I’ve been hearing the word “love” a lot lately. I think God knows when there’s something I need to hear, it needs to be repeated several times in order to truly sink in.
Love. Everyone writes about love– how they hate it, how they love it, how they lost it. What could I write that could be any different? Well, probably nothing. I’ve seen love in many different forms throughout my life.
I’ve felt childhood love. Which is the love of life, where everything seems amazing & new. A time of constant wonder & always asking my parents, “why?” sometimes followed with, “because I said so”.
I’ve felt young love, filled with teenage angst and well, all that goes along with being a teenage girl. But what teenage girl doesn’t think they’re going to run away on a romantic/life changing road trip with their first major crush? Ok..well…I did. *cough*
The love toward a parent that i didn’t realize I loved so much until they were gone. A love (and a loss) so deep I still feel like only Jesus himself knows what that loss feels like. And even then, if I can be honest, I’m skeptical.
The love I felt when I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my husband. A love that was easy to feel in the beginning, but realizing it doesn’t always feel that way. Making a daily choice to love my husband instead of just waiting for the emotions.
A love that I show, or try to show, on a daily basis to those I encounter at work or other places. The places where I’m called to love even though I may be exhausted or I’m not wanting to make the extra effort.
And then there’s a love that I have for myself. And this, ironically, is the love I have the most trouble with. I’ve always had trouble with truly loving myself & I’ve alway been my worst critic. As sad as it sounds, I can count on 1 hand the times in my life where I’ve truly looked into the mirror and just felt love for myself without any harsh thoughts afterwards.
A little bit heartbreaking, right? Because God made me to love my neighbors like i love myself, yet I just..don’t. I know this prevents me from loving those closest to me, especially my husband. That is why I’m determined to work on this funny little thing called love.
I can only do it with God’a grace and love to guide me. That famous verse in 1 Corinthians13:2 rings truer than ever:
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but have not love, I would be nothing.
I think that goes for self love, too. So I’m praying that God loves me enough to teach me how to love myself. It’s going to take a lot of work to undo all the criticism I’ve fed to myself, but I really do believe that love is splendid. And if it sought after through the heart of God, it will set us free and lift us up where we belong.