The Joy of Uncomfortable Love

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By Hyacynth Worth

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If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t completely comfortable with the thought of hosting an orphan in our home for a month.

And if I’m continuing in honesty, I’m still not completely comfortable.

Hosting asks a lot of us.

It asks us to trust in God’s tug on our hearts and in his leading.

It asks us to set aside our fears.

It asks us to rely heavily on God for all kinds of provision — financial, emotional, spiritual and physical.

Essentially hosting asks us to love someone else, someone we don’t know and who might not be able to love us in return in the way we desire, more than we love ourselves.

And all of that? Well, all of that’s uncomfortable.

Hosting aside for a moment, let’s get comfortable with the idea that the deep kind of love Jesus lavishes and asks us to lavish on others rarely makes us comfortable.

“You love as well as you are willing to be inconvenienced.” Ann Voskamp

Think about it. Jesus’ love for us, the kind of love that went to death and back, the kind of healing and sustaining and life-giving love he offers, was not easy coming for him.

It required great inconvenience, great humility and great discomfort.

I ponder my deeply vested relationships, the kind where this inconvenient love has been brought to the table and I realize that my greatest healing and my greatest growth has occurred in its envelopment.

The people who have loved me well have given of their time and themselves, sacrificed one thing or another to invest their energy into me.

Real love, the kind of love that heals us, requires of us more than just lip service, more than casual interactions of help and more than good intentions.

It takes a willingness to show up and invest our own personal resources — our time, our money, our undivided attention, our listening ears, our willing embraces.

And all of this has cost. It costs us big to really love someone.

But it’s how we have been loved by a God who never had to love us but instead chose to love us. It’s how we have been asked to love others.

So back to hosting.

While we’re being honest, our last hosting was a hard hosting. We didn’t spend a lot of time in our comfort zones. Each of us spent time battling fear, nursing vulnerability hangovers and fighting to continue connecting even through the hardships and the conflicts.

There’s nothing comfortable about this kind of love.

But there’s so much right, so much good, so much beauty born of it.

Our love was never a perfect kind of love. It didn’t come without mistakes or tears or even apologies, but it came with one thing: a willingness.

“The only thing God asks of me every day is to show up and bring my little bit of willingness.” Lysa TerKeurst

We are so much richer for having loved this way; we are so much more bonded to our host daughter for having done the hard love with each other. We can now talk about the things in life that really matter. A trust has been built and healing has begun and God is making new things from the old.

This love, it’s a hard, uncomfortable kind of love, yes.

But it’s a right kind of love. A true kind of love. A greatest kind of love.

 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:13

We lay down our lives for others in the truest sense when we are willing to risk vulnerability, discomfort, inconvenience and even rejection to love someone.

If God’s been breaking your heart for the orphans who break His, let’s be willing to do three things this summer:

1. Let’s get comfortable with being uncomfortable because Love once was uncomfortable for each of us.

2. Let’s show up and allow God to use our little bit of willingness and watch Him supply us with the rest.

3. Let’s live like heirs of God.

“The most important thing we can understand about God is that he wants us and he loves us … And while we were still orphans, God came for us. Romans 8:17 says, ‘Now if we are His children then we are heirs.’ It just gets better and better! …

Does this all mean we just go to bed with a smile on our faces? Not if we understand what it means to be an heir. All that God’s given you, all God is to you, we have to carry on as His heir. To be God’s heir means we carry on the legacy of being wanted.

We go into the margins, the fringes, and we want the people He wants.” Pastor Josh Petersen, Selfie: Wanted

Hyacynth Worth is a three-time host mom. She lives with her husband and two boys in the suburbs of Chicago. She also writes about life and love at www.undercovermother.com

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