You may think this is a late post because it's not Valentine's Day anymore, but it's so on time for my life. It was a marker for me to realize how strong love can be and this is my first time to rest in its realization. While I hope my "he makes my toes curl" love finds and pursues me soon :), my hopes for knowing what love feels like were met in a real and amazing way.
I have had a weird three weeks, to put it lightly; the latest story being that I had an awful stomach virus or food poisoning the day before my birthday (the 14th). And friends, at least half of whom have known me less than 6 months, cared for me in ways that proved that real love can't be bought, bargained for, or earned.
At so many junctures of my life I can look back and see how I have tried to make people love me, do things to be loved more, or prove that I am deserving of love. It might have worked for a little, but it didn't satisfy, and didn't last.
What I have been learning in the last few months from both God and people is that real love is freeing. It's beautiful and it makes you feel alive. Yes, sometimes it's hard, but then again sometimes it's easy. It's not always fun. But there are times that it is joyous. And sometimes it requires taking a more difficult way. But real love, it's powerful and it lasts.
One of my favorite scriptures right now is found in Song of Solomon 8:7, "Many waters can not quench [the flame of] love nor will rivers overflow it..." It goes on to say that someone can spend all their riches to buy love, but that they wouldn't be able to -it'd be despised. Really think about love like that...a flame that doesn't go out even when a lot of water touches it.
More and more I am realizing the real issue that I and that we all are dealing with is wanting to know love. Real love. Love that doesn't require us to be anyone different and will accept us for who we are, where we are. That's the kind of love that heals us and gives us freedom to live out our deepest self.
I have found myself addicted to things because I was looking for that kind of love. Found myself holding on too long and too tight hoping I could squeeze love out. Even found myself trying to shake love awake when it seemed to be sleeping or even dead. But I don't want to live like that anymore.
My real prayer is that I keep my heart open to receive love and know love. And as I better understand and know love I want to give love in that same measure.