Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. After all, you can’t truly be happy if you’ve never known pain. You can’t truly feel joy if you’ve never felt heartbreak. You can’t know what it’s like to be filled unless you’ve been empty.
– Kelly Cutrone
Have you ever lost yourself in the process of loving someone else? One day you go to sleep as a complete person, and the next you wake up with a fragmented sense of who you are without your other half. You love someone so much that you forget that you are special too. With or without them.
I know how my relationships usually turn out. Meet someone. Become great friends. Like each other a lot. Spend less time with other friends. Spend less time in prayer. Fall in love. Stop sketching. Stop taking photographs. Stop noticing the way that cute older couple at Starbucks shares their coffee. Develop a warped sense of security. Start fighting over stupid things. Stop loving myself. Let my light be covered by someone else’s shadow.
I know what love should look like. Love is kindness, gratitude and sincerity. Love illuminates your life and elevates your soul to new levels. Love increases your heart’s capacity to appreciate all the beautiful things God has given you. Love serves others. Love speaks words of patience and inspires transformation.
My love always seems to crash mid-flight and I don’t know what that says about me. In some ways, I don’t know how to stop being the insecure girl who strangles me when she wants someone to like her. To love her. To tell her she’s beautiful. I don’t know how to not be that girl who falls in love and says, I’ll be whatever you want me to be for you. I don’t know how to allow myself to fall for someone without reverting back to the insecure girl I used to be.
Sometimes, I’m scared when I think about the future. I need to believe that love can last. I need to believe that I can love someone without losing parts of my heart. I need to believe that I can trust someone to not wake up one morning and change his mind about me. I need to believe that I am capable of finding love, real love, and keeping it.
I’m doing a 30-day “growing in gratitude” challenge with my lovely blog friend, V. Today we read Ephesians 5:15-21 and completed a writing prompt on being thankful for the “little things” God blesses us with.
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything…”
– Ephesians 5:19-20
I highly encourage you to try this gratitude challenge (http://www.reviveourhearts.com/pdf/30DayGratitude.pdf) and ask a friend to do it with you. It will do great things for your heart, I promise.
Reading Ephesians 5 reminded me of one of my favorite tumblr sites: http://just-littlethings.tumblr.com. This site lists the simple things in life that we should appreciate. Here are some of my favorites:
What are the simple things that make you happy?
Dear Girl I Used To Be,
I want to warn you about everything that’s fast approaching, but I can’t.
I can’t tell you that your mom has a brain tumor and you’ll have to watch her go through hell. If you knew that now, you’d spend too much time worrying and not enough time living.
I can’t tell you that your favorite person in the world will be leaving it soon. If you knew that now, you’d spend your last days with her crying instead of laughing.
I can’t tell you that you’re going to fall in love. If you knew that now, it would ruin the surprise. You’d never believe that you could fall passionately in love with a Republican anyway.
I can’t tell you that love will break. If you knew that now, you’d never let the walls guarding your heart come down.
I can’t tell you that many of your post-graduation dreams will not come true. If you knew that now, you might be too disappointed to realize that God is preparing you for something better.
I can tell you this: you are stronger than you can imagine.
People will hurt you in ways that you never expected, but others will step in to help you pick up the broken pieces. Your life will be filled with inspiration and love.
And you will find more joy than you thought possible.
“Don’t fight darkness. Bring the light & darkness will disappear.”
— Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
My friend Mike and I spent the morning taking pictures. I’ll add more later, but here are the first few edits. Isn’t he ridiculously photogenic?!
Once a week, I volunteer at a hospital for children. Patients range in age from infants to 21 year-olds, creating a diverse volunteer experience. I’ve rocked newborn babies to sleep, painted pictures of butterflies, built towers out of legos, been annihilated at board games, and gossiped about cute boys. I love every minute that I spend with these kids.
The names and faces change each week, but the circumstances remain fairly consistent. Some patients are here for the day. Some patients are here for months. Some will leave the hospital. Some will not.
When I mention my time spent here, people always ask the same question. Isn’t it difficult to see sick kids every week? My response to that is… It’s much more difficult to see the parents of sick kids every week.
I’m not a parent and I cannot comprehend how it feels to love your own child. I just know that for every cancer patient I’ve laughed hysterically with, I’ve met a parent whose story breaks my heart. For every child who’s optimistic about the day, there’s a parent who doesn’t have paid time off or money for the hospital bill. A parent with other kids at home. A parent who didn’t see this coming. A parent who’s no longer in control of their child’s wellbeing.
The unconditional love they have for their children is very clear. They would trade places with their child in a heartbeat if they could.
When I witness this kind of love, it makes me consider the depth of God’s love for us. I remember times when I’ve struggled and wondered, does God even see me? Does He even care about what I’m going through? We all have moments of questioning whether our problems are too insignificant to bring to God. Sometimes the idea of a God who loves us unconditionally seems intangible.
But, when I see the faces of parents at the hospital, I understand unconditional love.
As much as our parents love us, God loves us more. He is familiar with all our ways (Psalm 139:3). He desires to lavish His love on us, simply because we are His children and He is our father (1 John 3:1). He offers us more than our earthy fathers ever could (Matthew 7:11). He is the perfect father (Matthew 5:48). And, one day, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and take away every pain we suffered on earth (Revelation 21:3-4). He gave His son as the ultimate expression of His love for us.
My dear friends, we are never insignificant or forgotten. We are completely covered in love.
Lovely female bloggers,
I’m doing some preliminary research for a project I’ll be starting soon. I’d love to get your opinion on the following 3 questions:
1. What 5 qualities do you value most in a significant other?
2. What was most disappointing about your last relationship?
3. What qualities/traits do you consider to be relationship deal breakers?
If you prefer not to answer these questions in a public forum, please email me at email@example.com.
Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it!