Just a quick note to let you know that there will be NO Linkup next week due to Thanksgiving. However, I am extending the linkup party through next Wednesday night. Feel free to invite some other bloggers to join us here at the linkup too.
I also want to apologize for my delay in responding to your comments from last week. I was traveling to my dad’s memorial service and didn’t get the opportunity to respond until last night.
Enjoy your holiday with family, friends or however you choose to spend it.
Much Love & Thanksgiving Blessings,
Love Looks Like Something
Drifting between consciousness and sleep earlier this week, a phrase popped into my mind. It was enough that I knew I couldn’t fully go back to sleep without writing it down for fear I would forget it when I was fully awake.
I rolled over, grabbed my phone off the nightstand, opened my notes app and typed…. “Love looks like something.” The proceeded to put the phone down, roll back over and pull the covers up over my head. I wanted to shut the world out. I did not want to think what the “something” could be that love looked like, but by now, sleep was illusive. Exasperated, I threw the covers off, rolled back over grabbed my phone and got up.
I really didn’t want to be up; I would much rather have stayed in bed. However, it seemed God wanted me to know that “love looked like something.”
Jesus showed us that “love looks like something.”
Love looks like a King leaving his deity and becoming one of us.
Love looks like Jesus coming to earth as a baby.
Love looks like being rejected by the very people you are called to serve.
Love looks like being uncomfortable so others can receive comfort.
Love looks like believing when it makes no sense.
Love looks like serving others over yourself.
Love looks like faithfulness.
Love looks like trust.
Love looks like sacrifice.
Love looks like grief.
Love looks like …
What? Grief? How can love, look like grief?
How can love, look like grief? Click To Tweet
Love may look like many things, but does it really look like grief?
Before this year, I might have agreed that yes, love could in theory look like grief. But since when we have lost several individuals close to us and most recently my dad, I have raw firsthand experience of it. I can truly say, “Love looks like Grief.”
Scripture tells us to mourn with those who mourn.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15 NIV).
We are often told God mourns with us and that we are blessed when we mourn and will be comforted as we do so.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4 NIV).
Sometimes mourning doesn’t seem like a blessing does it? I mean to mourn means we have lost something we value. Mourning is a deep sense of grief at the loss of something or someone. In my blog series on the Beatitudes, I broke this verse down to the deeper revelation that Jesus wasn’t just talking about bringing us comfort when we lose someone, but He was also talking to his listeners about grieving over their sin (sinful nature).
Sometimes mourning doesn’t seem like a blessing Click To Tweet
This past weekend we had my dad’s celebration of life service. It was a beautifully emotional time of honoring the man my father was when he lived this side of heaven. It was wonderful to see the many whose lives were touched by my father’s life. People that we haven’t seen for over 20 years were there to honor the memory of my father. We cried together and we laughed together. We celebrated his life and we mourned his death. Not for him, but for us.
At the time I didn’t recognize that “love looks like grief” but now I do. I know the Holy Spirit whispered the phrase, “love looks like something” to me early Tuesday morning, to comfort me and to draw me out of my discouragement and sadness. He knew I would seek Him to understand more.
Just the night before, I had received a message that my spiritual father was being taken to the ER and they were talking about putting him on life support. This on the heels of losing my dad and saying my goodbyes seemed more than I could handle. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing another loved one. So, I cried out to God telling Him, I couldn’t take it, not now, I couldn’t lose Papa Carl too. I prayed for him and declared healing over him and waited. Our prayers were answered, no life support and while he isn’t out of the hospital yet, he is on the mend.
As I sat with God and processed how love could look like grief, I realized that those who showed up at the memorial service where showing their love for my dad and us. They were not only loving on us in our mourning, but they joined us and were mourning with us. That is love.
As I remembered my dad and those who came to honor him, I realized, my dad knew love looked like something. To him, love looked like serving others. Dad never felt he had some great talent, but he said, he could always give of what he did have. My dad had handyman and mechanic skills and served others with them. My dad didn’t have a lot of money, but if you were in need, he would give you the money in his pocket and the shirt off his back. And dad gave of his time, not that he had an abundance of it, but if there was a need and he could fill it, dad gave of his time to serve and help. He would often be one of the first to arrive and the last to leave. That’s what love looked like to him.
When you love someone and they are gone, you grieve the loss. It doesn’t matter if the person has moved away, left your life or passed away, you still love them. As I ride the waves of grief, I can see how love can look like grief.
Love looks like grief in the way I remember and miss my dad. Love looks like grief in the way others have mourned with us and rallied around to support our family during this time. Love looks like grief because God sent His Holy Spirit, the comforter, to comfort us at times like this.
I would much rather be in a season of laughing or dancing instead of weeping and mourning, but as Solomon tells us, there is a time and season for everything under the sun.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 NIV).
What does love look like to you right now?
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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com
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YouVersion 7-Day Devotional
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Have you had the opportunity to read my new book “The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement: Hearing the Words of God for others.” ? This book is about learning to hear the voice of God in our own life so we can respond to those God bumps and little nudges He gives us on a daily basis. God is calling us to be agents of encouragement and to be the gift the worlds needs today.
We live in a time, where those around us are in desperate need of a real encounter with Jesus and in need of encouragement. We are called to encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:13), and to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). My book will teach you how to step out and do just that.
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God is speaking, Can you Hear Him?
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Why is it that prompts, from God, to write come at the most inopportune times? Sharing in your grief in the loss of your father. Yes, blessed are those who mourn. Why? I believe it’s because in those times we are drawn in to the awesome, comforting arms of the Father and what better, more sacred place to be? Right now love looks like God being near, even though members of my family aren’t at this time of year.
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,
Bev, I know, right?! I would have much rather stayed in bed a little longer that day. But, I am glad that God prompted me, it was just what I needed to get a heavenly perspective on what I was going through. Thank you for sharing with me in my grief, it makes it hurt a little less to know others are with me. And yes, being comforted in the Father’s loving arms is definitely the more sacred place to be. Thank you for sharing about what love looks like to you right now as well. Aren’t you glad that God is always near even if our loves ones can’t me? Thanksgiving Blessings to you. 🙂
Right now it looks like loving and encouraging a rebellious 16 y/o grandson who thinks the world spins on him alone.
Oh Susan, I am praying for you. I had both my kids go through that phase and it is definitely a time to draw on strength and love from the Father and extend it towards the one we are loving and encouraging. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 You’re a great loving grandma. Blessings
I am so grateful that in that grief, God comes to be with us. He is never afraid of it or pushing us to hurry past it. He enters in with us.
Rebecca, I am grateful for all those too. Mostly, that He enters in with us, but also He doesn’t push us past it. Thanks for being here today! Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving
Debbie, this is so good! “Love looks like grief” is so true. I felt that when my Dad went Home this Summer. Now I’m in a new season. The other day while we were praying, we were asking the Lord to show us how to prayer better. I’m expecting tips & pointers not….laughter?! You gotta love a God who thinks laughter is a great prayer weapon! So for me right now, “love looks like laughter”! May it look like laughter for you, too very soon! Love you!! Sending hugs & warm fuzzies….and perhaps a chuckle or two? 🙂
Thank you, Linda! I am so blessed to hear you are in a new season. I know how much your dad meant to you and how you grieved. It gives me hope that laughter will soon come and the mourning will turn to dancing, so thank you.
So sad for your loss, and, as you have said, for this season of grieving, which we know will pass and yet it’s so very present.
Love, for me right now, looks like longing. For the first time, we have a child living an airplane ride’s distance away from us, and we miss them.
Thank you, Michele! You are so right, this season will pass and yet it’s so very present. I always love how you phrase things. And for you, I can understand how Love looks like longing….especially this time of year when all we want is our whole families together for the holidays. I am praying that God will give you creative ways to connect even though miles separate you and that you will see each other face to face soon! Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours!
Debbie, from all that you’ve shared your daddy was such a special man. I’m so sorry for your loss. Grieving during the holidays can be difficult and I pray God will comfort you and yours during this season. Sending you a hug, friend.
Tammy, thank you 🙂 and yes, he was. It was a comfort to hear when others shared at his service and to really know so many others felt the same way. Thank you for prayers and hugs. Blessings my friend!
Oh Debbie, I’m hearing the quiet whisper through your words again today. I’ve been on a journey of letting God burn off some dross in my life, and this question at the end of your post is sending me to the prayer closet this morning, as we go deeper in what he is doing. Thank you for this . . .
Thank you, Stacey! and you are most welcome. I am glad that my words in some small way could be a blessing and a prompting for God to draw you closer and deeper to what He is doing in and for you. I am praying for you too at this time. Thank you for being here today and sharing my post on your social media. I look forward to the day we get to meet in real life and not just via the inter-webs. Thanksgiving Blessings and much love.
Debbie, so sorry for your loss. I’ve lost a daddy too, so I know how it feels.
Love for me right now looks like keeping on serving even though I’m wanting to quit.
Thank you, Jerralae! It is hard to lose a daddy, isn’t it? Nothing quite prepares you for it, even if you know its coming. I am praying for you too as you keep on keeping on serving even though you want to quit. I can SO relate to you in loving looking like keeping on and serving even though you want to quit. I have been in that season for about 6 months. However, the Lord finally spoke and sent relief and told me to “Battle On!” It gave me a new charge even though my emotions still wanted to run away and lay it all down. that was before dad passed away, the feelings to quit intensified after he passed, but here I am keeping on and battling on as God told me too. You can do it and I pray the winds of the Holy Spirit blow over you and bring refreshing and a new passion. Much love and blessings.
Continuing to pray for you in your season of grief. laurensparks.net
Thank you, Lauren.
Sorry to hear of your loss Debbie. I gave the eulogy at my dad’s funeral a few years ago and still miss him. Yes, love shows in our words to another but also our grief shared with others.
Thank you Lynn. I wrote the obituary for my dad, but my husband had to read it and thankfully their pastor gave the eulogy! Thanks for sharing and I am sorry you lost your dad too. Hugs and blessings.
May God continue to hold you close and comfort you during this season of mourning. Thank God for His promise that joy is coming.
thank you Elizabeth!