How is it that God can increase the capacity of our hearts to love people? I remember when I was preparing for my second son, wondering how I could ever love another child as much as I loved my first. It was astonishing to realize that my love didn’t divide between them, but instead multiplied, increasing my capacity to love.

I have experienced this on another level yet again in my life.

Our family has participated in hosting short-term summer exchange students though Compass USA three times now: two from France and one from Spain. Each time, I go into the experience with great expectations. And each time I have been overwhelmed with my capacity to love the students and surprised at how they lodge themselves inside my heart.

How is it possible to love someone so much after knowing them such a short time? I personally think it is a gift from God.

We take risks when opening our home and family life to a stranger, and then that stranger ends up becoming part of the family and part of my heart. It’s amazing that our love doesn’t have to lessen for anyone else in order to add someone new. God can exponentially increase our ability to love. And it amazes me every time.

We dropped off our latest exchange student tonight. I had a sick stomach all afternoon, knowing it was time to say, “farewell for now.” As I turned to walk away, I noticed it had begun to rain. Even the sky cried when we said goodbye.

But I know that this goodbye is not forever. We will stay in touch with our student and his family. I pray many times every day for my sons across the seas. And I pray that somehow the investment we have made in their lives will impact eternity. We are forever changed because we decided to risk loving just one more.