Monday, July 12, 2010

Courage To Love

''God's love holds us to the highest. This was the kind of love Amy Carmichael of India prayed for and taught to the children on Dohnavur--this love, the kind wherewith God loved us. "Hold one another to the highest," she told them. God's purpose was to lift us out of ourselves, out of the miry clay, and set our feet on a rock. We are not saviors, but we can help others toward faith. This means not only loving them while they're still in the mire, but loving them out of it. We must love them as they are and love them enough to draw them higher.'' Taken from Elisabeth Elliot

Courage to love....we all have that challenge before us.  As a mom I have needed courage to love a child when is was hard. Jace has needed the courage to meet and love new siblings who don't know him yet.  I have watched many precious children come home through adoption...what a great amount of courage is needed to love a child you haven't met yet, and then courage for the child to trust and love a new and unfamiliar family.  
The kind of love that the LORD ask of us will lift us out of ourselves. One reason that we must hold ourselves to this highest level of love is that it can become so easy to “love” with an expectation of what we may get in return.  As a mother who has welcomed 8 children into my home through the miracle of adoption, I have often reminded myself to be sure that I am loving them without expectation of anything in return.  Several of them have come home with their little hearts in “mire”.  If I am expecting them to attach to me, or give me love or respond in some way that makes ME feel good, then I am really putting my needs or wants above theirs. Then I pray and ask the LORD to forgive me for my self-focus, and I ask Him to help me love them with HIS love.  
-Will I have the courage to love without asking for or expecting anything in return?
-Will I have the courage to love others as they are; love them enough to draw them higher and towards faith in the LORD?
The LORD will give me the ability to love like that when I receive His love for me.  What an amazing amount of freedom I find when I receive His love (not expecting what I want, but receiving what is better!!!).
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” I John 4:7
So let the lovin’ begin.


  1. oh yes! i'm waiting on my crazy love slips of paper from Linny and praying about ways to show some of it to people around here! i'm so excited! :))

  2. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. So very true.

    God Bless,

  3. Beautiful post! Great reminder!

    This is definitely something that I wish I had known before our children came home. I have learned so much from my Bloggy Friends, since bringing my children home 2 years ago.

    I did expect that my children would love me. They (ages 6, 9, 12 when they came home) did not have that automatic love for their new mother. It was hard. Very hard. But, the Lord taught me these things. He showed me how to love unconditionally. He gave me an amazing love for my children, even when that love was not returned.

    My children now love me. Oh. So. Good. The Lord has worked miracles in their hearts.

    Laurel :)

  4. This is beautiful Shonni! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights. Isn't our Lord so totally worth it?! He gives so much more than we could ever even think of!


  5. You are wise and a blessing to your family (and to us.) thank you for encourage us to be givers without expectation.

    mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted

  6. Beautifully written... it does take courage to love our little ones, especially when they don't immediately love us back or when they aren't exactly what we expected... but His example does make it possible and how these little hearts can change when they experience that love! Thank you for your post!

  7. AMEN! I was thinking about this again today as we go through more transitions even with a few home for almost 3 yrs. The mire is often very hard from them to let go of!

    Love you!

  8. Thanks for sharing this. These thoughts have been on my mind as we are waiting on our son in China. Of course, I have all kinds of hopes and expectations that things will go as well as I have seen others' experiences go, but one thing I keep reminding myself is that I must love and keep loving (in action) even if it is not reciprocated. Your post is another reminder to be resolved in this. :-)

  9. Shonni,
    This is post is beautiful, thank you for your wisdom.

  10. Thanks for the encouraging reminder.


  11. Shonni, this sounds like agape love to me. I'm going through Beth Moore's study on the fruit of the spirit, and just spent a week studying agape's not an emotion, but an obedient response. Something we can NOT do without the Holy Spirit, because only God is capable of agape love. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thanks sweet friend. I was just thinking upon this today--as one of our little ones has a hard time showing love {unless her little flesh is fed}. The Lord impressed the truth that I am to continue showering her with love, despite her response.

    Love from the North,

  13. "loving them out of the mire..." What a beautiful, perfect way to think about love!
    Thanks for sharing, and reminding me yet again why I do this thing called mothering!


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