Called to Love | Vol 7 - February 2021
My maiden name is “Young”. How ironic that God would join me in marriage to Richard Love, Jr.
During our engagement and wedding, we boasted the hashtag #TeamYoungLoveForever with exuberance and cheer. It was perfect! There was no way that we could have orchestrated that season for ourselves, even if we tried. But once we were married and I filed a name change form with Social Security, I decided to change “Mrs. Chelsea Young-Love” to “Mrs. Chelsea Love” – never to acquire my former name again. With a push of a button, my name was changed almost instantaneously.
“Why not keep the hyphenated name” you ask? Well, I made a conscious decision to no longer identify with the person that I used to be - in order to fully embrace all that God had in store for me as a wife. And Guess What? Your name change was instantaneous too. Because He first loved you, at the moment that you chose Him as your Lord and Savior, You were forever changed, adopted, and embraced as His own.
In the same way, God has called each of us to transform, grow, mature and Love.
When I find myself responding negatively to a situation or behaving in a way that is not pleasing to God, I make it a practice to look in the mirror and tell myself, “Chelsea, You can’t do that anymore. You’re a Love now!” Before I entered into a covenant with Jesus, I was comfortable living life a certain way. But now, it is important to remind ourselves not just who we are, but whose we are.
We choose to love. We choose to respond to love. As He is, so are We!
When we love, we exemplify who He is and remember His sacrifice. All of our relationships should flow from remembering Him. We were loved first, so we give love. We were forgiven freely, so we freely forgive. Through giving love, we become love. This is how we are sure that God lives within us.
Look around as He begins to permeate every space of your life.
His Love pursued me and ran me down. What do I mean by that? I celebrate Jesus today because He is my first friend and my first love. He lifted my head as I cried. He has never left me alone. He has given me something beyond what money can buy. He has made me rich because of His love for me. I can scale a wall because of His love for me. When there is darkness, He is my hope. When I feel empty, alone and rejected, He picks me up, turns me around, unravels my arms and holds my face in his hands.
Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God!
My dear friends, Love can be a complicated thing. However, focus on the simple things that you know about it and then do it. We only see in part, but in time, all will be revealed.
Until then, trust steadily, hope unswervingly and love extravagantly.
~John 3:16-19, 1 John 4:10-16