Sunday, March 27, 2011

disillusioned.

inspiration: i've had very strong convictions about this topic for a while now; i've expressed it in conversation with a couple close friends, but never really had the words to put it into a blog. but now i feel like God has given me the words to express my convictions, so here i am to write about something i'm passionate about: love.

i love Jesus.
i love my parents.
i love my friends.
i love sweet tea.
i love massages.
i love sunsets.
i love bananas.
i love making lists...

...you get the picture, there are a lot of things i love and i have no problem listing them. but i think you would agree with me that my love for Jesus and my love for sweet tea are two completely things: one is based on a relationship, trust, and commitment and the other is based on feelings and emotions.

unfortunately, love is not the latter.
this is a horribly hard lesson that i had to learn the hard way.
love is not just how you "feel" about something or someone.
it's much deeper than that.

i was listening to taylor swift earlier (another thing to add to my list of loves: taylor swift music :P) and whether you like her or not, you can't deny that she has the extraordinary gift of writing songs that pull at your heart -- whether it's a sweet ballad of love or a boy-bashing song about getting revenge an ex -- you just can't help but relate in some way.

but something that has struck me about taylor is that she is very open about her heart and relationships. there is always constant talk about who she is seemingly dating. and especially who she has broken up with. and while it makes for good music (sometimes), i can't help but worry about her a bit.

not in a judgmental way.
but in a "i've been there, done that" way.
i doubt i'll ever have the chance to meet t-swizzle, but if i ever did, i would want to share this verse with her:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -Proverbs 4:23

i think as a society, we've become disillusioned with this idea of what "love" is.

i don't blame taylor for this. i don't blame really anyone for this.
but the fact of the matter is we equate our love for another person as the same thing as our love for sweet tea, based completely on emotions and how we feel.

my idea of love before i started dating my one-and-only boyfriend, was that love was a feeling. as long as i was "in love" everything would be okay. my fear for taylor is that she shares this disillusionment of what true love really is.

getting those "butterflies" when you're with that person is nice.
going on dates and holding hands is lovely.
first kisses are sweet and romantic.
but these things don't equal love.

i wish i had known this before.

we are bombarded with images of romance.
we listen to songs equating love with sex.
we watch movies like "The Notebook" and are filled with false representations of love.**

**(Disclaimer: i love The Notebook but there are a lot of things about it that I don't like. Allie leaving Lon - her fiance! - for Noah all for the sake of a "feeling" makes me kind of angry. You can argue that Noah's love for Allie was true seeing as he read to her every single day, even through dementia, and this is very true. But I hate that we justify Allie's decision to walk out on Lon because she was "in love" with Noah. But this is all a discussion for a different day....)**

we think that love is going to conquer all.
we think that this feeling of being "in love" will justify all our decisions.
we think and believe that we're always going to feel the same.

but feelings change. our hearts will deceive us if we are not rooted in truth.

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" -Jeremiah 17:9

...again, i wish i had known this before...

my parents are amazing. straight up amazing.
there are lots of moments in my life that i wish i could go back to and tell myself back then what i know now because it would've probably eliminated several years of immaturity on my part...but regardless of the past, all i have to say now is that my parents are straight up amazing.

they loved me with every ounce of themselves when i was growing up. and they still do.
even though i'm a "big girl" now, they're still raising me.
pouring their wisdom and love into me.

the love that my parents have for me is true love.
when i was a snotty-nosed three-year-old who threw temper tantrums over crayons, they loved me.
when i was a brace-faced awkward nerdburger who threw temper tantrums when my Gameboy got taken away, they loved me.
when i was a too-big-for-my-19-year-old-britches who acted like i knew what i wanted in life because i was dating a guy who i thought i was in love with, they loved me. and they were there to comfort me when the guy and i broke up, despite my mistakes and despicable attitude.

the love that Christ has for us is true love!

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

Christ's love for us wasn't based on emotions.
He had every single reason to say "I don't 'feel' like sacrificing my life for you."
we are sinners. we're wicked. we're filled with darkness. we are far from Him.
but He chose to set aside Himself for us.

this is true love.
commitment. selflessness. sacrifice.
dying to ourselves for the sake of others.

it's not holding hands. kissing. going on dates.
it's giving up yourself for the sake of the other person.
it's saying "your needs are more important than mine."
it's saying "you are worth the sacrifice."

i sincerely think that my heart and ability to love others easily is because my parents loved me so fervently and so passionately growing up. but something they never taught me how to do was to guard my heart when it came to my emotions.

i wish they had told me love isn't easy.
i wish they had told me to guard my heart.
i wish they had told me not to throw my pearls to pigs.
but to save my heart for my future husband to treasure.

something i'm preparing for, even now in my singleness, is to share with my future children (especially with my daughters if i have them) what love really is! i want them to see the love my future husband and i have with each other. but more than that, i want them to see my love for Christ because His is the truest of true love. His is the sacrifice above all sacrifices. i can't say for sure the paths my children will walk, but if i can spare them some of the heartache that i've faced, i'll do what it takes.

...and it wouldn't be a blog about love without 1 Corinthians 13 ;)

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 comments:

  1. I have a lot of words, but nothing that really is comprehensible. I really relate to this in that I always believed that lie too. I feel bad for the mistakes I made in that past but hope I can show a shadow of the faith you have to my future family. if there is one. :)

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  2. i think a majority of us believe it. it's what we've been "trained" to believe. that love just happens and that it requires no work or sacrifice. but the only time love truly took no work or sacrifice was in Eden, because everything was perfect there. unfortunately, mankind fell and we are forced to struggle with the consequences of sin.

    and sadly enough, we have the perfect model for marriage and for love (Christ and the Church), but we don't follow it and it's often labeled as "old-fashioned" and "archaic".

    i love you, brookeulus. you will definitely have a family one day :) ILY!

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  3. As a momma I am proud of your strength to lay it out there. As your sister in Christ I can tell you I've been there and done that more times than I care to remember and feel a huge responsibility to teach my children the truth of love that only comes from a relationship with Jesus. It's hard to watch them struggle but at least they know the truth. You keep fighting the good fight. I will pray for your future husband and for you to be true to your commitment to Christ.
    Your sister in Christ...Theresa

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  4. wow. You nailed it. Thanks for sharing it with me!

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