My heart is filled to the brim with love & gratitude because of you! My love language is words of affirmation & all the kind words of encouragement from you after our announcement that Caleb is now full time has blessed us beyond belief!
I believe it tells a lot about a persons character how they react to others in their joyful & tough seasons of life. My favorite people, & who I want to be, is one that rejoices with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. I sincerely thank you, to each of you friends reading this online wherever you are who we have felt such genuine excitement for us in this rejoicing time for us. And you have also showed me so much love & compassion in times of pain I’ve shared. You are a rare gem & how grateful we are are to have this kind of community!
Caleb & I have faced many trials and some triumphs over our last 6 years as a team (if you’re married, you know that one spouse goes through something difficult, it’s both people walking through it). We’ve walked life with people who have been amazing during trials but such a negative discouraging force during the good times & vise versa. For example: I had a really good friend who was AMAZING when I was single but didn’t talk to me anymore when I was happily married. She later admitted it made her too jealous.
Caleb & I are always talking and praying how we can be people who truly celebrate & encourage others, and cry with those when they are in pain. I try to be aware of several things in my heart to make sure I can be the person I want others to be for me.
If I’m not excited about someone going through something amazing, if I say “why not me” or have any feelings of jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness I realize that I need a big heart check. If someone is having a hard time and I think “they’re just going to bring me down,” that’s another big heart check. If I let any of those things hold me back from being a good friend, I’m the one missing out on either having great joy with them, or great love & compassion grow in my heart.
What’s a way you are able to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn?
Romans 12 teaches me a lot about how to grow in love for others. To rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
"Love in Action
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12: 9-21 NIV
Romans 12 shares 5 key ways that help me grow in this area:
1) Honor one another above yourself. (helps me think of others needs, not so self focused)
2) Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. (we are each beautifully & wonderfully made by God, no matter what ‘position’ the world associates them with. Seeing each person through the lens of love & value is so freeing)
3)Do not be conceited. (when I only care about my needs, and am obsessing over myself that is when I’m most miserable. It’s so freeing to think about others needs, have high value for others & myself)
4) Do not take revenge, my dear friends. (Letting go of all bitterness, envy, angry allows me to love everyone in my life more fully)
5) Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
I believe that when we are able to incorporate these things into our lives, it allows us to grow in character, and become better people. When we are able to rejoice with those who rejoice even when we aren’t facing something great ourselves it helps us to feel their joy. We can be the example we wish to see in others. When someone is going through something very difficult, we get to build our compassion muscle and there’s a lot to learn in suffering. We can learn things along side them and help push people towards love & goodness. Sitting with someone, crying with someone, grows our hearts and helps others as well.
What are ways you grow in love, compassion & being a good friend to others in different seasons of life? I’m SO grateful for you & your constant encouragement, and love hearing from you!