by Nakia Hawley
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV) (4)Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (5)It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Growing up as a military child, my life was never really settled. We often moved all over the east coast of the United States. At times, we would be in locations for a few months, then pick back up and move again. At other times, we would have a bit longer stay, but no more than two years, although this length was very seldom.
I felt I had to prove myself repeatedly because we were moving to new places. I was meeting people I had never seen before. Even though I lived in the U.S., people came from all kinds of races, ethnic and spiritual backgrounds, and even various countries. I also experienced being a foreigner to a country, The Philippines.
Noticing on my pictures and videos as a child, I always had a serious face. You rarely saw me smile, but if I did, it was fake. I do not believe that I was unhappy. I just think it was somewhat of a poker face. A face I learned to have towards the unknown so that others would not get the best of me or my emotions.
I still managed to make friends easily. Some seem to be true friends though most were not so loyal. They would betray me several times, but I did not let it get me down. I was loyal to my friendships and very forgiving. I saw no wrong in people and I loved them all best as I knew how.
As I got older in my late twenties, I began to see people differently. I could not forgive as easily. I saw their wrongs and faults even before they happened. I was to the point that it was hard to trust anyone. My road had become lonely and I had become angry, envious, and bitter.
Boy did I let life get the best of me and beat me down! I started going through depression and I felt better in isolation. Thought if I could just close myself off from the world, I would no longer be hurt. I was not going to allow anyone else to get close to me.
Then in my early 40s, which was just a few years ago, The Lord began sending people in my life that loved me unconditionally. I did not know how to feel. My thoughts were “Is this real? How could they love me and not even truly know me?” It was a wonderful feeling and it helped to squeeze the hatred and pain right out of me.
But I felt something was still missing. They love me. But how can I love them in return? How can I trust them? Are they doing this because they want something from me?
The Lord reminded me that He is love. And that he wants every child of his to know love and to love others unconditionally. He wants us to forgive easily and hold no record of wrong.
As I continued to conversate with the Lord on the daily, he began to soften my heart. I am learning to overlook a lot of things. And most of all I am learning to flow unconditionally just as my heart so long desired.
If you have been having a hard time loving unconditionally, forgiving others as well as yourself and fueled with anger, bitterness, or hate, pray this prayer with me.
Lord, forgive me for being angry, bitter, envious, and even prideful. Forgive me for not trusting you and flowing in unconditional love. Forgive me for being critical and judgmental of others as well as myself.
I thank you for being an example of all good things, for loving me unconditionally, and keeping no record of wrongs. Teach me thy ways and help me to be more like you Lord. I thank you for causing this situation to be so Father, In Jesus name, Amen.