I've have the head knowledge that this culture has love all twisted & wrong for quite some time. I've also had the head knowledge of what the Bible says about love. Some how, for longer than I think I've realized, in my effort to not conform to the world's definition & understanding of love, I've closed out exploring & opening myself to truly understand & know biblical, godly love = True Love.
Perhaps its from my few years of being a wife & mother... but it's almost like my heart & soul knew what it consisted of & looked like but my head tends to be the "boss" when it comes to my day-in-day-out thoughts. This morning, for probably Spirit reasons, the realities in my heart touched upon my analytical mind.
Love is the day-in-day-out, laying-down, giving up, and getting-out-of-my-own-way for others.
I may be married to that person, I may be their mother, I may be their daughter by blood or marriage, I may be their neighbor across the street or across an ocean. I may not know them or I may see them every week. I may know their "story", go to church with them, or work with them....
If that is what true love is (or at least part of it), then I am quite guilty of simply loving those who love me back or those with whom I feel can or would return the sacrifice that it is.... but love is not just a feeling or a favor. It is so simple, yet deep that it seems as thought it is very complicated.
I have somehow numbed myself to seeing people the way God sees them... I made Jesus an abstract theology that I cling too... rather than get into the complicated, messiness that most of my relationship seem to turn out as. I've burned so many friendships by simply giving up or not knowing how to continue them. I've isolated & confused others who wanted to be my friends. I also tend to make the people I really truly LIKE the "dumping grounds" for my thoughts, feelings, frustrations, mistakes, & questions... almost like I'm seeing if they actually want to stick around if they knew what I thought & how I behave.
Realizing that all my faith is based on a real, living person? It scares me. I so badly don't want to "screw it up" or "let Him down" or ...or... the worst thing I've done in so many of my other relationships: disappoint. :-( I guess I've always secretly believed that my parents are disappointed in my life choices after college -namely my marriage. I believe that my in-laws are disappointed that I turned out to be an ungrateful, spiteful, messy, overly emotional, & naive girl (instead of the asset that their son married "up"to in the beginning). I believe that my childhood friends & church family & extended family are completely disappointed in me not returning to Hawaii or obeying my parents wishes or fulfilling my family's expectations in ministry & back to my continually sacrificing parents. I believe my siblings -especially my brothers- are disappointed in me. I've let down so many of my college friends that none of them have tried to continue what friendships I thought we had... I can actually remember almost every time that I have let down or disappointed someone & the feeling of complete & total feeling of being a failure. As much as I want to impress people & be seen as a success or as a loving, caring, hard-worker... my biggest goal in life seems to be to NOT disappoint people -especially the ones I truly love & want to be loved by. :-(
I absolutely HATE the drop in my stomach, the sadness in their eyes, the feeling of throwing up, the pinched lips or sighs on their mouths.... and ultimately the thoughts & feelings I assume must be going on inside their hearts & minds. I can almost hear them saying "I can't believe she just did that!", "Guess I can't rely on her anymore", "If she can't be trusted to do this, then I can't trust her in __ either", "What a let down she is!", "What good is she if she can't follow through in this?" ...seriously. I have these thoughts everywhere I go, with every single person I come in contact with... perhaps I am an introvert simply because I don't want to see how many people I could possibly let down & disappoint. perhaps I even hate social media because it reminds me of the sheer number of "friends" I've let down over the years & disappointed more than once.
I feel so trapped by these thoughts. I feel dead-ended & most of it is my own doings... which deepens the offense of disappointment: in myself. And the one person everyone keeps telling me that can get me out of it is still another person. another relationship with the even larger potential for being a disappointment & "let down"... wow, this post just took a different turn than I was expecting... and I have to go. I promise to revisit it later.