With Reckless Abandon…

Recently I was tempted to settle for less than what’s best.

unless-im-all-in-im-missing-outIn the days before I welcomed my husband home for a mid-tour break from his current deployment, I consciously curbed my enthusiasm by focusing on the temporary nature of his visit.

Even though I haven’t laid eyes on his sweet face undistorted by video chat, kissed his lips, or nestled up against his shoulder inover five months, there was a part of me fighting the urge to surrender completely to the joy of spending time with him. I was hoping to protect this sliver of my spirit from the inevitable pain awaiting when we return him to the departure terminal.

It feels safer to hold this part of me in reserve, to rope it off and declare it out of bounds to the onslaught of feelings that accompany brief reunions book-ended by long separations.

But then the sudden death of a dear woman who made everyone she encountered feel loved rocked me to my core.

I realized that by shutting those places up to safeguard myself from the pain to come deprives me of the joy that could be. It prohibits me from giving myself fully to my husband. It steals from me the moments that could sustain me through the hard days to come.

Unless I’m all in, I’m missing out.

Unless I’m all in, I’m missing out. Click To Tweet

And so is he.

We’ve endured too many days apart to take a single minute together for granted.

Pain, death, trials, separations, and sorrows are guaranteed while living in this broken and sinful world, but we cannot let them steal the joy that is available to us right now. Every moment is an opportunity to love those around us. They deserve it and so do we.

None of us can know what the next day will bring. Approaching, today by safeguarding myself from tomorrow leads to cautious decisions. But that might not be the most loving option. The unknown hour of death can encourage us to love with reckless abandon. If this was my last chance to show him how much I love him, how would I want to remember it? How would I want him to recall our time?

Loving while trying to protect myself is not the kind of love God intends for us to give one another. While I may never be called upon to actually give up my life for anyone, I can die to the part of my self that seeks preservation from painful emotions. Jesus modeled this self-sacrificing love for us. He loved others even knowing the consequences would be catastrophic.

Sincere love is not limited by self-preservation.

Sincere love is not limited by self-preservation. Click To Tweet

I want to let the flesh of my heart soften even if that makes it necessary to regrow the calluses that protect me when he departs again.

I want to soak in his presence, even if that makes his absence more painful.

I want to foster intimacy even if distance will strip it away once more.

I want to lean on his support even if it means having to regain my balance again.

I want to love with reckless abandon even if it turns my world upside down in a couple of weeks.

It would be selfish of me to approach this time with anything other than untamed adoration for my husband.

After all, I promised to love him for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health until death.

Is there anybody in your life you need to love with reckless abandon? Won’t you join me in making the most of every opportunity to offer untamed adoration?

Dear Father, Help me to love my husband no matter what the cost may be at the end of this visit. Inspire me to love others as You love me – with reckless abandon. Let me see Jesus as my example to love without regard for self-preservation. In His Holy and Precious Name. Amen.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Still Saturday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday.

26 thoughts on “With Reckless Abandon…

  1. Such beautiful words reminding me to love without holding back.

    Praying for you and Matt and the boys as you enjoy this time and as you say your “see you later” again.

    Lifting your heart up in prayer before the Father Who will comfort your aching in the days to come.

    And praise Him for this precious gift of time you have together celebrating your family.

    Love and prayers, friend.

  2. This really spoke to me today. especially “…by shutting those places up to safeguard myself from the pain to come deprives me of the joy that could be. ” This is so me.

    1. And me, too. But I don’t want to live like that…. Times are so uncertain, I wan’t to be steeped in every bit of joy I can manage so it can fill me up for the next separation. So glad you stopped by today, Hollie!

  3. Great post Liz. Sorry we didn’t know each other before the weekend to visit at Magnolia Market. You are right we have to be all in with our hubbies even on those days we don’t want to be. Wishing you all a great visit.

  4. Loving others unconditionally is so difficult to do, especially when there is a risk of great loss. But I’m always reminded of the greatest risk taken when Jesus seemed to love with reckless abandon – for each one of us!! I have also felt the reserve to not open up myself completely with my adult son. I have experienced hurt and heartache over and over throughout the years, due to his lifestyle and making poor choices. Yet, just as you mentioned, I think about how I want to remember our times together. I want to have those loving memories of total love and abandon for him.

    1. Ann, that sounds like a really tough position to be in. I think there may be a fine line between loving someone and letting them walk all over us. If you’ve been hurt over and over again I think you can still love with reckless abandon within the confines of healthy boundaries. A question I ask myself a lot is where does grace turn into enabling… Perhaps that would be a nice follow up to this post. I’ll be praying for your relationship with your son.

  5. Love your post Liz. It is so true that “Unless we’re all in we’re missing out!” That can be true of so many situations and is such an important truth to remember. I totally understand the urge to self-preserve, God’s love for us and desire for us is so much better and you wrote that for us beautifully! Thanks for sharing such a great insight with us.

  6. Liz, I can identify with this post in a variety of ways, the most prominent being as a foster mom. It’s a calling that requires me to love in spite of the risks – in spite of the near-inevitability of sending little ones back to their biological families after having loved them and invested in them for many months.

    Your post brings to mind Jesus’ own example – He loved us while we were still sinners, after all. Thank you for sharing this encouragement with us at Grace & Truth. I would like to feature this post at A Divine Encounter on Friday, but the rules require a featured post to link back to the blog of one of the hostesses. It’s quite possible that I missed your link back. If so, or if you’d like to add one in order to be featured, please let me know. Thank you again for joining our community!

    1. Ohh…I cannot imagine what it takes to love foster babies this way! God bless you. Ooopps…seems I left all my link-up links off this post. I’ve updated it and would be so honored to be featured! Thanks, Jennifer!

  7. Wise, wise words here! “Loving while trying to protect myself is not the kind of love God intends for us to give one another. ” That is so hard to do though. But yes, it’s definitely the best way. I love your intentional thought process to get there.

    When I was pregnant with my middle child, I had to make a decision. The doctors told me that she would likely die at birth, and part of me wanted to start disconnecting emotionally so that I wouldn’t feel such pain at her loss, but thankfully instead I was able to make the conscious decision to choose love instead, even though it meant pain later. If I hadn’t chosen love, my pain would have been even greater later from having regrets. You made the right choice too! And I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend.

    1. Oh! I cannot imagine the pain that came with baring your heart for that sweet baby. I love that you are able to see how loving with reckless abandon protected you from painful regrets later. Thank you, Mollie was a very special lady. Blessings.

  8. Girl ~ I get you. Maybe it’s a protective device, but if there ever was a time for arguments and shutting self off, it was right before deployment. But your post makes me think about the folks I keep at arm’s length ~ and why. Perhaps it’s best to simply draw near to God in order to draw nearer in love, in reckless abandon. (sigh) I’m going to ponder this one a while. Enjoyed the visit today, Liz.

  9. Hard to read. Hard to listen to. Oh so true. Not just in our relationships with our spouses but with wayward adult children too.

    The pain they can cause can seem insurmountable. But trying to keep myself safe doesn’t bring the change. Loving with Godly abandon does.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Exactly, it is God’s love and grace that brought change in my own life. Really understanding the sacrifice He made on my behalf is what helps me move closer to Him. I’ll be praying for your relationships, Judy, that God would make it clear to you how to proceed.

  10. Hi, Liz! I wanted to let you know that I stopped by your blog today. I love the idea of loving with reckless abandon! How many times I have wanted to protect myself from hurt? You’ve inspired me to do this no more! I’m so sorry about the death of precious Mollie. But you’ve kept her spirit alive by writing this blog and I’m happy to connect her and you with pushing fears of the future out of my mind to make room for love. I’m so glad that we met at Rainbow Hearth. How did the water play trip go with all of your guys?

    1. Hi, Liz! So nice of you to stop by and say HI! I’m glad we met there as well, perhaps our paths will cross again some day. Great Wolf Lodge was so fun! I think we would all have been happy with another day or two there!

  11. Thank you for reminding us that we are not guaranteed tomorrow; today is the only day we have to love those close to us. If tomorrow comes for us, the same will hold true for that day, and the next, and the next.
    May the Lord continue to help us to love with abandon, not holding back for any reason, for His glory and honor!
    What a testimony people are to God’s love when they love well those around them. May we be the same.

    1. Mmmm… that’s so good, Ruth. Loving other is testimony to God’s love for us. How much better would this world be if we practiced that with abandon every single day!?!? Blessings!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *