From Hope Valley Devotional (Week 14): The Beautiful Hope of Loving Someone Freely

January 22, 2020

Happy Wednesday friends! As I shared several  months, I am excited to re-share some of the most popular devotional posts that I wrote in 2017-2018 (if you would like to see the complete list you can find it HERE!) and am excited to share this one this week! I am also excited to share that these devotional posts will soon be available (without the tie to When Calls the Heart) in a new and upcoming devotional book, February Caravan, that will be released February 1st. Stay tuned for more information to follow! In the meantime I am excited that these continue to be a blessing to so many of you! I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!
One of the most profound episodes to me in Season 1 was episode 8. There were so many different moments of truth that were woven throughout this episode. I shared a couple of months ago about another quote from Jolene Miller in my post entitled, "The Hope Beyond the Lines" and wanted to come back to another part of the precious conversation between Elizabeth and Jolene for today's post. 

This exchange gently speaks to the situation that all of us will encounter at some point in life- loving someone who has changed or is not responding to us the way that we long for. Despite the pain that Jolene expresses and the longing we may have for going back to a "different time", Elizabeth's words gently remind us that there is a hope in loving someone freely, no matter the response. 

I think that it goes without saying that relationships in all forms can be difficult and messy. Circumstances can change people, life happens, and before we know it may seem that the person that we loved is a completely different person than who we knew before. Despite your attempt at loving someone, it may feel that your loving words fall on deaf ears. You may feel that despite your loving actions all you are receiving is hurt. You may long, as Jolene did, for how things were in the past.

You may be in a situation or in a relationship where it doesn't matter what type of kindness you show. You may have a friend who has changed and is not speaking life-giving words to you. You may be in a really tough situation with a co-worker or a family member like Jolene was. You may be in a relationship with someone who is not acting loving.

As you set appropriate boundaries in your life with these types of relationships, remember your love has the power to change the course of the future. You may see in a short time what love can do (like Jolene and her family did) or it may take years upon years and decades upon decades before you see a change. In truth, we may never see the impact that our love has had on people until we get to Heaven, but as Elizabeth gently reminds Jolene, all we can do is love people. While there are definitely boundaries that need to be placed in certain situations, in others there are times where we give up to soon. We walk away because it is easier to walk away instead of loving someone.

But friends, let's hold on to the beautiful truth of the hope that there is in loving someone. The truth that our love has the capacity to change someone's life. Let's let go of the expectations of how someone will respond and love them freely. Let's let go of putting the expectation of how someone will act or respond to love and just love. Let's live differently than the world around us instead spread love.

Mother Teresa once said, "Small things done with great love can change the world." Isn't that an amazing thought to ponder as we think through the profound truth that is found in the hope of loving someone freely? Your love today and the investment that you make into love has the potential to change the world.

You may be a mama reading this who is in the midst of dirty diapers or temper tantrums just trying to keep up with all of the demands. Your love that you are investing right now will change your children's lives. You may have a co-worker who is completely difficult to work with. The time that you take to practically love and try to step into this person's life could change the entire office. You may be a teacher with a student who continuously acts out and you are counting down the days till summer vacation. Use these next days and weeks to pour love into this student and who knows how you may change your school. The list goes on and on but the theme remains the same... there is a beautiful hope found in loving someone freely.

It doesn't matter the situation or where you are at in life. Everyone that you encounter needs love. Love that offers a smile, a kindness, a listening ear, or a word of encouragement. Love that builds into relationships day after day, month after month, and year after year. Love given freely will never come back without a person being changed. Keep pressing on, keep the faith, and live in the beautiful hope of loving someone freely.

 "...So no, matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self...
Love ...puts up with anything,
trusts God always,
always looks for the best,
never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies."
-Portions of I Corinthians 13:4-8, the Message-
*originally published on Caravan Sonnet in May 2017*

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

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