Lisa gets it. She’s felt it. She’s lived it. As a widow and single mom of 7, she knows the unmatched power of the words “I love you.” She shares with us today how those 3 words that have sustained her can bring the healing you are looking for. So, pour yourself a cup of java and let’s lean in to Lisa’s story. I just love it when friends join us for coffee! Okay, Lisa… our coffee is poured, our hearts are open… take it away!
guest post by Lisa Appelo
I received a frantic text from my daughter with the news.
We were stunned. Our dear friend’s young daughter had been admitted a week earlier to the hospital without any real alarm. The first uneventful night had turned into several critical days and nights and then suddenly, she began to spiral quickly, her organs shutting down one by one.
Her family – siblings and parents now gathered around her hospital bed – held her in the shocking surreal of her last hours, as she passed from this life into eternity.
When I received my daughter’s text with the news, I hurried from our Sunday evening church service straight to their home. Already, friends had begun to gather around this family.
What do you say to such deep need? What salve is there really for these kinds of real and raw wounds?
I love you.
I’ve learned to just simply say, I love you.
It doesn’t eliminate the circumstances.
It doesn’t placate with platitudes.
It doesn’t mandate a conditioned response.
Somehow, these three words carry more comfort, more reassurance, more empathy than other things that are often said.
I love you says I’m here with you; I’ll be here for you.
Just a few months earlier, after Dan died and I was walking my own raw and real grief, this same friend had hugged hard and said those same words to me and I saw first-hand how deeply comforting it was to know I am loved.
But even more than that, as I faced the blank canvas of my future and the overwhelming task of raising our seven children, I desperately needed to hear from God. Every morning, heavy with multiple fears and deep sadness, I’d go to God through His Word.
I didn’t look up particular topics in the concordance or hunt for certain scriptures. Instead, I joined in with a reading plan that our whole church had been encouraged to do that year. We were reading through the Bible in one year, using a reading plan that took us into passages from four different books of the Bible each day.
Maybe you’ve heard it said that the Bible is God’s love letter. God doesn’t just act in love but God IS love. Every God-breathed book of His Word unveils a bit more of His limitless, perfect love to us.
Take just a minute to see how God expresses His love to us in all 66 books of the Bible.
That will get your day going! What beautiful truth. How amazing that all of God’s Word – every single book – is a reflection and expression of his matchless love for us.
Oh, that we would walk in soul-deep assurance of God’s tender I love you over us.
Okay, it’s me, Jennifer, again…
Beautiful, right? If you need to hear God’s “I love you” today, pick up His Word — you will hear His Voice. And God’s “I love you” are the 3 most beautiful words your heart will ever hear.
If you haven’t already, check out my book, “66 Ways God Loves You: Experience God’s Love for You in Every Book of the Bible.” In lovely, short, succinct devotionals, I unpack how each book of the Bible uniquely tells you of God’s love for you.
Thanks, Lisa, for your reminder that when we don’t know what to say, “I love you” is always the best choice!
Lisa Appelo is a single mom to 7 and a young widow. She’s a speaker and blogger who shares soul-deep encouragement for the adventure of faith at LisaAppelo.com. She recently authored Countdown to Christmas: Unwrap the Christmas Story with Your Family in 15 Days.You can connect with Lisa on Instagram and Facebook.