“Shot to the heart, and you’re to blame. Honey YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME.”
I spent this Valentine’s Day week filtering through tons of depressing songs that wailed about broken love, many grabby songs that raged against it, and Cee-lo Green’s eternally appropriate “Forget You” that makes you realize you need to forgive some people mid scream-sing. 😀
I found myself thinking, “so this is what we think love is?” It made me sad, and I want to dust love off for a minute!!
Love wasn’t that messy constantly tense relationship that you barely made it out of in one piece. Love wasn’t that critical, angry, ‘honest’ jab that knocked your breath out, or that cutting, flippant statement that claimed it intended to make you better. Love wasn’t that super passionate, short-lived romance that left you tangled in more knots than light with butterflies.
Love didn’t drink in all your emotional attention and then smash the glass on the way out. Love wasn’t the one who made you feel crazy, question yourself, and presented you romantic gesture mixes of sweet words and sharp barbs. You probably couldn’t tell Love was trouble when it walked in.
That was a human, baby, playing at love.
No, you may argue. I felt love in those relationships! That’s all I’ve ever seen! If that’s not love then I’ve never felt it. Boo, me too.
I don’t say this to invalidate experiences, but to re-frame them. I say this to expose selfishness’s heart-shaped costume that it’s gotten away with wearing for too long. I think just about all of the painful experiences with ‘love,’ given and received, were well-intended.
We just missed it, because we hadn’t met perfect yet.
Love isn’t pain.
Very few sources will tell you otherwise.
I lived my whole life terming one thing love and actually got infuriated in the face of unconditional itself. Because I’d been tricked. Bald-faced lied to.
I didn’t even know I was buying into the idea that love was pain until I ran face first into the opposite reality. I had known love in deep heartbreak, in repression, in secretly hating but remaining close to people who would act like a kitten one minute and an AK-47 the next.
But during ministry school, all of the sudden in front of me stood people, specifically men, who didn’t want anything. They weren’t looking for the weak spot to manipulate, they weren’t looking for the easy way in. They wanted to ADD something to my life to make it better. They were relentlessly kind when I wanted to run and hide from them. Their constancy scared me. They saw it. They challenged it with more unrelenting kindness. It was destructive to every angry old story inside of me.
I waited for months and months for evidence of my old, painful reality to present itself as my defenses caved in.
I was being barraged by the truth that love wasn’t emotionally accepting a sucker punch and grinning through it like it didn’t hurt. Love wanted to…have fun with me? Make me happy, just because?
Cue poorly-timed sob wails in the face of a kindness I was certain wasn’t real (parties, more parties, parties in pretty dresses, and the end of day clean-up at school with a thousand students).
Love is good. Love makes you uncomfortable it’s so good. Love is constantly accosting your ‘deserve’ meter. Love confronts our lesser ideas of ourselves and our dreams, because it believes in you enough to let you see the brilliant, challenging truth. Love is often softer than you’re used to. Love is relentless, shocking, and fearless. Scary fearless. Love makes you nervous. Love makes me say ‘that’s too much.’ I know my capacity to receive love is being stretched when I hear an internal “no, no, no,” running through my head as someone presents me with a compliment or present.
Love is a paradigm breaker. I have never found anything as powerful. It has been the only catalyst my heart could find that happily turned my world on it’s head.
Love is sacrificial. Not just now, but for the future. Love isn’t slamming on the gas trying to gain ground before you wisen up. It doesn’t climb the social ladder. Love refuses to view people through personal advantage. Love sees a human, a soul, a worth to be celebrated. Love sees an opportunity to give.
Love has INCREDIBLE thoughts about you. Love’s not nitpicking you or writing you a list of improvements you need to make.
Love always protects. When love finds a vulnerability, it says “I love you so much because you showed me that tender part of you.” Love smiles and welcomes the places that need to feel it’s healing touch.
More than anything, love teaches you that to know you is to love you.
Love’s not scared of messy. Love is so excited to hold you on your hard days, dance with you on your silly days, write with you on late nights you can’t quite fall asleep. 🙂 People aren’t perfect, but love is. ❤
I never knew love until I knew Jesus, and once I did I saw that I had been bursting at the seams adored for all my days. Love was drawn all over my life, and He was excited that I reveled in it.