No Ulterior Motives

Love 3

I tend to be a pretty big weirdo, but you guys probably know that by now. I am the girl who will probably hug you when I greet you and again when I leave you. I will try really hard to tell you I love you even if you haven’t told me. I will second guess things I say and analyze them down to the bare bones skeleton of worry, that somehow you won’t know what you mean to me. I know that every day may be my last day. I live with the regret of having not had the opportunity to say goodbye to some precious souls in my life. I’ve lost a few of my dearest friends. I’ve lost my grandma, a cousin I loved very much, a good friend in high school, and even a few childhood friends. I dread the next loss, but know it’s just a part of this life that none of us escape. Some barely get a chance to live, and some have lived so long, they hope for the release of death. No matter how you slice it, none of us get out of here alive.

About a month ago, I had a dream. I was very stressed in my dream. I was at a water park with my kids and I couldn’t find my keys. I was looking everywhere and full of anxiety. It’s one of those dreams where you feel panicked but you can’t fix the stress no matter how hard you try. I was all over this water park, looking for this set of keys. I had gone to the parking lot in my dream, and heard my name called. I turned around, and there standing in front of me, was one of my best friends. Marlene stood there and smiled at me, and then with youthful bounce, she almost ran to me with her brown shoulder length curls bouncing. She was smiling ear to ear. I could here her laugh as I hugged her. I said, “Oh I miss you so much! I am so glad to see you! I can’t believe you’re here!” All of the anxiety I had felt a second before, had completely melted away. I was full of joy. Then I woke up. For a few moments I had to grieve the fact it had just been a dream. I laid there in the dark, with tears streaming out my eyes.

I cannot describe to you, how happy I was to see her. You see, it’s been almost 2 years since she passed. When I saw her last, she was in a much more fragile state. Marlene died after fighting cancer for several years. She was my husband’s aunt, but she was also my dear friend. We had grown very close through our mutual health struggles. I haven’t seen her healthy with her beautiful hair and fuller face, in years. When we first became close, nearly 16 years ago, she was healthy and strong. That was more like the Marlene of my dream. She has been restored to the greatest state we can achieve. I admit, I’m envious. I can’t even remember what it feels like to not be in pain. That Amy died 8 years ago, when she naively swallowed that Cipro. I can’t tell you how many times the memory of that, flashes through my mind, and I regret it all over again.

I think that these moments remind me to reflect. Losing my healthy, independent, and able self, changed my earthly identity. I really had to ask myself, “Who am I really? Am I a writer, artist, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, Democrat or Republican?” Well, kind of and kind of not. I have been given the gift of holding those positions and places on this earth and in this life, but those things don’t really exist the same way in eternity. I suppose I am really, just a child and servant of the King, and that is more than enough. It is the one reason why so many things surrounding us can change, and we can adapt over and over. We aren’t our job title, our accomplishments, or our circumstances. Those things are all temporary. Eternally, we are each just a child and servant of the King.

Sitting at a memorial service of someone you love, is difficult. This also has the side effect of reminding us that people may not remember everything you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. The memories we leave behind, are the wake our actions left behind. We either leave a wake of love, or a wake of destruction. Sitting at Marlene’s service, proved she left a wake of love and kindness. I hope that is what I leave behind. 

As children of the King, we are princes and princesses, of the King of Kings. It causes me to embrace this position, as one of honor and sacrifice. Every day, I act as a representative of the Kingdom of Heaven. It makes me scrutinize my decisions differently, when I put them in this light. Am I making choices that benefit the Kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Amy?  Who am I living for, me or God? Do I act in a manner that honors the King?

It’s a painful reality, that I fail daily. I feel like there is always something I realize I could have done better. As a christian, my mess ups, go over as well as they would if I was a child of the president. The haters are gonna be all over it, and falling over each other, to point fingers and try to prove that I am undeserving of this position. They wait salivating, at the thought of my next large failure, and feel validated when it comes. The truth is, I am undeserving of this position as princess of the King of Kings. So many times I realize that I forget my place. I didn’t do my best to represent the Kingdom. I failed to faithfully adhere to the laws or statutes that I vowed to uphold. Every bit of me feels that self hatred. I have instances in my life that haunt me. The jerk devil loves to remind me how filthy I am and how I will never be able to attain righteousness enough to truly belong in this kingdom. He is constantly putting together his smear campaign of my life. What he can’t do…is separate me from the love of God. I love God and He loves me. I know I will never be righteous enough to deserve a place in that glorious heavenly kingdom. I also know that Jesus knew that, when he chose to pay the price for me. He bought me while I was still covered in filth. He loves me in spite of that smear campaign, because he knows I am deeply sorry, and he claims me as his prodigal anyway. That is just the purest charity. He loved us even in our imperfection I want to have that love for others. I pray for it, and I wrestle with it, but that is my aim.

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, here on earth, but really the only thing that matters, is that I remember I am a child of the King, and I act as such. I am working at mastering the pure love of God, as well as loving souls here on earth with me. Those two things alone, can properly dictate my conduct in any position I find myself. Loving God, drives the obedience required of me. Loving my fellow man, will drive my conduct and actions with them. My conscious intent, must always be, to restore and not destroy. Leave a wake of love and kindness.

A friend of mine posted a quote, that really caused the wheels in my head to turn like a race car tire at the Indianapolis 500. My brain wheels started smokin and almost blew out.  The quote was, “You only love God as much as the person you dislike the most.”

Huh? Are your brain wheels smokin like mine yet? That’s deep. I admit, it took me a minute to digest. You mean, if I dislike someone, I only love God as much as I love them? I’m not sure I like that at all! Makes me feel all yucky inside. I think I’m beginning to understand though. Sure makes Politics feel a bit different…

love God

In a conflict, when we feel violated, attacked, or betrayed, it’s hard not to feel justified in our anger and or hurt. Yet Jesus, asked his Father to “forgive them, they know not what they do.” Jesus had every reason to condemn us and not defend us, but he chose pure love.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And theyparted his raiment, and cast lots.

Jesus held our souls more precious than his feelings and his pain. I truly have a hard time wrapping my brain around the enormity of this. The whole situation still cries injustice. If I had walked with Jesus as his friend on earth, I fear there would have been more than one person lopping off soldier’s ears, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Simon Peter and I would have both been corrected, as we went all Inigo Montoyo on those soldiers. I might have even gone for Judas. I have a defensive streak in me that runs hot, when someone I love is hurt. When I am in a situation where I feel attacked and fight or flight is supposed to take over…I tend to fight first and only flight when the fight is over. This isn’t what I want to be. Jesus doesn’t want me to be that either.

Luke 22:48-51

48. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

49. When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

50. And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

51. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

Our nature is not to defend God’s kingdom, it’s to defend our own. While Jesus was representing God’s kingdom and setting a perfect example, Simon Peter was defending his friend. It’s easy to identify with him, but Jesus wanted to follow his example, not Simon Peter’s. I often find it ironic, that when it comes to politics, there are a lot of people who claim to believe and follow God. As I look at this country, I wonder if politics causes us to sometimes forget that we are all working toward a common goal of furthering this country in a positive way. When we don’t understand each other, we begin destroying our fellow citizens, to prove our point. We start a division in our own kingdom. We smear each other, we throw accusations, and we even sometimes destroy each other. How many protests have turned violent in the last few years? How many of us fear the subject of any news story, because of the fallout? If you want to do a quick weeding out of your friend’s list on Facebook…post a political opinion. Boom. Half your friends gone. Are we Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, or are we all citizens of The “United” States? This will not be the venue forever. We are all just sons and daughters of the living God. Princes and Princesses of The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Who’s kingdom are we working to further, ours or God’s?

I sometimes have to ask myself, “Why I am doing or saying something. Is it edifying?” I have to question my own motivations. A friend of ours told us something I try to teach my kids. She say’s you should always weigh your words by using the word, “THINK,”as the criteria.

THINK

Is what I want to do, or what I’ve done, driven by charity? Is the pure love of God, my motivation? Did I act on anything outside of that, such as gossip, preconceived notions, irritation, or revenge? These are the things we have to ask ourselves and the things that God discerns. If it doesn’t make the cut in any of those things…who’s kingdom am I defending, mine or God’s? I used to post my political opinions, until I realized that my motivations were occasionally wrong. I still post certain opinions on certain issues, but I try not to be dividing. That’s not my job on this earth. My job is to love God and my fellow man. If the aim isn’t to uphold those 2 things, and it doesn’t fall under the “THINK,” criteria,…I make an effort to remain quiet.

Hebrews 4:12-14

12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

I’ve been mulling over this position I hold as a daughter of the King. My motivations are just as important as the decisions I make. It’s no easy thing. This charity is really what determines my place in this Kingdom. I have two jobs. Love God, and love my fellow man. People are not dumb. They can see through love like you can see through glass, and they can see through it, because of our manner towards them. If the person I have the most trouble with, would have a hard time believing I am a true follower of Christ, then how effective is my example to them anyway? If they spoke at my funeral, what would I hope that they would say?

We are all ministers to whatever crowd we are in contact with in our lives? We are ministering love to an entire world that lacks Godly charity. God deals with us as His children. Is that not the way we should deal with each other? We are trying to heal hearts through the love of Christ, and encourage them to join us, worshipping our King in this beautiful Kingdom, that will reign for all eternity. I think Heaven is going to be so very awesome. I pray I make it, and I pray to see each of you there. I want to wish all of you a Happy Valentines Day, filled with charity that never fails, and friends and family to remind you of it. I love you each, and send you my hugs… If you someday speak at my funeral…(wincing) please be gentle 😉

1st Corinthians 13:4

1.Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

 

 


12 thoughts on “No Ulterior Motives

  1. After reading your blog and the verse beneath it, I started to cry. I realize that it is useless to compare ourselves to other people, no matter who they are……Instead, we desperately need to compare ourselves to Jesus Christ because that is who we serve. It is in His light that we will be convicted of sin, no matter how seemingly “small” it would seem. I was reminded of Luke 14:26-35 …..Oh, that our Lord God would keep me on the Potter’s wheel and cause me to become more like Jesus. For if the salt becomes tasteless and is fit for nothing…….it is thrown away.

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    1. Amen sister. I have such a hard time keeping my mind and heart centered on the goal of having the same mind and heart as Jesus. It is easy to forget in the crazy rush of life. I keep telling myself, “Two goals, Amy. Love God. Love your fellow man.” Big big hugs Jacqueline!

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  2. Thank you for oh so generously sharing your life & heart. You have been used of the Lord to bless me today in a uniquely personal way. Continuing to pray for you, my sister, Princess Amy! 👸

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  3. ” I know that every day may be my last day”…..I think once we realize this we will be OK.

    The main thing thing in life is to keep your heart pure before God.

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  4. I totally identify with your words; except for one thing: You said that you pray you make it (to heaven). Eph 2:8 says
    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
    My prayer is that you absolutely know that you are saved.
    Blessings to your Ministry
    Vicki Jeffres

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    1. Thank you so much Vicki. I guess I should clarify. I meant that I pray and ask God to refine me and to help me to be more righteous and I ask Him to do whatever needs to be done, to ensure that I don’t fall away or lose hope. I pray for help. I know that even if I was sinless, which unfortunately, I’m not, grace would still be what saves me. I do believe I have to keep a desire to grow, make an effort to cleanse my life of sin, and keep a repentant heart. That is what I mean. I hope that makes more sense. Thank you for your encouragement and an opportunity to further explain as well. Huge hugs!

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  5. Amy, once again a powerful life lesson. I love all of your examples and how we must T.H. I.N.K.before we speak. Oh that more would engage in such patience and love. It really is love for another that enables one to do this, instead of giving a piece of their mind they really can’t afford to lose.
    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31 is one of my rules, but I don’t always obey it. I don’t think unsaved people wrestle with this notion, so the fact that The Spirit of God brings it to mind so we can repent is a humble part of transformation. Oh how He loves us.

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  6. Thank you for oh so generously sharing your life & heart. You have been used of the Lord to bless me today in a uniquely personal way. Continuing to pray for you, my sister, Princess Amy! 👸 (not sure why this didn’t post last month – perhaps you need it today 😊) You are often in my prayers 🙏🏻

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