I’ve had most of this latest post ready but have been waiting to publish it in the hopes that some additional words would fully express the true meaning of love in my life. The reality is that no eloquent text will give it justice… love is perfect but it doesn’t always look that way. The best definition is in scripture – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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 records 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.
The title of this post is simple. Love can take us far. And while the journey may have ups and downs, the experiences make us whole. I think that is God’s plan. Not to experience a perfect life but to experience His perfect love; with all the ups and downs. That is when patience comes in and kindness shows up. Just like the scripture states.
This has been true for me. When I look back at my life I can definitely see where love played a part in making moments count; in creating it memorable. While love isn’t always easy, I can look back and recall each season with a smile. So this post is more of a nostalgic walk on how love has shaped me.
As a child
I remember my parents telling me that they loved me more than I could ever imagine. That first memory in the hallway of our home is still stamped in my mind. My parent’s love for me was the first catalyst to make me believe in myself.
I also recall my parents fighting and telling me that they loved my brother and I more than each other. That coded statement confused me for most of my childhood. I thought their love was what I was supposed to aim for. Their love for each other was imperfect but it was okay. It was still beautiful. Ultimately, their imperfect relationship made me realize that my example for marriage would have to come from something higher than my parents.
As a teenager
I look back at my middle and high school years and recognize that most of my relationships were one way and heart breaking. The formative decade of the 90’s made me want something more. From hurtful friendships came a desire to experience sacrificial love.
My first experience of real love came through a soccer game that led to a weekly youth group. I remember true kindness showing up when we would ride an old van to pick up folks for small group, enjoy a meal together, sing hymns, read scripture and witness Jesus to each other. This was when I first experienced perfect love by imperfect people.
As an adult
As I got in to college my heart beat raced fast for a beautiful American girl. Her smile got my attention and her laughter made me happy. But it was her sacrificial commitment to others that made me fall in love with her. She moved to a new country, learned a new language and walked the roads less travelled to share the love of Jesus. True love becomes clear when you recognize the spring from where it flows.
That spring of love led me to a new family that welcomed me as their own. They heard my stories and recognized it as my journey. They have been there ever since. Always cncouraging. Always uplifting. When you follow love, love follows you back.
And as I recognize this journey, I’m now able to show my children the road. They are part of the blessing of love. And while I will one day let go of their hand, I know God’s perfect love will lead them the right way.
What is your journey of love?