real love is unconditional.
it is not based on emotion. it is not contingent on the actions of others, while it itself is best expressed by action. true love is unshakable. it is the most powerful thing of all.
love hurts. it is not easy. Christ died for us out of love. out of the desire for us to be nearer to our Father. love was reason enough for God to become a man. love covers a multitude of sins. it keeps no record of wrong. what an idea…especially for us. us as small, wounded little creatures. what an idea to be loved like that…
we can’t love like this. and yet we are commanded to love ourselves, love others like this. only He can through us. we are no more than vessels that all too often get in the way of it. we are selfish. we want everything now. we hurt ourselves, we hurt others – even when we don’t mean to because we can’t see what He sees in us. it can be one of the most difficult things for us to accept. the harder we fight it, the more tragic we become. but once we embrace it, once we allow it in little by little…oh, the beauty.
love heals. it doesn’t give up. it sustains us even in the darkest of times.
these are just some of the things i’ve learned in the last few years. it is everything to me. it was something that had been so warped, so destroyed for me…and yet He has opened my eyes to remarkable truths. and one of the central truths is that love is sacrifice.
love is everything.
you know when you pray for more patience?
(some of you know where i’m going with this…)
if you haven’t already done it, typically what happens is when you pray for “more patience,” you actually get a plethora of opportunity to practice it. so, essentially….you won’t get a magical dose if patience, but you WILL get some annoying people or frustrating circumstances that will force you into either learning and exercising patience, or just cause you to lose your damn mind.
i’ve been there, done that.
but it applies to everything else, too. for me, learning what His love is and how to express it…it just so happens the same deal applies. maybe it’s because of my past, maybe it’s because i’m such a hopeless romantic, but can’t help this fixation. so i pray to understand it, i pray to experience more if it, and what do i get?….the opportunity to practice. to learn. to be a vessel for it. and it is hard, yo. it’s not how you think it’s going to be. it’s really thinking about others and not yourself. it’s really expecting nothing in return, even when you have given all you have and are feeling completely and utterly empty. it’s all Christ did for us. it’s what we are supposed to do for each other.
i didn’t realize what i was asking for all these years. and with each passing day, i’m feeling the beautiful agony of it more and more.
it takes so much energy to genuinely love and to care for someone. it takes such a painful level of self-sacrifice to place them ahead of you; to grieve when they’re grieving, to laugh when they’re laughing. it takes a great deal of effort to let go, to allow Him to work in their hearts. it takes such an attitude of humility. you go into it thinking you know what is best, thinking you know how it’s going to work out…and then you find He has a different way to go about it entirely. but still, it’s something to still be able to thank Him, to see what He sees, to learn His ways and see what it means to let my will disappear into His, i wouldn’t trade that in for anything…
never have i had such a strong connection with so many, and it all being unbeknownst to them. as i pray for them, as i cry for them, as i enter His gates on their behalf, as i carry this honor i have been ignorant of for too long, it’s like i am viewing them from a whole different lens. it has replaced the rose-colored glass in some cases, and has given me something so much more real…and raw.
i’m seeing that the only thing my prayers have the power to change is me. my heart. my attitude. my perspective. it has drawn me closer to Him, and has allowed me to experience a whole new level in the relationships i have with others – and share with Him.
at the same time, the spiritual battles have become so much harder. the emotional toll it has taken has been substantial. it’s hard to talk about and explain…i don’t know if it even makes sense. or just appears that i’m trying to be “super-spiritual.” in truth, the realities i have to face have made me cynical. the desire to just turn cold so as to protect myself from any more pain becomes stronger and stronger. i have become so analytical about my motives. and trying to make sure i “put in” as much as i “put out” so i’m not leading myself into a another breakdown continues to be an issue.
i’m so tired of the platitudes. i’m tired of all the christianese bull. i’m tired of questioning the sincerity of others and dealing with disappointment. this has been something alive…something i needed to feel. even though it pierces, it’s the realest thing i’ve had gone on in my life a while. all the experiences that have tied into it have hashed me out and refined me in ways i had never sought or knew. and while it’s hard and hurts and rips away pieces of my heart, at least i know i can trust it. it’s challenging me. it’s bringing me face to face with the ugly parts of who i am and making me want to change.
i have no idea what i’ll end up with in the end. but at least i know i’m doing something right for a change.