Love Looks Deeper

Have you ever met someone with whom you felt an instant connection?  A friendship was formed with little or no hesitation, and you went on to share stories about your aspirations, your disappointments, and the ordinary routines of your life?  I have experienced this type of bond.  But it is oh so rare.  With my borderline introvert personality, perhaps it is more infrequent for me than others.

Developing a meaningful relationship with another person takes time.  In most cases, an instant connection will not be there, but we are called to dig deeper.  To find what lies beneath the surface.

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Some of the most life changing relationships I’ve experienced have been with those who, after my first impression, did not appear to be someone I would want to befriend.

A woman I met at a women’s ministry event, who was annoyingly loud, ended up making me laugh so hard I was in tears on a night when I had been tempted to stay home. Another woman who seemed pretentious became a dear friend, and one of the most genuinely caring people I know.

We all project different versions of ourselves when we are trying to impress those around us.  When we just want others to like us.  We try to be the person who is the life of the party or the one who has it all together.

My husband and I have moved a total of over five thousand miles since we got married nearly eight years ago.  Before our last cross-country move, I was devastated to leave relationships that were just beginning to grow, but knew God had something spectacular planned for us at our next destination.

I wasn’t wrong.

He has molded my personality, which was once extremely introverted, and pressed me to reach outside of my realm of comfort.  He’s pushed me to see those around me.  He’s made me realize that living a full life means reaching beyond what I think I’m capable of doing.

He’s shown me that we are called not just to extend grace to those around us who are like us, who share all of the same beliefs and political stance, who like the same t.v. shows, and whose kids attend the same school.

Peter, who had experienced the pure, abounding love and grace of Jesus after denying him not once, but three times, says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

Love means looking past first impressions.  It means looking past that snarky remark and seeing the person who had a rough morning, an unexpected phone call.  It means starting a conversation with the girl who has barely said two words at your Bible study even when you don’t know how to begin.  It means taking a meal to the widow across the street, even though you know he may talk your ear off for an hour.

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Love looks past our initial opinion of people and sees the initials of Christ stamped on them, made to reflect His glory.

 

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12 thoughts on “Love Looks Deeper

  1. This, “He’s made me realize that living a full life means reaching beyond what I think I’m capable of doing” and this “Love looks past our initial opinion of people and sees the initials of Christ stamped on them, made to reflect His glory” are such beautiful testimonies to Christ’s redeeming work in our lives. I love this post, Abby. God has worked in the same areas in my own life and it’s a process, but it’s a good one to be in the middle of. Thank you for sharing so eloquently. 🙂

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    • Yes, it is a good one to be in the middle of, Meredith. It’s a life process, becoming more like Him. I’m so glad you stopped here! You are such an encourager.

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  2. This post touched me deeply today. A few months ago, I lost my best friend to cancer, and when I look back at the beginning when we first met, I remember that she was so shy, I thought she didn’t like me! Our journey brought us to a place where we were sharing ministry life together. We were one another’s armor bearers. That would have never happened without the very thing you are so clearly describing in your post. Thank you, it was good to reflect this morning:)

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    • I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Kristine. You will be in my prayers, and from what you’ve said I am joyful you will be reunited one day. I can be very reserved sometimes too, so I’m glad you didn’t give up on her. Thank you so much for stopping here this morning and sharing your thoughts. I’ve been blessed by you this morning.

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  3. This is so beautiful. My husband found me to be that loud, annoying person you mentioned in your post. I can’t imagine my life without him. Even my dearest friends were not what you would consider an obvious fit – but after looking past those first impressions, we are perfect for each other.

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    • It’s amazing how skewed our first impressions can be. It’s something God is teaching me more and more. Thank you so much for your kind words today, Lisa.

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  4. Hi Abby,
    I’ve moved a lot as well. I have to fight the desire to isolate myself because I know God created us for community. It is worth it though! Thank you for your encouragement and beautiful writing!

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    • I have to fight that desire too, Kasey, but you are right. It is worth it and I feel refreshed after being around others who I can share my walk with. Thanks for stopping here today!

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  5. I have been on the other side of this: I have definitely been guilty of misrepresenting myself – trying to appear like I have it all together when I really don’t – in the name of getting people to like me. The funny thing is, people seem to like me a lot more when I don’t put up that barrier and just act like myself, flaws and all. For me, it becomes easier to be myself when I remember that I am loved by God exactly as I am, in this exact moment. There really is no need for me to pretend to be anyone else.

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    • I’ve done the same thing, Katie, and you are right! It’s better to just be yourself. 🙂 Funny how we create more work for ourselves sometimes.

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  6. Abby, your post brought tears to my eyes. I let some first impressions last night determine if I want to befriend a few women, and through your words, I am convicted. You are spot on, and it’s no accident I came over to your blog today. Thank you, friend for helping me see truth. 🙂

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    • I’m so glad you stopped here today, Julie. This topic is one God is pressing on my heart more and more lately. Like you, I have been convicted of turning away. Thankful His mercies are new every morning!

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