As the calendar turned over to a new year, I needed to find a new journal. Down in my study I uncovered a beautiful leather-bound journal that someone gave to me a long time ago. I had forgotten it was there, but that must surely mean that THIS is the year I was to find it and begin journaling in it. There is a title etched into the front and it says, "THE WAY TO LOVE JOURNAL."
It has always amazed me that the Lord finds a way to place a book in my hands just at the very time that I need it, almost as if the author had called me on the phone and imparted all this wisdom to me just at the very time I desperately needed his or her words. So, in this first couple of weeks of 2024 I find a journal called THE WAY TO LOVE and a book titled WAYMAKER (by Ann Voskamp). Nothing is a coincidence with our God!
I am finding the way to love. The first pages of this book speak to the deepest part of my soul. "You can't control the way of the waves - but you can control the way of the sail." The way of the sail. Wow. This means I can concentrate on keeping my sail turned toward my Captain - Yeshua - who IS love. As I've been pondering this, and as I've abandoned the cry of "How long, O Lord," my heart has found a new love for my husband. It's not a romantic love, not even a grown-up love. It's a love that accepts him right where he is: a five-year-old playing with our five-year-old grandson, JJ. They are down on the floor together, making toy trains glide along wooden toy tracks, crashing the box cars and falling all over each other with shrieks and giggling. My husband now thinks that very silly things are funny and delights in laughing at kids' TV shows and playing with balloons. I needed to let this be okay. I needed to let my husband be a five-year-old and not sink into sadness. Voskamp writes, "Death of self is always what keeps love alive."
In pondering the words, I realize that Waymaker was not written about a man with Dementia and his care-giving wife. It was written about every marriage. Every friendship. Every relationship. If each one of us kept our sails turned toward King Jesus, the Captain of our ships, we would not crash into rocky shores and end up in bitter arguments, broken relationships, and wrecked marriages. If we can truly say to another, "I CHOOSE YOU OVER ME," we will keep love alive and even find joy in the process.
Voskamp continues with the theme of the sailboat: "Every turn says 'I choose you. I choose you over whatever is in front of me. I choose you OVER me.'" There it is! The sacrificial love that Yeshua taught: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one’s friends. (John 15:13).
Love is always laying down. Love is letting go of self - to hold on to the other. I am learning the true way to love!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
Kelly Ferrari Mills