“I was wondering maybe, could I make you my baby/If we do the unthinkable, would it make us go crazy/Or would it be so beautiful/Either way I’m saying/If you ask me I’m ready…” – Alicia Keys, Unthinkable
“It’s hard to love someone,” Jada Pinkett Smith said, “It takes so much courage and so much strength.”
Unconditional love is unthinkable.
It’s unthinkable because it’s difficult.
In our human experience we tend to shy away from difficulties, challenges, and suffering-
So why do people run to love? Or rather, run to an idolized idea of love? An idea that is often devastatingly limited?
Does love hurt? Is love supposed to hurt?
If you find yourself in a “love” situation and are feeling pain should you look for, run to, and run through your nearest exit?
Based on my own experience this is what I can share –
Love DOES hurt sometime.
CHRIST died for us because HE loved us so much and that was the only way we could one day be with Him –
pain doesn’t get much more “hurt” than that.
Not only did HE die for people who claim to love Him back (and still manage to fail living up to His example constantly) but HE also died for those who had and who would reject him.
Unrequited love is probably the worse slow burn one can imagine.
But unrequited love isn’t the only reason love can hurt.
Love hurts because it is death to self and to one’s ego.
It’s unnatural, at least in Western society, to but aside one’s own ambitions and well being to focus all attention and efforts on the well being of another. It’s not so hard when children are involved because…they are children and helpless to navigate the world on their own. But placing another capable adult before yourself, well that’s an entirely different thing altogether.
Love is about sacrifice.
And last time I checked, in the moment, sacrifice doesn’t feel good.
In fact, if sacrifice doesn’t hurt then it’s probably not as big or as meaningful a sacrifice as one might like to think.
What’s a $100 dollars to a billionaire?
And then there’s that other issue of LONG-SUFFERING which encompasses patience and forgiveness. Long-suffering is certainly not a lovey-dovey-feel-good word, but still, its a word that I’ve found characterizes the best marriages and relationships.
Exercising patience with one’s spouse and being quick to extend forgiveness so that the relationship can continue to grow and progress forward as unhindered as possible is critical to a healthy relationship.
While love does come with experiencing “hurt” to a degree –
The hurt experienced from “LOVE” should NEVER be physical or emotional pain resulting from physical or verbal abuse.
LOVE IS NOT ABUSE.
And long-suffering DOES NOT mean remaining in an abusive relationship hoping the perpetrator will one day change and come around to good sense.
Love elevates. It never degrades.
**If you find yourself in an abusive situation, marriage or relationship, PLEASE get help – there is 24/7 confidential support – call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or go to www.thehotline.org IMMEDIATELY**
In a healthy relationship, it does take an unnatural and unthinkable amount of courage and strength (and it starts with a willingness to possess those two things) to love another person.
But if you ask me –
And I have a confession, I’m not ready because I was born ready. Or because I always felt confident in my courage and strength and ability to love.
The road to readiness first started with my Heavenly Father and placing my heart in His hands – and trusting that HE would protect me so that I wouldn’t have to spend my life looking over my shoulder, watching my own back, or stuck in self-preservation mode.
My readiness started with surrender and a willingness to possess the courage and strength required to believe GOD and love others.
In my case, I also had the loving reassurance of a solid community around me – Starting with my earthly father who truly believes there is little I’m incapable of doing perhaps because of his God-confidence in the job he and my mother did with raising me. My mother, older sister/Matron of Honor, and numerous faith-filled friends (including other brides and newly-wed women) have all encouraged me along this journey.
And finally, and most relevant to my betrothal to marriage journey is the example of Danny himself.
My heart is so full, I feel like my chest is about to burst!
The last two weeks have been trying. My car broke down, and the first day Danny gave me his car to use I ran over a nail lowering the pressure in one of his tires.
Thankfully, my car is up and running now and GOD worked it out so that repairs didn’t cost nearly as much as we first calculated.
Still, for two weeks we shared one car. Fortunately, for the most part, our work schedules are opposite of each other. But for two weeks Danny put himself at a disadvantage, limiting his movement to accommodate my going to work.
For two weeks, without complaint, I watched him work tirelessly to ensure that I was taken care of – from transportation to work to belly laughter when my heart was heaviest to exercising patience with me at my moodiest.
Danny’s smile and sacrifice helped me to view the situation with a grateful heart towards GOD and GOD fanned the flames of gratitude, keeping my eyes open to HIS goodness and granting me magnanimous mercies.
Through Danny’s undaunted and undiminshed example of light and love my confidence in my ability to be strong enough and courageous enough to love and respect him (the way he deserves to be loved and respected) swelled.
There are countless other acts of kindness , friendship and love that Danny has shown me over the 11 years that I’ve known him, including, giving us the space to grow, apart from each other.
Ultimately, that was God’s way of preparing us to grow together.
In a world filled with madness, especially in these times, I’m thankful to have a strong loving leader and partner, someone to walk through the rest of this life with.
I could not have found, worked for, asked for, or prayed for a better man to be my laughing partner, life partner and best friend.
I am confident
I am ready
I have the courage
I have the strength
To love this man with my whole heart for the rest of my life –
Challenges, Obstacles, Disappointments, Death to Self, Sacrifice, Long-suffering and All
I am ready to love him and to accept without fear, doubt or question the love he gives me, for the rest of our lives, this side of heaven.
P.S. I got our Engagement Photos Back – YAY!!
We took them at the Goat Farm in Atlanta. Shout out to our wonderful photographers husband and wife Jeff and Lia of JL Veritas photography! So much fun to work with!!
Here are some of my favs:
**To see all of them you can check out the photo album on our wedding website danielandcara.com**
Thanks for rocking with me along this journey fellow pilgrims –
It’s always a pleasure to share with you 🙂
Peace.&.Blessings on this Wednesday,