It’s 22:49 on Thursday 17th July and this has to be posted by 10:00 tomorrow morning. I’ve been putting off writing this post because I don’t have the answer to the question I have been asking myself (and God) over the past few weeks: How Should I Love?
You had a lot of crooks tryna steal your heart
Never really had luck, couldn’t ever figure out
How to love
How to love
I never thought I’d be writing about Lil Wayne’s ‘How To Love‘, (this is my least favourite song of his). It came to mind a few weeks ago and I realised how much I identified with the song – no, not the broken-hearted stuff, I’m talking about the not really knowing how to love part. You see, the way I love is so intense that I have had to learn how to moderate my love depending on the recipient. Few people can handle the intensity of my love and even fewer people can live up to the standards I set for those I love which inevitably creates a huge gulf between what I expect from people and what they can actually give me. I honestly thank God that He is teaching me the importance of having low expectations of people and high expectations of Him. Slowly but surely, He is becoming the first person I run to when I feel like a storm is brewing; He is my shelter from the rain.
You had a lot of moments that didn’t last forever
Now you’re in a corner tryna put it together
How to love
How to love
– Lil Wayne
I wonder why we think our todays will last forever when we can barely remember our yesterdays. The world around us is ever-changing and yet we somehow think that the relationship we share with another will transcend time.
I blame Disney. I blame fairy tales. I blame the innate desire we all have to belong to someone, to be wanted and to be needed.
The woman in this song doesn’t know how to love properly. Life, unfortunately, has been unkind to her and she is sitting in the corner trying to figure out how to put the pieces of her broken heart back together, wondering how they even fit together in the first place. As I’ve said numerous times, heartache can come from many different people and in many different forms. For too long, we have been sold the narrative that heartbreak only comes when your one, true love walks out on you. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth for some of us; we’ve experienced heartbreak through broken friendships, broken families, Dads walking out , people we looked up to failing us – the list really does go on.
Now you’re sitting here in this damn corner
Looking through all your thoughts and looking over your shoulders
The thing is, our hearts do come back together again after they’ve been broken but we no longer view humanity in the innocent light we once did. We realise that people have the capacity to break us when we entrust them with our hearts, and we therefore shield ourselves from anyone who has the potential to hurt us. Although we try and form new relationships, a significant proportion of our time is spent overthinking and looking at the past to assess the parallels between what has gone before and the new relationship. This affects the how we love people. We love people… but not really. We share with people…but only the insignificant information that we don’t mind them walking away with.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been challenging myself to love people properly again. It took a friend to really show me that I was letting my fear of being hurt impact the way I interacted with people. As I mentally replayed the conversation we had (as I do with all important conversations) I remembered that we aren’t called to live small lives
(I think I say this in every post) and therefore we must confront anything that seeks to weigh us down and make us fearful simply because if we are truly in Christ then we are meant to live freely.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
I know this is the part of the post where I’m supposed to list my tips but I just wanted to remind you that I’ve been putting off writing this post because I don’t have the answers – I am still figuring out how to love. Here’s what I have so far:
1) Stop Being Afraid
Loving people is really important to God because God is love. After commanding us to love Him, he commands us to love others. We can spend the remainder of our lives punishing the new people in our lives for the wrongs committed by the oldies or we can choose to set our fears aside and love without fear.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
2) There’s No Wound He Cannot Heal
I was afraid to love because I was afraid to be hurt again. I had to remember that God is the mender of broken hearts and specialises in pulling me back together again. That doesn’t mean I should throw myself into relationships but it doesn’t mean I should fear them either. Every time I tell God that I am afraid to love, he reminds me that I can never be broken in the way I once was because I no longer live my life without him, I live my life for him. Even if I am hurt again, this time, I have someone I can run to.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my saviour; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
3) Your Heart Is Precious
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Set boundaries, be vigilant, be careful. Your heart determines who you become and where you will end up so ask God to help you protect it from those who seek to break it. Be mindful of those you invest your time in and whom you give yourself to.
This is all I have at the moment. I honestly wish I had more for you! Feel free to comment and add any lessons you’ve picked up along the way, I’d love some help on this journey.
Loving you in the only way I know how,