the struggle is real

bear one another’s burdens.

but how much, and for how long?

when do you stop thinking about them to think about yourself?

when does it become “unhealthy?”

when does love need to become “tough?”or is that even supposed to be a thing among us?

we’re just given the general guidelines. love one another. love yourself. turn your cheek. forgive your enemies. go the extra, thankless mile. be kind, patient, humble and gracious. be like Him. be living, breathing sacrifices every day. but then here we are, in a world full of wounded, broken people. and here i am…trying to find the balance between opinions, emotions, circumstances and Truth.

i’ve spent the last few years pushing myself through recovery, trying to make sense of life and love after having been subjected to so much perverseness and cruelty. here i am, having had to learn how to take care of and love myself, having had to erect boundaries and make sure i’m not letting other’s define my happiness and who i am.  lately, though, it’s harder to draw that line. harder to see those boundaries. this past year, i’ve seen people i care about hurt and struggle beyond my capacity or understanding to help them. i have felt so helpless. i’ve been deeply depressed. i’m continuously frustrated. i’ve thought myself foolish and a naive. sometimes i’ve known how to respond, but that hasn’t always made it any easier to act. other times, i haven’t known the answer and just tried acting on what i knew, and later wondered if i just made everything worse (those damn “good intentions”). but in every case, i have sincerely tried to live up to His command to love, to be understanding, to hope against hope and believe He will make a difference…

the thing is, i’m left here at the end of it all, wondering if my understanding of everything i’ve felt He has taught me these last few years has been right. because now, given the chance to apply it, and looking back…i don’t know. i carry this heaviness in my chest now….how ironic is that? right over the heart.

i have to learn the hard way. that much i know about myself. and love is hard. and that’s ok. but the struggle…it’s real, folks. it’s very real.

sara

because love

to love is a difficult thing. to say otherwise is a lie. it’s never easy, it never “just happens”…it’s a fight. a terrible, beautiful fight. it takes effort and tears and pain. love is sacrifice. love means putting someone ahead of yourself. love is Christ stripping Himself of His heavenly glory to be broken so that we could receive all that we don’t deserve.  that’s the kind of love He tells us to have for each other…and it takes you into dark places, forcing you to anchor yourself to Him as you fight to hold on to those you care about in the midst of a storm. that’s when His love becomes real in us: when we let Him use us as a vessel to demonstrate it to another. you crack, you bend, you may even lose a piece of yourself…but oh, how much more you know Him as a result.

i’ve made this blog about my restless endeavor to understand what love truly is. i’ve learned the same lessons countless times over. i thought that doing things “right” meant that i had to show God i love Him by doing what i’m supposed to do; by beating myself up and feeling undeserving because i’m such a broken, sinful creature who deserves nothing good and punishing myself for whatever; by being someone who expects disappointment, and is weighed down heavily by a spiritually depressed spirit…

because of all that, i had lost sight of something: i don’t need to prove anything to Him. i am His, accepted just as i am, even at my lowest. He already knows everything. i’m always trying to fix something about myself or trying to scratch off another shortcoming to be better, and He doesn’t love me any more or any less when i succeed or fail…i am still His.

i’ve been told countless times to protect myself. to be careful. but we’re told to love one another – our brothers and sisters in Christ. all of us are beautiful in His sight: at our lowest, at our ugliest, and in our failures…because He first loved us. i don’t have the capacity He does, but it is my determination that those He has brought into my life for one reason or another to love, i will let Him tear me apart so that He can pour His love out, no matter how much it hurts. because He first loved me that way.

sara

guilt lies

what a monster it is.

the enemy of grace.

its greatest deception is a false sense of  peace, and it justifies everything with the same lie: you owe. and therein lies the danger…whatever it tempts us to do just adds to that burden, even though it promises otherwise. a burden we have no business trying to carry, something we’re not meant to carry. and that’s what the enemy wants. to add to the load until –  one day – it does what he intends it to do…crush.

grace gives us all those things we don’t deserve: another chance, forgiveness, freedom, true peace. it tells us to let go. it doesn’t demand. it works for us, not against us. it forces nothing, it carries everything. it guards our boundaries. it challenges us to accept it, to look in the mirror, to change the only thing we can: ourselves. and only by its power. it is enough. and it is always there. it doesn’t eliminate the consequences, but it takes our hand and enables us to deal.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

but guilt demands. it enslaves. it destroys. it deafens. it doesn’t look us in the eye. it hides and cuts people off. it doesn’t know what love is. or peace. or hope. it is so damn selfish. God, how i hate it. i hate what it does to people. i hate that i’m losing.

sara