[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] A [/dropcap]startling theme in my life lately (and I say startling because it’s coming at me from everywhere) is God’s love.

This life is all about His love.
The only thing of importance in life is His love.
God’s love is what moves us.
If we don’t know God’s love, we cannot love others.
God’s love is the starting point of all ministries, including the first ministry, which is our household.
God’s love.
God’s great love for us.
God’s great love for me as an individual.
God’s love.

My heart is ready to burst, my brain is moving at 50 million miles per hour, and I feel like I need to run a thousand miles in order to work out all that He’s working in me.

And I should know His love by now. I remember being five years old, sitting in my kindergarten class, listening to the familiar story of Jesus’ death on the cross, and having the lightbulb go on in my heart. To this day, I remember my heart responding and saying wow, if Jesus loved me that much, then the least I can do is give my life to Him. The least that I could do!! My five year old self knew that.

Now, 29 years later, I’m redoing the “God’s Love 101” class. Sheesh man . . . I had hoped to be farther along than this.

At the start of this week, my sister started texting me and telling me to watch “Downton Abbey” as she has enjoyed it so much. So she came over the other night, and we put it on after the guys had all gone to bed. That led to a “Downton Abbey” marathon as I have enjoyed it for so many different reasons. One of those reasons is that the show has a great script. And one of the lines that stuck with me this week is when the butler tells the housekeeper something to the effect of “life changes us”. The housekeeper was sad to realize that she was no longer the farm girl that she once was and therefore no longer the woman who once loved the farmer of her youth. But instead, she was now a housekeeper who loved the staff and family in her life. Her older self chose the household over the farmer, and she felt remorseful as she a good part of her really wanted to chose the farmer. As she told all of this to the butler, he gently reminded her that it wasn’t a bad thing. Life changed her, and that wasn’t bad as she had a good life.

Life has changed me in the sense that I’m not the young girl who could easily respond to and receive love. However, it doesn’t mean that this middle-aged mom can’t still see and respond to love. It just means that a refresher course is needed in order for it to have the same impact on my 30 something self as it did on my 5 year old self. The heart of the 5 year old is still in me; it’s just grown and matured over the years.

And like the housekeeper, I find that it’s easy to look back on our lives and only see the opportunities that we’ve missed, the times when we should have said yes, and the people that we should have stopped for. It’s easy to mourn that. It’s easy to think wow, maybe I should have married the farmer instead of choosing to be a housekeeper. Yet that’s not the truth. God works us through each season to prepare us for the next, and our job is to enjoy the current season. Today is the day that we have. Today is the day to move forward. Today is the day to take advantage of every opportunity. Today is the day to revel in His love.

So as I dive into God’s Love 101, I’m eagerly anticipating the outcome. I’m excited for the work that God has to do in me, anticipating great change as I get some heart surgery, repair, and tweaking, and really looking forward to His doing a new thing in me.

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