Guest Blog by Alicia Hudson
We welcome Alicia Hudson to the blog today to share how she overcame incredible hurt to figure out how to love her neighbor. Yeah – that neighbor… the very one who had hurt her the most.
Three years ago I found myself pregnant, facing a divorce from my unborn child’s father, my career in ministry ripped from my life and my world completely shaken, to say the least.
It hurt. It hurt more than anything I had ever experienced.
Not only was I hurting in the loss of my marriage, but I had to face the questions from outsiders. Questions like, “Why would a husband leave his pregnant wife? Was she unfaithful?” Sure, maybe I shouldn’t have cared what it looked like to others. But let’s be real, friends, in the heat of the fire, we care.
It hurts to hurt. That was deep, I know. But seriously, it stings! When something painful happens, whether physical, emotional or mental, it’s so hard to focus on anything other than ourselves. Albert Einstein once stated, “In the middle of every difficulty, lies opportunity.”
I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Einstein.
James 1:2-3 says, “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” The more our endurance grows, the better our chances of making it through this race called “life”, right? So how do we get there? How do we move past ourselves in the middle of pain? How do we see a horrible situation as an opportunity for growth?
I was dealing with the onslaught of fear, shame, depression, disappointment, failure, jealousy and so many more emotions. I was sinking – and very quickly, at that. “But yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; his mercies begin again, each morning!” (Lamentations 3:21-23) And don’t forget verse 25: “The Lord is GOOD to those who depend on him!”
So began the waiting process. I waited on God. I waited on Him to fix me. In waiting on Him to fix me, I learned one of the greatest lessons: How to love your neighbor through your own painful situation.
When we are in the middle of the storm, and we can barely come up for air ourselves, the best way to pull ourselves out is to love others. I believe this wholeheartedly. I John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
If there is one thing I know about His love, it casts out fear. His love draws life. His love is life.
When I love my neighbor in spite of my pain, I create room for His love to bring me new life.
That is exactly what God did in me. He brought new life. I took a few months off from ministering to others. I sat in a small room and learned the true ministry of loving others.
I prayed for those who had hurt me. It wasn’t easy and at first maybe not the most heartfelt, I’ll admit, but it got to a place of true compassion for those who needed Christ.
While praying, I found that perhaps the reason they had hurt me had less to do with me than I originally thought. Maybe their own insecurities as humans overtook them. Perhaps they had a hard time turning to God just like I was having a hard time, in these moments of hurt. So I prayed for them. I prayed for their hearts. Those prayers grew into a love for those who had hurt me. Many times while praying for them, God would also reveal inadequacies in my own life, only to fill them through prayer and His Word. It was a beautiful season.
Yes, the most painful season of my life is now known as the most beautiful.
Sometimes “loving your neighbor” will mean loving those who have been the first to accuse, humiliate and abandon you. If you can go back to the words in I John 4:12 and love them anyways, I believe you’ll find a completion that brings total healing. While loving others through your heartache, you’ll bridge a very scary (but conquerable) gap between pain and new life. I am a testimony of this and you will be, too.
About Alicia Hudson
Alicia is a single mom living for God serving as a worship leader at Life Connections in Fishers, Indiana. After spending over 10 years engrossed in music ministry, Alicia has branched out to the wonderful world of “writing” as a blogger. As a graduate of Indiana Bible College, Alicia is finding continued fulfillment in letting her story unfold and minister to others in whatever way possible. In her free time, she enjoys chasing her daughter, Lark Lynnette, through life, laughing and soaking up the sunshine.
Connect with Alicia at her blog, So Far So Good.