Monday, October 03, 2011

3rd October

I had a revelation this morning. Obvious really, but there’s so much difference between knowing something cognitively and having a change of heart. Simple determination, even with understanding, is not always enough, especially when emotions have such a powerful grip. We may know the right thing we should do but how often do we fail to do it? We may work things out and then talk things through but have we really changed our ways? I usually find it easier to ‘talk the talk’ than ‘walk the walk’. So, when I first met Jane there was an instant attraction, she is an incredibly beautiful woman and more to the point she was interested in me… no brainer for a rather scruffy would be hippy. After a few months I knew I was totally in love with her and she felt the same about me. Over the years that love remained steadfast and we grew very close, but then something changed, as after we had our first two children we started attending church. We only went for 6 weeks before becoming committed Christians and subsequently our whole lives were turned upside down in many wonderful ways.

Life’s problems didn’t simply disappear though and just a very few years later I became a little upset and it was about something I couldn’t possibly have shared with Jane at the time, although some years later I did. I realised that I had a very special almost sacrificial love for my children; I cared not just for them but about them. And I really enjoyed being their dad. What upset me was that I didn’t have the same depth of love for Jane. Yes I still loved her, massively, but it was the same love I’d always had and there was something missing which was hard to define. So for the next year I asked God for his love for Jane to come and fill my heart. Eventually it did and that was amazing. God’s love grows, day by day, year by year and it never fails. It can cope with any challenge and any problem and it needed to for sure at the end of Jane’s life. It is totally sacrificial, unselfish, always caring and considerate, enveloped in gentleness and kindness, and asking nothing in return. It’s more to do with giving than receiving. But the love God gave me for Jane became particularly intense in her final days after some years of single minded focus in our battle against cancer. My problem now is that I still find myself concerned for her and long to spend time with her again and that’s just silly. But it’s the heart thing I’m talking about not the head understanding. My heart is filled with love and that love proved it’s worth in providing 24/7 palliative care in the home over several months. But it has no outlet right now, maybe sometime in the heavenly future but not right now, here on earth. It just messes me up, and I keep crying, thinking of the same things time and time again. I don’t need it at the moment. It hurts and I can’t function. It even makes me a little ill with M.E.

So the revelation is that I should give that gift of love, that particular measure of love back to God for safe keeping until Jane and I are together again. I’ll always love Jane of course, she was my whole life, but I don’t need the sacrificial all-consuming growing love today that I so much was dependent upon before. It filled my life. Today it needs to be confined to my memories so that I can move on. It has no outworking; I have to let it go. And really it’s all part of saying goodbye. I have a big heart because God’s love lives there and it needs filling again so that I can share and care again… but first it needs emptying a little. I have to let Jane go and pick my new life up. I have to say goodbye. My life has a new agenda.

Ezekiel 36:26 ‘And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.’ (NLT)

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