Do Love

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What is love without a little proof? What is love without inconvenience and without sacrifice? It’s hollow. It’s empty. It isn’t real. One thing is sure, we don’t need to test each other’s love. That’s a game that will backfire and destroy. Life does enough testing on it’s own. Medical challenges, financial struggles, circumstances and difficulties of all kinds happen. They really do happen. Sometimes it’s a slow boil over time and sometimes it comes suddenly out of the blue. Love isn’t always pretty, and it most certainly isn’t always convenient. It doesn’t always feel good, but it is always good. It always encourages and lifts up. It always makes us better people. Love can seem like an intangible, but it isn’t because love is something you do. We feel love and we say love, but it isn’t real until we do love.

Many of the doctors and nurses we have encountered on this crazy journey have commented on the love they see in our family. They tell us about the many families that fall apart in the midst of these difficult medical challenges. They tell us about the spouses that leave, about the love that didn’t weather the storm. Just today, the girl behind the counter at the pharmacy said, “If I ever go through something like you guys are going through, I want to do what you are doing.” I said, “Isn’t that what love does?” To which she said, “But I see so many people who walk away in the middle of medical problems.”

Love is a gift. Real love is a choice. The decision to love in the face of difficulty, discomfort, and sacrifice is the greatest “valentine” you could ever give. Love each other with courage and devotion. Even when you are exhausted, continue to love. When it seems like you are giving more than you are receiving, love stronger.

But here’s the thing, and this is big…we don’t love like this on our own. Human love gets overwhelmed, tired, hurt, depleted. We can only love because God loved us first. God’s sacrifice is the ultimate proof of love, the perfect example of real love. When our love gets weak and runs out (because it will), we can love with His love. That’s how we do love well. We love with God’s love in us. Because He first loved us, we can love with an enduring, audacious kind of love.

David, when I married you 30 years ago, I knew you were an amazing man and I knew I was safe in your love. God gave me an incredible gift in you. Thank you for your strength during years of difficulty and pain. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to God and His calling on your life. Thank you for your genuine devotion to our family. Thank you for being the one who makes life fun with your hilarious dry sense of humor. Thank you for not giving up. I want 30 more years… but I’ll take 20! I love you.

Resting in God’s amazing love for us,

Carol

Dave update: We came home from the hospital a couple days ago. He is very tired and still not feeling great, but he’s fighting strong. Hopefully the medicine he is taking will help him to start feeling better in the next few days. Please pray he can regain strength and that his body can fight off infections. And please continue to pray that the leukemia stays away. Every day is a blessing. Every day is a miracle.

Kayla Stoecklein