Friday, November 10, 2017

"falling in love with You..."

"take my hand,

take my whole life too.
for I can't help
falling in love with You..."

I want to tell the great love story of my life tonight. Pentatonix touching version of, "I Can't Help Falling in Love" is the perfect musical backdrop.

I love falling in love. But I also love staying in love. I have never wanted anything but the deep and lasting kind of love. The love that never wanes, but only grows fuller with time.

I have been blessed with just a few great loves in my life - my list is short, but none have been casual or insignificant.

One of the things that I have learned, is that love changes you. Love is a power. It refuses to be contained or localized. You cannot love, without having the boundaries of your heart enlarged. Love dissolves all of the rigid outlines that we impose upon ourselves. "I can love this, but not that." "I am this kind of person." "I could never do that."

But losing in love has also changed me. Each time I have felt my heart break, I have turned to God for wisdom, guidance, strength, courage -- and for comfort.

Then one morning, when my heart felt shattered - again, I opened my Bible to this passage from Revelation -- and yes, it was a revelation:

"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write;
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience,
and how thou canst not bear them which are evil:
And hast borne, and hast patience,
and for my name’s sake hast laboured,
and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love..."

I had been using God, to help me through each of my relationship struggles. But in that moment, I realized that I'd had it all upside down and backwards. I could suddenly see that the love I was seeking most -- the infinite, eternal, enduring kind -- would only be found by using each and every relationship, as an opportunity to deepen my relationship with my first love -- not to get, keep, or fix my relationship with others.

Love is a funny thing. When we are in love with someone, we think of them all the time. We long for any amount of time - that we might steal away with them. What they love, becomes our own love. Because the object of our affection enjoys skiing, we try to ski -- even though we really, really don't like hanging out in the cold.

When we love someone, we find ourselves wanting to do what made no human sense - only moments before. We actually find ourselves wanting to give up the right to self-indulgence, for shared responsibility. We long to do something as self-sacrificing as having children -- the ultimate exercise in self-denial. Then, through our love for those sweet children, we open our hearts to their friends, interests, school community -- the worlds they live, work, and play in.

When I fell back in love with my first love -- God, I was naturally more in love with His children, His world of ideas, His glorious creation.  The good that He delights in, became my great delight.  The Truth that occupies His Mind, filled me.

And when I trusted that this "first love" was the core influence in the heart of every one of his children, my relationships with others ceased to be my obsession, but became the opportunity that I was always looking for, in order to spend time more with my first love. I stopped using God to improve or repair my relationships, but used those relationships to deepen my love for Him/Her.  My time with my first love, became the most wonderful part of my days and nights.

Just a glimpse into my greatest love story.

offered with Love,


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