Learning to Love as Christ Loves

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Hey beautiful ladies! I’m Mikaela, one of the contributors of Blogs by Christian Women. 
Today I would like to share with you all something that has been on my heart for almost a full semester. And I’m going to be brutally honest. I know all of us face something similar to this in some shape or form so I’m going to share my heart with you :) 
Abba has been teaching me patience, kindness when I really don’t want to be kind, and unconditional love for those people in my life who are not so lovable. 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

We are called to love others because Christ first loved us – and showed the greatest love of all by taking our punishment on His shoulders so we could live eternally with God. 
Okay, so we can all admit that we have at least one person in our lives we don’t particularly get along with. 
That one person for me was someone who I had to spend a lot of time with this semester. 
My clothes would be borrowed/taken without my permission, sometimes I would find hair on my toothbrush, urine left in the toilet, or just simply have to live around her mood swings.
We were just different people – we came with different likes, dislikes, baggage, backgrounds, and routines. And there’s nothing wrong with that – I just found myself having to try harder to make friends and be patient. 
I knew that God had a plan – He always does. 
Of course it’s hard to deal with people that are different than us, especially when it seems like we can’t have some space to cool down from them, and sometimes I still don’t understand all that she does nor why she does it. But as I’ve gotten to know her I’ve realized that she’s stressed, burdened, and has stressors in her life just like I do. She just handles them differently.  
God doesn’t always call us to easy things, but He puts us in situations that will build our character and faith in Him. 
I failed several times in trusting the Lord in this situation. I vented, got angry, or stayed quiet when I should have spoken to her (out of love). Abba taught me patience, unconditional love, and most of all He gave me peace. 
The beautiful thing to me is that Christ’s love is completely based on the fact that we are His. It has nothing to do with our backgrounds, past sins, strengths and weaknesses, or what we find to be pleasant and desirable. There is nothing we can do to separate us from His love! 
So just as Christ loves and died for me and for all those “difficult” people in my life I must also love and learn to see them through His eyes. Our problems arise when we cannot see through our differences with another person. Just because they’re different from us doesn’t necessarily give us grounds enough to despise them. 
A good way to change our feelings about someone is to step outside ourselves and learn about them. Ask questions! Get to know who they are so you can understand why they act a certain way. 
And if this person still isn’t making sense to you it’s okay to keep your distance. Christ doesn’t call us all to be best friends and spend every waking moment together – He calls us to love our brothers and sisters in His name. I noticed that by keeping my focus on Abba, even though I didn’t understand anything that she did, I was able to love and to open up around her. 
Isn’t God incredible!! This is just such an amazing testimony of Abba’s power to me :) 
None of us are perfect, and every day we will find struggles that invade our emotions, thoughts, and comfort zones. It’s at that point that we must choose to push it aside, defeat it, and continue keeping our focus on Christ – or – allow it to consume us until it goes away. 
I hope my struggles this semester will be an encouragement to you as much as it is to me! It wasn’t easy and I messed up a lot, but I learned a lot about the grace of God as He forced me to love someone who was very different from myself.