For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

From My Journal--Love That Expects Nothing

I'm still stuck on that tree in the Garden.

I can't get it out of my head because here is the thing. God really had to put that tree in there. Think about it. Without that tree, Eden suddenly goes from paradise to a spiritual whorehouse with one doozy of a powerful pimp on a domination kick. The tree had to be there.

Except, it didn't.

If God wanted to play the God-All-Mighty-and-don't-you-forget-it card, He could have. He not only had the power, but He had the right.

Instead, He planted a tree.

And He had to know. You know He had to know. He made these humans from mud, and mud hearts erode easily.

When He planted  that garden and poured all the good stuff into it and filled it with love, it was because of who He chose to be, not what He expected them to do. His choice was based on His choice to be loving, not on the likelihood they would love back.

And that leaves me...stuck.

A God who loves with no expectation of anything in return.

In a perfect environment, created because of perfect love, perfect love did what it did because it was perfect, not because it was expectant.

I'm drowning in this.

To love, to serve, to give, to...expect nothing in return.

To mow your neighbor's yard and not expect them to acknowledge you in anyway.
To make dinner for a family at church and never expect them to return the favor or even mention you'd ever done it.
To wear your spouse's favorite blouse or shirt and never expect it to be noticed.
To write a blog with the hope it helps or blesses someone and never expect a comment or a "like".
To sing and never expect an applause or a word about how you sound.

To be who you are without ever expecting anyone to make a big deal of it.

To do the right thing because it is the right thing, not because you expect someone to pat you on the back.

I am mesmerized by this, and I am trying to wrap my mind around the freedom of living this way.

To love and give and serve with insane generosity and never feel that your success is based on someone else's response.

THAT is the perfection of the garden.

It even says Adam and Eve were just themselves without worry about others' responses--they were naked and vulnerable in every way--and they were unashamed. It wasn't until they were afraid of God's response that they were ashamed. Even God, when He looked at His creation, it was good, and He found it satisfying, and He rested. He was fine until chapter 6 when He looked at the human's response to their world, and He was grieved that He had ever made them.

On one hand, having watched my husband walk out the door, the idea of loving without expectation is terrifying, but on the other, to base my choice of how to love and how to give on who I am and what I have to offer instead of how I think others might respond sounds wondrously freeing.

I'm still pondering, but right now, in this moment, I am totally enamored with the concept of a love that gives without expectation of getting and the joy and freedom that brings.

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