“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sometimes it seems that it might be one of those days that makes more people feel unloved than loved. There’s a crazy expectation ingrained in us from a very young age: If you are loved you get valentines, flowers and chocolate. If you don’t get those things….well, I supposed the opposite can be assumed. Right?
Single for this glorious holiday almost every year, I’ve resorted to protests like wearing black and watching movies where unlucky couples are attacked by sharks, tornadoes, and even sharks IN tornados. I’ve sometimes resorted to humor– last year I made “Frog Prince” Oreos (and they really DO bear a striking resemblance to a guy I dated once…really…they do.)
Everyone wants to be loved.
I had dinner with a dear friend named Denise a couple of nights ago and she was telling me about a friend of hers who recently became a “life coach”. This friend apparently shares posts on Facebook with advice for things like finding love. Step one, for FINDING LOVE, is to love yourself, she says.
Denise scrunched her nose up at me as she said this and then she paused and said, “Why do people feel like they need to find love? I want to tell them that they have been loved since before they were born. The God who created them has loved them before they even came to be. They don’t need to find it- they just need to accept it.”
I’ve done a lot of driving this week, and Denise’s comments have given me hours of thought and talks with God.
The sum of those thoughts ended with this prayer at the end of the day: God, be my one and only love.
Not that I don’t want to love and be loved here on earth, but I want the love of my Heavenly Father to be enough. I want it to be ok if I end up alone and without a friend to call my own someday- because I have the great love of God filling me up, surrounding me and sustaining me.
I want Jesus to be my all, my everything, my constant source of acceptance. I want to find my worth in Him- to learn to love Him more and more and in that find I am worth loving- not in some self-directed goal of loving myself, but in understanding that I am a treasured daughter of the King!
In that confidence I want to love without reserve- without that nagging fear that someday this, too, will be lost. I’ve lost dear friends, I’ve lost romantic relationships that were years in the making, I’ve lost grandparents and now my mom. Is it truly better to have love and lost than to have never loved at all?
Absolutely. As long as God was always the one GREAT love over all other relationships. His great love means we can love and be loved without walls to protect us from loss. Whatever is lost here on earth is swallowed up in the ocean of his never-changing, all-consuming love for us.
I think this thought all the time: “Oh I miss mom….!” and it is followed by “I’m so thankful you are here Jesus. I’m so glad your love will never be lost to me. I’m so glad that we will continue in love that grows greater and finer through all of my life until we finally stand face to face in heaven and all things are made new and all tears are wiped away.”
I’m so thankful for that.
He loves you that much too, you know.
I’ve had many days of trying to be someone worthy of love- for a wide variety of people, and I’ve felt the sting of rejection and betrayal and hurt. I’ve disappointed myself and berated myself and tried to change myself to be accepted. I’ve worn myself out with wanting to be loved, and all along the way God was whispering his love into the quiet corners of my soul.
If today, or any day makes you feel unloved, unlovable, unlovely, or alone, there is a truth that is greater than those feelings. God loves you. He loves you more than can be expressed.
“The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell…
…Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.”