The Truth About Unconditional Love (Catherine Lee Daugherty)
Today, I’m honored to present guest blogger, Catherine Lee Daugherty. In her post, she shares a story that will give us all a glimpse into the unconditional love that our Father has for each one of us. You can find the link to Catherine’s blog at the end of her post. Thank you, Carol, for sharing your stretch story with The Stretched Community while I am on vacation this week.
The Truth About Unconditional Love
Can anything good come from divorce? With divorce rates between 40% to 50% nearly everyone in the United States has been touched by divorce either directly or indirectly. When I was an 18 year-old, know-it-all, woman of the world, I got married. Fourteen years and two children later, I got a divorce. Still thinking I knew it all, this just made sense. After all, surely God wanted me happy, didn’t He?
Through many events where the devil held my hand while raining down fire in my life, my Heavenly Father never gave up on me. He must have seen some hope for me to make better choices while pruning and shaping my heart and my soul.
There are many casualties in a divorce. The children are the obvious ones, but the pain goes beyond to the parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, cousins, and in my case, my mother-in-law.
My mother-in-law was 73 years old when her son and I divorced. It is hard to know how to handle this part of the split. Am I no longer her daughter-in-law? Does she loath the ground I walk on? What about my boys, her grandchildren? What do we do with the love we shared?
My sweet mother-in-law, Mom Anderson is now 98 years old. In the 25 years that have passed she never quit praying for me. She never said one harsh word to me. She sent Christmas cards and thinking of you cards. She would quietly say to me “You are the mother of my grandchildren, I will always love you. I am praying for you.”
Wow, where did she learn that kind of unconditional love? I know she has read her Bible more times than the number of years I have been alive. But to be the recipient of God’s love put into practice is more humbling than I can even explain.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV
On a recent trip to visit her, I asked her, “Mom, what do you attribute your long life to?” She didn’t pause for even a moment before she said, “Never stop serving the Lord.”
At 98 years old she is such an inspiration to me. She shows me undeserving, unmerited love and forgiveness. I thank God for her life!
If I knew how to work Photoshop better, I would have replaced this striped shirt and thinned down my thighs. But Mom Anderson had fallen the night before and sported a couple black eyes and she wasn’t bothered in the least when I wanted a picture. She is still teaching me what is truly important in life.
Who is the one in your life offering you undeserved love and grace?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
P.S. Thank you Jon for allowing me the privilege of sharing with your readers. My usual blogging is done at www.praycookblog.com. Since my website is about food for the soul and the body, I think it is only fair I share the potato soup recipe Mom Anderson taught me how to make during my first year of marriage, some 39 years ago. I still think of her every time I make potato soup. I have tweaked the recipe through the years but she is the one who taught me to make it first!