From Hope Valley Devotional (Week 22): The Power of Sacrificial Love

April 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 hope that this continues to be a beautiful blessing even several years later!
Irena Sendler, the woman famous for saving 2500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto (and from the death camp Treblinka), once said: "I remember what [my] father used to say... you see a man drowning? You jump in and try to save him even if you can not swim." As I listened to Abigail's words in this scene in the 4th episode of Season 2, I immediately thought of this quote by Irena Sendler. When you love someone all you do want is the best for them and their happiness. It doesn't matter the cost to you as your priority becomes an all encompassing focus to serve and love the person that you care for. In this type of sacrificial love (which is so rarely seen today) there is the beautiful power of true love that can change our world.

Sacrificial Love is the most powerful type of true love that exists. This is a love that comes without strings... without expectations... and without any thought to the cost that come to ourselves.

Perhaps for a young mama this means that she has sacrificed her own dreams and plans to put her child in the front. Perhaps this means sacrificing our energy or time to take our lunch hour to listen once again to a co-worker's story. Perhaps this means coming along side an elderly neighbor to help them with mowing their lawn or grocery shopping. Perhaps this is encouraging a friend through a hand written note.

Whatever sacrificial love looks like in our lives, it is giving extravagantly each and everyday when no one is watching. It is the little things that we do that have power to change our world through sacrificial love.

It is the words of hope spoken to those going through a dark season in life. It is the countless prayers, believing that there is still hope to be found. It is the concept of living beyond what comes easy to ourselves and sacrificing so that someone else can be loved extravagantly and unconditionally. 

Irena Sendler, the woman that I mentioned at the beginning jumped in to give sacrificial love to thousands of people in their most crisis moments. But despite being a hero to thousands of people (including myself) Irena continued to say until her death that despite the thousands that she saved, the way that she lost family and friends, and the cost to herself as she was tortured... she wasn't the hero. 

She went on to say that it was the mothers who had given up in sacrificial love the thing that they loved most... their children. It was the mothers who never saw their children again (due to death in a concentration camp). It was the mothers who sacrificed to trust a stranger to smuggle their children out of the ghetto to be hid with other strangers for the remainder of the war. It was the mothers who sacrificed, realizing that instead of their love, it would be another's who would guide their children.

And then it was these adoptive/foster mamas who sacrificed their own rations of food, clothing, basic needs, and necessities for a child that they didn't know. It was these mamas who cared for, held, fed, wiped the tears of, rocked to sleep, fell in love with, and fully adopted these precious ones that they were given at great risk to their own families. And then almost 4-6 years later, after the war had ended, it was these foster mamas who sacrificially gave up these children that they had come to love so that they could return to their extended family members. As Irena Sendler said... it was sacrificial love that changed the course of history for everyone involved.

Dear friends, let us resolve to go bravely forward and walk boldly living out sacrificial love. Let us rest on who God is and His character to give us the strength and let us jump into the deep end of true sacrificial love. Our attempts to love people in this way may not be rewarded that we can see right here on this earth, but one thing is for sure... sacrificial love is never a waste. Love never dies. Love has the power to change anything. Don't stop. Keep going. Keep loving the people around you no matter the response and know that the sacrificial love you invest (even if you don't know what you are doing or feel like you don't know how to start at the beginning) will have the power to change the world. 

"Love never gives up. 
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always 'me first'...
It takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything, 
Trusts God always, 
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies."
-I Corinthians 13, The Message-

*original post written in July 2017 prior to Lori Loughlin's departure from the show*

If you are interested in learning more about Irena Sendler you can watch the Hallmark Movie, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, you can find purchase it on Amazon HERE

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

I have received several emails asking me about the books by Janette Oke that the series is based on. You may remember that I mentioned in my very first From Hope Valley Devotional post that I had read Janette Oke's series back when I was a teenager. The original book series, "The Canadian West Series" was based on Elizabeth's aunt and her adventures (she also married a Mountie). Here are the listing of the books from that series (there are six) in order:

In the last several years Janette Oke released a new series entitled, "Return to the Canadian West" which you can find listed below in order:

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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