Rising In Love

My mom–just one of the girls!
“For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.  And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” 
Malachi 4:2

Since everywhere you look, we’re in a season of love, I thought it might be fun to share some relationship advice dispensed from my sweet mother about 9 years ago.  One simple disclaimer before we begin:  I am NOT a relationship expert.  I do NOT have much experience.

BUT, when it comes to relationship advice, Lisa Nelson’s lines are gems. Pure gems.

For instance my personal favorite, “Physical chemistry is an important component to any relationship…sometimes it might get you into trouble, but you can’t have a great relationship without it!”

Don’t worry Mom, we’re not going to talk about physical chemistry today…we’re going to talk about rising into love.  If you’ve been friends with me for over a month, chances are you’ve heard this.  It’s one of the five best pieces of advice my mother has imparted to me.

A long, long time ago, the relationship I convinced myself was “the one” (at the very mature age of 19) had ended and my sweet mother came rushing to my aid to nurse my aching heart.  I was numb, confused, and incredibly broken.  I didn’t just hurt emotionally, but I even hurt physically.

As we talked and I cried, she looked at me and said, “Elizabeth, I know you can’t see this right now, but there’s a difference between falling in love and rising into love.  In this instance, I think you were falling—holding on to something because you were desperate to make it work and scared to be alone; losing touch with yourself and falling into something that was “good.”  God has something for both of you that is GREAT.  You weren’t made to fall, you were made to rise into what God has for you.” 

Even though I wasn’t exactly emotionally stable, for some reason her words stuck.  The funny thing is, she doesn’t even remember saying it.

We were made to rise—after that day, those five words guided me through several relationship decisions.  Am I rising or falling?  (It’s also great for other life decisions like jobs, moves, finances, etc.)

Sometimes, we’re lonely, frustrated, and tired of waiting for great.  It’s easy to settle or fall into something or someone less than excellent because it’s a quick fix.  Who has time to wait around for Mr. Wonderful anymore?

Or we’ve been stuck in a relationship for so long we can’t imagine what our life would be like without it, so we just go with it.  Rather than rising, we fall deeper and deeper into something that isn’t God’s best because it seems easy at the time.

We were made to rise into something great.  Our God who created us and knows us has plans for each one of us—plans to prosper us, and give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

He has also given us His Word which can light and guide our path.

Check out Ephesians 5:

“Carefully determine what pleases the Lord…
   “Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, 
but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
Ephesians 5:10, 14-17(NLT)
He also promises to help us.  Whether we’re rising or falling, take heart, we are NEVER alone!
I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 
Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13 (NV)
 
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road!  Now follow it.  Isaiah 30:21 (CEV)

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