Mountain Haven started the New Year off in NYC!
We were invited by the Oprah Winfrey Network to go to New York City to film for a show that airs on her network later this spring (we will keep you posted on air date). We had a humbling experience of sharing our painful but beautiful story of God’s redemptive love in our marriage. We decided to take an extra day to have an extended date time and explore the city.
Standing in the shadow of the beautiful and arresting sculpture/word “LOVE” on 6th avenue in New York City made me think a lot. I have read 1 Corinthians 13 many times so I know what love is and what love isn’t according to the bible. You probably have too. What I was thinking about, was how does love look in action and in deed? Well this trip to New York was a great place to see it alive.
My husband, who hates the city and hates the cold, walked block after city block with me in below freezing weather so we could see a city that I love and hold dear. That’s love!! He ventured out into Times Square and let me take crazy videos and pictures while hoards of people surrounded us. That’s love!!My friend who lives over 2 hours away from the city of Manhattan drove out just to have lunch with us in insane city traffic, getting stopped up in two terrible car accidents. That’s love!! Our neighbors sent their 17-year old daughter and 15-year old son to stay with our kids for 5 days while we were in the big city. They played playdoh, played games, read books and snuggled. That’s love!!
There are so many ways to express our love to one another. The question, is do we just express it in the ways we feel the most comfortable or do we try different expressions of love that actually awaken our hearts and cause us to take pause about what our love means to the receiver? In marriage, friendship, families and parenting, love becomes routine. It is evidenced through our habitual expressions, rote conversations and typical places to gather to express that love. What if 2013 was a year of radical expressions of love? What if we challenged ourselves to love in a way that makes us uncomfortable?
While Kevin and I walked those frigid streets of New York City, my heart was skipping a beat because I love the culture and feel of New York but it was also skipping a beat because Kevin was loving me in a radically different way then he had ever done before. He was cold, he was uncomfortable, he was unsure of his surroundings and he was completely out of his element. It was a grand expression of love. It took effort, intentionality, and sacrifice of comfort. So big deal you might be thinking, isn’t that what marriage is about? I think we expect in relationships that the other person should “want” to do what we want, should want to be with us on our terms; but the reality is that without Jesus we are all selfish. With Jesus, we are tempted to be selfish but our selfishness becomes obvious in the light of His love, and slowly we find ourselves changing, and more importantly, wanting to change.
That is the beauty of love. I stopped expecting that Kevin would be the only one to fill my love tank, to be my everything, to do everything with me that I loved. I just accepted him for who he was created to be, and because of Jesus love, He changed. He took a radical approach to loving me by taking me all over NYC in the freezing cold and actually enjoying it and surprising me.
Jesus modeled true love for us in that while we were yet sinners He chose death, for us, on a cross. That’s a lot more radical then being cold and walking around the city and putting up with crowds. It’s a lot more sacrificial then putting up with a bad mood from our spouse, it’s a lot more extreme then compromising on the temperature that you and your spouse keep the house, and it is a lot more revolutionary then forgiving a friend, family member, or spouse when they have hurt you. Jesus was counterculture. Serve others. Turn the other cheek. Give someone your coat plus your shirt. Use soft answers to turn away wrath. Those are some big shoes to fill!! Ask Him how you can start showing that kind of love to those around you and watch yourself be transformed by love.
How You Can Help Spread the Love
Consider partnering with us as a monthly or as a one time supporter. We are moving into our new office on February 1st and have been privileged to serve over 300 teens, families and couples in 2012 through our counseling, intensive, radio and book resources. We can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. We are a 501c3 organization and are 100% donation based , so the support of faithful friends and partners makes all the difference in the scope of our outreach to others. Use paypal on our website or mail checks to Mountain Haven at 1160 Diamond Back Trail , Canon City, CO 81212. Continue to stand with us in prayer as we continue to love others as Christ loved us!! Please feel free to send us your prayer requests at firstname.lastname@example.org We will be diligent to pray for you!