I used to think that there was no greater fear than the fear of death, and then I found out that public speaking is listed as the number-one fear in America. I'm not surprised.
When I was in college, my Fundamentals of Speech professor asked the class to step out of our comfort zones to write a speech about a difficult time in our lives.
I've always been a pretty transparent person and loved a good challenge, so I decided to write about my dad's death.
The day the assignment was due, I felt my heart thumping after my professor called on me to read my speech. I've talked about my dad's death before ... why was I so nervous?
I slowly walked up to the front of the class and began. Everyone's eyes were focused on me.
Don't mess up! I thought to myself.
My nerves made me speed-read, but I got through what I considered the "difficult part" of my speech. Now it's time to close. I ended with a story about my mom being the strength of my family and how much I admire her.
And then the whole room went blurry. I couldn't breathe.
Tears began to skateboard down my face, and my voice started squeaking. I couldn't get any words out.
I was overwhelmed with the love I have for my mom, and it was a wrap—I couldn't get myself together to finish the speech. I wanted to hide my face, but there was nowhere to go.
Everyone who knows me knows that my mom is my BFF. I still don't know how she does this, but only mommy can magically heal all my wounds and "boo-boos" with a single kiss.
She’s my favorite superhero.
"When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." — John 19:26-27
Jesus was in agony dying on the cross, and rather than (understandably) worrying about his own welfare, he was concerned about his mother's. With some of his last words, he made sure to entrust her well-being to someone he knew would take care of her.
This blows my mind. Jesus was in excruciating pain ... he was dying for our sins, and yet he still managed to demonstrate another selfless act of love.
Love is an active experience—a verb.
Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God didn't just demonstrate His love for us, He's still demonstrating it today.
And because of His active love, we can show love to others.
No matter what your current relationship is like with your parents, scripture tells us to honor them (Exodus 20:12). Even though parents can sometimes get on your nerves, misunderstand you, and not agree with your life choices, thank God for them.
You wouldn't exist without them, and you are not a mistake.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." —John 15:13
We are only able to show love to others, even when it's inconvenient to do so because God filled us with His love when we became believers. His love empowers us to love by action.
I said this before, and I'll say it again, love is an active experience. Choose love.
There's always room to grow. How can you improve your relationship with your family and those around you today? As always, I'd love to hear from you. Head on over to the discussions page on the blog, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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You were born to do great things. Love by action.