By Patricia Merritt

I have found that nothing great comes to me apart from prayer, hard work and intentionality.

Those things I wanted most, I’ve prayed and worked for the hardest – my educational goals, my work goals, my weight loss goals. And as a result, I’ve developed a greater love capacity to love.

I liken my “love capacity” to lifting weights. I was comfortable limiting the amount of love I gave to others, lifting small love weights. But as opportunities to share my love intensified, I became anxious. There was a time when I would attempt to avoid the challenges, or I wouldn’t dress out to avoid sweating it out to grow my love muscles. “They are too heavy for me,” I would reason.

But the routines, challenges and opportunities of life kept me in a kneeling position. So, I sought about God’s capacity to love is stronger, longer and deeper. And the greater the tests, the more involved my requests became requests.

But thank God for those times and instances that forced me to stay engaged to meet the challenges I worked so hard to avoid. There was no way out, but God was there, and is always there to help me complete the tasks. I was either going to lift the load and carry it with the help of the Father, or simply fail alone.

Life continues to challenge me to lift bigger and heavier weights. But I learned that God has my back. With God’s help, I was able to show affection beyond what I thought I was capable.

I’ve learned that in order to grow to expand my capacity to love, I have to be willing to push past the limits. I also learned that I have to be faithful to a regular “love” workout regimen.

And you can do the same. Change doesn’t come overnight, but little by little, your love capacity can grow. God equips us to lift a load we thought impossible!

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