love them MORE

I recently spent a week disconnected from “everything”, yet nothing at all.  My week at Hume with my sweet group of 9th grade girls had me closer to intentional relationships and our loving God than I could have ever imagined. That’s the “everything” that counts.
Preparation for a week of leading high schoolers at camp had me ready for all sorts of things. I was prepared for late nights full of giggling and junk food, deep one-on-one conversations with youngsters genuinely seeking the Lord and His plan for their lives, long lines full of hungry, unshowered teens, and hours upon hours of incredible worship through music. But I wasn’t prepared to be deepened in an area of my own faith that I hadn’t realize needed deepening.
Day 5 of 7 at camp came much quicker than anticipated, and I found myself beginning to consider the post-camp real life reality that hits minutes down the mountain as cell service kicks back in.  I began to think of work, appointments, classes, yet-to-be-planned but much-needed-to-be-planned hang outs with old friends, the daily what’s-for-dinner dilemma, and the never ending sweeping and vacuuming of dog hair. I could feel the anxiety rising in my heart like a flooding toilet!!! EEEK! But mostly, I was beginning to worry about the many times I’d need to put my 3 year old in someone else’s care in order to get all of these obligations fulfilled. I worried about my husband and all the work he probably had piling up and the hours of rest he’d need after a full week of playing single parent.
I was overwhelmed, to say the least. My prayers were instantly filled with requests to help me survive the heavy laden life back at home, and my heart was breaking that I couldn’t be everywhere for everyone I loved at all times.  As I sang the words to the worship song playing in the background, “Your love never ends, it never gives up, it never runs out on me…” I felt Jesus gently reminded me that His love also doesn't run out on my daughter or my husband. I slowly realized I needed to trust God with not only my own life, but their lives, too. For the first time, I realized that as much as I love my family and would do anything for them, He loves them more.  Mind blown. No, God, you don’t understand—I love them SO MUCH!!! And then He speaks to my heart and says, “Yes, Gigi, I know. But no matter how much that is, I ALWAYS love them MORE than that.”
Heart released. Calm, settled breathing began again. What an amazing concept to think that He always has, and always will, trump my own love for those two. And because of that, I don’t have to worry. I can trust Him with them—with their whole lives. His plan is so much greater than my own, and because He has overcome the world, I need to let Him love them the way only He can.
So when I feel that anxiety rise, I say a quick prayer and ask that God just do his love thing. Over, and over, and over again. Because they are His—and not mine.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he will keep your paths straight. –Prov. 3: 5-6