Valentines Day is around the corner, and just like every other year – this is but another day to me. SIGH 😡 …just kidding. Haha.
But like the chronically single friend that I’ve always been over the years to my friends – witnessing crushes blossom into relationships (and…not), breakups, engagements, marriages, and everything in between – you do learn quite a lot from the powers of observation, sitting on the sidelines…
So now for the first time ever in my 10+ years of being a serial blogger, I get the guts to blog on…love.
Encountering God in recent years definitely changed my perspective on love in a huge way – prior to my life now, I was wondering around in a cloud of confusion – I don’t think I even knew what love WAS back then, in any form, platonic, romantic or otherwise.
I sought companionship in the wrong places to squash my loneliness, craved attention to boost (or I suppose, CREATE) some semblance of self worth to make me feel like I could be wanted – an unhealthy combo when paired with social fear and introversion, lead me to feel increasingly worse about myself, rather than better.
Now I look back – and know that my identity and worth doesn’t need to lie in whether I am single or not – but rather in God’s promise for my life – and more importantly, understanding that we need to learn to love OURSELVES before we can learn to love others. How can we know how to respect and recognise the needs of someone we are supposed to love – if we don’t know how to love and respect ourselve? How can we GIVE love if we don’t know how to RECIEVE love?
By chasing attention in the wrong places and ignoring my own needs as a (broken) person (the biggest lie we all tell ourselves – “I’m fine, I’m FINE”) – I ultimately ended up hating myself and became more and more inwardly focused… as I couldn’t see the world past my own problems. So it was not surprising (well…at least to the older me, looking back now HAHA) that I came up fruitless everytime when it came to deep, meaningful relationships with people – or, even if I thought I had any, I was stripped from any semblance of self love. I often tried to give to much, to the point of feelig like an empty shell…dissatisfied and unhappy once again, from feeling like people only wanted me when I was of use to them.
If you can’t respect yourself, no one else will.
So LOVE YOURSELF. Learn to appreciate who you are and can be, and who God intended you to be! I can guarantee to you who is reading this – you have the potential to do things greater than you can EVER imagine, if only you BELIEVE in yourself! And the power of God as He works through you:)) A life without hope will only pull you back into the darkness where you came from.
Well..that was a huge tangent. I am a completely different person to who I was one year ago – and am finally in a position where I know how to love people better, now that I have a better respect for who I am. It’s always a work in progress, but at least I am moving in the right direction:)
So then this begs the question – I know who I am now, so HOW do I love? What does it mean to love someone?
1 Corinthians 13 plays over and over in my head – specifically, “Love is not self seeking.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
“And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
True love for someone is SACRIFICIAL – it is about doing things which are for their benefit, putting their needs above your own. In essence, loving someone is doing something because you know it will make THEM happy, not you. Striving to be OUTWARDLY, not inwardly focused in love.
Love is never “IF you love ME”, but “BECAUSE I love YOU” – it is NEVER conditional, but unrelenting and honest, even (or rather..ESPECIALLY) in the hard times…kind of like…GRACE! Hehe.
A good example I felt of this is shown in the PC4M’s marriage counseling video of spoken word poets’ Preston and Jackie in the lead up to their wedding – of which their pastor Brian asks Preston, “What if (Jackie) stabs you in the middle of the night?” (hehe) to which he replied, “MAN….I would pray God gives me the grace to forgive her…and we can move on.”
Respect. Much respect:)
If loving people was easy – it wouldn’t be a COMMAND from God, hey?;) Especially unconditionally, becomes all the more difficult when you enter into a relationship!
So as I enter the season…alright I lie. Not ENTER…keep moving through the season of which I’m of the age where my mother is asking me the question of “HUSBAND! MALE SPECIES!? WHERE!?!?” instead of “NO BOYS ALLOWED!!” (ahahahaha…Asian parents, the IRONY), I’m learning more and more what it means to trust in God and trust in His perfect timing. And to have peace with it.
Trust me…I would have never have said this a few years ago. Even less would I have had that trust to believe in what I just typed. I would most likely have wallowed in my self-pity and loneliness and misery and bitterness of being the only single person for years and years in my circle of friends…shaking my fist at the sky and asking WHY!? …haha you get the point.
But I have learnt so, SO much in the past year from experience…that I should never ignore God’s voice and trust in Him to provide everything in the right season, and the right time – because He wants the best for us! and that He can see SO much further than me, wandering around in my current fog of so-what-the-heck-am-I-doing-again?
God can change our lives in an INSTANT, open doors that you would NEVER think possible…and I pray for that. So trust. Wait. And BELIEVE:))