"I Give Up!"
‚ÄúI give up!‚ÄĚ
Those were the words Eric said sitting across the table from me. He was beyond frustrated. He had been meeting with a counselor and working on his "stuff" in hopes of saving his marriage. Things had never been good with Angela, but after his efforts seemed to make no difference, he was ready to give up.¬†
As we talked, I started to realize that Eric was giving up on more than his marriage; he was giving up on love. He made a list of all the ways he had been emotionally wounded by the people in his life who were supposed to love him. He admitted that he was not perfect, but it seemed to him that those people who were supposed to love him in life, even back to his parents, usually ended up hurting and/or abandoning him.¬†
Eric said he would rather live safely behind a wall rather than be hurt again.¬†
What do you do when life seems to punish you for trying to love the people around you?¬†How do you continue when it just feels too risky to allow another person in, when it always ends with pain or rejection?
For those of us who have chosen to follow Christ, there is another dilemma. God calls us to live in community, in the body of Christ. We are encouraged to never stop meeting together, but instead to live in a depth of relationship in which we carry each other's burdens.¬†That‚Äôs not surface-level relationship.
When we haven't been loved well, we are left with many wounds. For most of us, those wounds are buried away under years of distraction and neglect.¬†
But I would encourage you to give love one more look. I don't mean to jump into another relationship that will lead to more pain and hurt, but to give the One who designed love an opportunity to touch those wounds so that you can experience what it means to be loved well, and to allow the overflow of the love you receive to touch the people around you.¬†
We are stuck with love. It isn't going away. The One who designed you wrote it into your DNA. You can try to ignore it, deny it, or close yourself off to it, but at your core, there is a cry for love. You need love.¬†
Love isn't a warm feeling, love is a pathway. It is a pathway to healing and wholeness. It is a road designed by the Maker of all things that provides the nurture and structure we need for all of life.¬†
If these words and the kind of love they speak of¬†stirred you, we invite¬†you to join us for "Love: The Way of Healing and Wholeness" in Kalamazoo this November. No matter what your experience with love has been in the past, God's love goes deeper still.
For more information and to register, click¬†here.