixion of Jesus, God demonstrated what true love looks like. It is not all about warm, fuzzy feelings, but concrete, sacrificial service done in humility, even for one’s enemy. 

 

An example of this kind of cross-shaped love comes from John 3.  John the Baptist’s popularity was waning, while Jesus’s was rising.  John’s disciples inform him of this, expecting that John would do something to reverse this trend.  Instead John says to his disciples, regarding Jesus:  “He must become greater; I must become less” (v. 30).  This humble, sacrificial statement is exactly the kind of thing God tells us.

In this life, I have learned that our marriage is the most powerful way to teach our children … everything.  I didn’t have this heartfunction before my new life, either in my upbringing or my first marriage.  I didn’t see it, hear it, know it or live it.  I didn’t even have the tool of the language to absorb or ignore.  This door hadn’t been opened to me, for many reasons.

But now I have it, and I so deeply desire to function  in God’s design for our life. I still fight old grooves of selfishness and ego, but this is a battle in which the harder we fight, the less collateral damage there will be.

My husband is a shocking example of sacrificial love (and true, he has a very strong ego).   In 2012 I am even more transformed by learning, one-day-at-a-time, for the last ten years, what it means to be a fully adopted child of an almighty God.  Steve shows me this constantly.  He shows us all, and sometimes it stops me in my tracks.

Today I chose to shut off the voice that would have flown out of my mouth 15 years ago.  I want to live in this place of sacrificial love and it is what I know God has called me to do … for our good.

THE FIGHT
As we take Yet Another Roadtrip on the Freeway (YARF), we face silly triggers of tension. We’re all tagging along on Steve’s business trip because my sweet sister lives in the same city as his meeting.  And it’s summertime. And we love road trips. But already, you can tell we’re stepping into what would be risky territory for many couples. Leaving on time, the condition of the house, is Cody’s dog food packed for our neighbor-buddies? We still face last-minute decisions of which hotel and which freeway to travel to get to our destination. (Gasp! DNI: Deadly Navigation Issues).

Less than 30 minutes down the road, I found myself with my own expectations rising up in a cloud of frustration and selfishness.

“But I thought we were going to…  But I want you to…”

 So I hold my tongue (self control).

I offer a suggestion that prioritizes his needs (it’s the right thing to do.)

Then…

He asks me, “What is the desire of your heart?”

I breathe out selfishness and breathe in his leading of love. I truly do want this to be comfortable for him and the other demands on his time. So I chose to walk that road.

We agree that our desires are the same: to be together.

Our kids’ hearts absorb the audible and inaudible communication between us.

He reaches to hold my hand.

God calls us to love sacrificially because it’s what makes everything more beautiful.

The whole conversation – and therefore the whole trip — could have gone differently if either one of us chose to bark out our selfishness.  But we know in our heads and our hearts: ugliness and evil will win if we allow it.

He leads with his sacrificial strength. I honor his lead. That’s how we know we’re being obedient to God’s instruction on our hearts, in this millisecond of impulse.

The feeling that I didn’t get to say what I thought I wanted to say has evaporated and our quiet SUV has breathable air of calmness rather than jagged tension.

THE IMPACT
Riley asks for a charger for her kindle, knowing that this family is slightly device-heavy and ready for anything.  She relaxes into her own need without being hit by any flying shrapnel of marital stress.

It’s my turn to drive now so my husband can work.

 

How is your sacrificial love going this week?

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Chris
    Jul 23, 2012

    I found this profound and extremely well stated. Funny, we just came back from a road trip of our own. There were moments of the sacrificial, and moments, (by each one of us) of selfishness. We have adult children now so the dynamic was a bit different but the affect of selfLESSness is the same.

    My larger connection with this post however was in the day after we got home. My wife recently converted old lost 8MM home movies to DVD. We sat and watched (for the first time on a big screen HDTV) moments that we hadn’t seen in nearly 18 years. There was nostalgia to be sure. There were many warm feelings and we all laughed at hairstyles and silly moments.

    However, what has remained with me, was my own moments of self-centerdness. How could I have let myself be looking at the TV or engrossed in the repair of that…THING…when life was happening right in front of me?! I wanted to shout at my image, “She’s right there in front of you, you dolt! Your little girl is dancing. She will only be there for a moment. She will be 21 in just a few more seconds…”

    But, my image on the screen wouldn’t have heard. And he couldn’t have understood. My wife looked so young as well. She looked so uninjured. Would that I could have been a real life knight and protected her in that state.

    • Suzy
      Jul 23, 2012

      Chris,

      It’s so true.

      You rattle our cages! I too have watched old films from both my kids’ early years and my own. We are blessed with TODAY to adjust our paths. I’m honored for your visit and your thoughts… I hope you share frequently!
      -suzy

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