Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

…It’s the April rose
That only grows in the early spring
Love is nature’s way of giving
A reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king…

Those who have known me for a while may be surprised by this kind of blog entry as I am usually not who one to wax poetic about a thing like love, but…

“Remember, beneath every cynic there lies a romantic and probably an injured one”
-Glenn Beck

and I have spent the last several months on a journey that has taught me things like…

“Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It’s unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don’t have to try.”
-Peggy Noonan

and

“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.”
-Jane Austen

also

“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”
-Thomas Carlyle

but most of all, I have learned that

“Love is patient, love is kind…love is patient, love is kind…love is patient, love is kind”

I know that’s not the quote, but I repeat it three times because of all of the love lessons, I am learning that it is the most important.  We all throw the word love around about everything, I do it every day.  “love those shoes, love that sushi, love your hair, etc.” however when it comes to truly loving others and loving ourselves, we all too often miss the mark.  This too, is something I have been guilty of.  I’m ready for a little confession time because I feel fairly certain that I am not the only one who is in this boat.

I fell in love in my early twenties and I fell hard.  When the relationship ended, I hardened my heart thinking that I could somehow protect myself that way.  I pulled away from God, mistrustful and bruised, but all of those walls only ended up hurting me more.  I spent a lot of years creating scars and at the beginning of 2013, I made a decision unlike any I’d ever made before, but it involved me submitting wholly to God.  It took a few weeks to work through some of the kinks that were my habits, however by the end of March, I’d gone all in.  I know that I have so much more to learn, but what I have learned so far has truly traded my heart of stone for a heart of flesh.  I have become more sensitive to friends, family, and most of all my children.   I am learning that patience is not simply waiting, but the attitude that you choose to have WHILE you wait.  I have learned to be dependent, truly dependent on love with the understanding that Love never fails.

I don’t mean that the humans who I love will not disappoint me or fail to meet my expectations, simply that love, true love, starts from a place that cannot fail.  It requires submission, trust, and most of all faith in the process, in the reality and in the Creator.  For the first time in years, I am looking forward to Valentine’s Day, not because I have a special valentine, but rather I have an opportunity to show those around me that being single on a day like that is not an indictment of whether or not I am (or they are) worthy of love.  I pray that I can show my children that every day is a day to demonstrate love to those around you, even when you don’t feel like it.  Valentine’s day may be a day when the world asks you to show it outwardly, but our job, especially those of us who claim to be Jesus followers, is to demonstrate love to everyone around us everyday.

This former cynic is now a romantic in the worst way.  I have become an idealist who hopes to have the kind of passionate, romantic love that I experienced in my early 20s, the trust in God that he will bring every good thing into my life if I remain surrendered to His will, and the more than a mustard seed sized faith to know that mountains can be moved, even the mountain of me.  Love is worth the wait.

Image courtesy of AdvancedPhotoshop.co.uk created by Casey Diggs

Image courtesy of AdvancedPhotoshop.co.uk created by Casey Diggs

…Once on a high and windy hill
In the morning mist
Two lovers kissed
And the world stood still
Then your fingers touched
My silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love’s
A many splendored thing.

-The Four Aces

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