Don’t you hate it when love sucks!?!
When I was a tween I was an awkward, lanky-legged chatterbox, who began to notice boys not long after my parents separated. I was far too nervous to actually have one but I fantasied about having a boyfriend. I longed for someone to smother me in affection and attention.
Yet boys in real life didn’t really notice me.
I guess you could say my imagination got the better of me, for when reality proved the lack of attention I was getting, I would retreat to my bedroom, heartbroken; and write countless poems of devastation and unrequited love.
I believed love should be what I had seen in the movies, and yet never witnessed in real life. It appeared to be something you received, something that filled all the empty places within. To me love in real life seemed desperate and hungry, never satisfied.
As I got older, my figure began to change and I realised that I was getting noticed more and more. I felt for sure that one of these boys was going to be the one to meet all the dreams and security that I craved. Yet time after time I was disappointed. The affection never lasted long and only really had one intention. The attention was never reliable, it fluctuated and dulled over time. Security was a joke, I trusted no one. Those love poems I had written as a young girl became reality over and over again.
“Love can make your heart sore and bloom! And then it ends, over, Kaboom! Left here lying in a puddle of tears, all alone with only my fears!”
I wish I could go back in time and explain to my younger self that everything I thought I knew about love was poisonous and untruthful. That you don’t seek out love simply to receive it, if you do you only create a vacuum. A hollow void that consumes everything in sight and leaves nothing left. I would tell myself that my hunger for love could never be filled by another human being. It could only be filled by God and loving myself, and I must learn how. I had to get to know myself truly, deeply, no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive. To expose the places of loss, hurt and fear that had created that vacuum inside me. To allow forgiveness to flood all my imperfections and my regrets.
Through the journey of true self-discovery, I found truth in the pages of God’s Word. I gave those inspired words permission to reveal my true heart, and I soaked up every promise of mercy, of protection and affection, from my Heavenly Father that I possibly could. That emptiness inside me, not only filled but began overflowing!
That is when you can truly experience LOVE! Love from, and for God, and His Precious Son, but also love for one another. Because when your heart longs to GIVE LOVE, you can’t help but feel it’s warm joy and fulfilment.
The snare that so many of us fall for, as we navigate this life of broken promises and vacuum hearts, is believing that we must satisfy ourselves at any expense. That we must seek out our own desires and expect others to fulfil them. It is a desire completely focused on self-gaining, self-serving, and self-seeking. Me, Me, Me, I, I, I.
“Love does not seek its own reward.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Accept the abundant love from God Most High, allow it to reveal and heal your broken, vacuum heart. Then go out into your life with the intention to GIVE AS MUCH LOVE AS YOU CAN! Keep on giving, no matter how much is sucked up by others, give more! For Our Father God, who gives love through us, will never run dry. His love endures forever and ever!
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In my post Discipline + Trust = Love I promised I would follow on with the story of my adult tantrums and how a changed perspective helped me enjoy many benefits in my relationships.
In my early relationships I was a manipulative, critical, conceited, control freak; unable to identify love at all. I allowed my emotions to control my actions, and used them as excuses to blackmail the people I thought I loved.
I had grown up believing with all my heart that I knew love because I felt it so intensely.
After I learned a bit of Godly self-awareness, I came to realise that what I felt so intensely wasn’t love at all; it was desire, obsession, jealousy, fear, and a lack of self-worth. I had held onto the belief that I deserved ‘the best‘ and should never settle for anything less, which gave me the sky as the limit for my expectations. Let’s just say that was a recipe for disaster!
How many of us grew up believing in movie love? As a child my favourite game was ‘grown-ups’. I would create the perfect imaginary life, perfect job, perfect husband, and perfect baby. I could have it all my own way and be completely happy. Of course reality hit like a brick!
Have you ever made a meal for someone special, rushed to make it extraordinary and watched the clock in anticipation of the perfect evening of dining and romance, only to watch it tick past the arranged time by over an hour? The first ten minutes were about as much as I could take before I began wavering back and too between anger and panic. By the time that special someone got a foot in the door I would be so worked up, I would be in his face demanding an explanation for his complete ignorance to my feelings!.…Am I alone in this?
It would usually go something like this….
“What time do you call this? Where were you? Can’t you read the time? Have your fingers fallen off so you can’t dial a @$#%ing number? Don’t worry about me! NO! I wasn’t just slaving away to make you a nice meal only to have it ruined, was I? I have been sitting here for over an hour, waiting for you, worried something may have happened to you! Obviously you weren’t even thinking of me! Am I wasting my time here? What else can I think except that you simply don’t give a @#$%! I deserve better than THIS! ARGH!”
I can’t believe I thought this reaction would bring about the response I desired from him …“Baby, I am so sorry that you felt that way, I love you so much, I will never do that to you again I promise!” Rush to me, hold me, kiss me and thank me for being so loving…End scene!
I am so grateful that I no longer believe that is love! Why would anyone rush home to that?!
The Bible describes love this way ‘Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride; Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil; It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true; Love has the power of undergoing all things, having faith in all things, hoping all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7 (BBE))
When my Dad first showed me that scripture in context, it was difficult for me to read and almost impossible to believe, but once I began to accept God’s design over my life and submitted to His ways, I saw how far from a loving person I was. The reality of my actions crushed me, it was as if all that I thought I knew was wrong! I cried out to God for the ability to understand love and to change.
Then came my first new perspective, I thought perhaps I should treat the man in my life as I do my friends, friends who I want to show love to, friends who I respect and treat well. A friends love is believed, because they are free to love me or not, rather than expected to. If a friend was late for dinner I would give them grace, so why not him?
I took some time to try and learn to depend on God for His love and fulfillment, and when I began dating my husband, I would do my best to greet him with a smile even when he was late and I prayed away the anger that rose in me, to stop my inner enemies exploding in his face when he didn’t meet my expectations.
A number of years ago someone asked me why I was ok with my husband going out whenever he wants, without getting upset and making him stay home more? His job was in a social environment and there was always something to do with people after work.
My reply to her was an epiphany that I have used as an anchor, to remind me of my true beliefs whenever I become too controlling in my relationship. I replied “I would rather he be home one night a year because he really wants to, than be home every night because I forced him to.” I gave myself low expectations and this helped me cope with any emotionally controlling behaviour. I would rather know that he wants to be with me more than he HAS to! I also began to trust that if God wanted him to be the man for me, then he would be! And if he wasn’t meant to be then I was never going to be able to change God’s reasons for that! I had to let go and let God have his way.
Having less or no expectations changes our perspective. Perspective is everything!
Here’s another little example of how a changed perspective brought me much joy. This recent Valentine’s Day, which we hardly ever celebrate, I wasn’t expecting anything, no gifts, no romantic date, nothing. I woke up to a tickle under my foot from the man I love, I opened my eyes to look into his and heard him say “Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetheart” After so many years together, to still be rubbing our feet together under the sheets was the most wonderful feeling in the world! To hear him call me ‘Sweetheart’, and let me know I was his Valentine was almost too much joy! (I have happy tears in my eyes as I recall it!)
I still have to work hard at being the best version of myself as possible, to try to show love through acceptance and grace, instead of demanding it with blackmail and complaining. I go through good runs and bad, (once a month is especially hard, around pregnancy was particularly hard, after my car accident was downright ridiculous!). However I continue to try, to be self-aware and try to look at things with a Godly perspective. I have noticed that it is much easier to be loving to those around me when I am in close unity with God, and much harder when I drift away from Him.
I praise and thank God every day that He gave me the opportunity to become aware of myself and my unloving actions, and that in His mercy He saw fit to help me make changes to be more genuinely loving. Amen!
If your inner enemies are preventing you from feeling, giving or understanding love, I recommend you too call out to God for a new, loving, perspective. It will bring about a change you never thought possible!