Interesting, unpredictable little suckers. We were made to have them, our lives were meant to run on them, experience our days with them, and yet they can be the biggest source of both extremes of pain and joy, all in the same breath.
Good relationships bring life.
Bad relationships bring death.
And there’s a whole lot of grey area in between.
For years, my relationships brought a lot of death. I chose friends who caused more pain than they did joy—feeding my insecurity and fueling my anger and self-hatred. I longed to be popular, to be liked, to be accepted, doing just about anything and everything I could to attain what we all long for: Love.
But what those people gave me for years wasn’t love. What they gave me was conditional on my performance, personality, looks, talent, and achievement.
But true love is never conditional.
Let me tell you how I continue to learn about the beautiful mystery of unconditional love, every day, and will continue to unpack it’s mysteries for the rest of my life.
When Studhubs and I first got married, I wasn’t really used to being showered with huge oceans of unconditional love on a daily basis. I was finally learning how to accept the unconditional love of God that I KNEW was available to me at all times, no matter what I’d done, but knowing that you’re loved and receiving that love are two totally different things. I knew I was unconditionally loved, but I didn’t know how to receive it. For years, I’d been used to accepting God’s love when I felt deserving of it, and rejecting it when I didn’t feel worthy of it. Most people, even Christians, live their lives this way. But now, I had this flesh-and-blood man standing in front of me, tangibly loving me unconditionally even when I was mean, rude, wrong, imperfect, and an absolute idiot.
This was going to take some getting used to.
At first, it stung like a jellyfish bite. Being loved when you feel unlovable stings—bad. When you’re given something you don’t think you deserve, you either reject it, earn it, dodge it, or sabotage it—and I unfortunately did all of the above.
If I was having a particularly bad day, feeling awful about myself, like I was a mess, a failure, ugly, or just not enough—the more that Studhubs loved me, the more I wanted to run.
What do you MEAN you just want to hold me, love me, kiss me, and you’re not mad at me for being like this?? Can’t you see I’m unlovable right now? How can you keep loving me?? I haven’t done anything to earn this!!
Studhubs constant waterfall of unconditional has love taught me more about the tangible love of God than anyone or anything ever has. He made a vow, a promise and a commitment to love me for eternity, and my husband takes his promises very seriously. No matter how terrible I become, how much my body changes, how unpredictable my sometimes elevator of emotions change—this man has chosen to love me until I die.
But I had to learn to receive it.
You can reject love or receive love every day. It’s your choice. You can choose to reject the waterfall of unconditional love that God is waiting to pour out, or you can receive it.
You can choose to reject the love of your parents, friends, significant other, or spouse, or you can choose to receive it.
This might be the hardest battle you’ve ever fought, because you believe that you’re unlovable. (I know, I did for most of my life). But unconditional love loves despite the imperfections, the past, the hurts, the failures, and the wounds. Unconditional love goes so deep into every crack, every wound, every barren, broken, lonely, unlovable place, and loves you SO COMPLETELY, that beauty can’t help but rise from the ugly ashes of your life.
Love really is the medicine for every heart problem—but it’s your choice to receive it or not.
Are you needing a big drink of unconditional love? Is the bucket of your heart empty, needing to be filled?
Go some place quiet, alone. It could be your car, or it could be just sneaking away to the bathroom. Close your eyes and open your hands:
“God, I RECEIVE your unconditional love for me. I receive it into the places I feel are unlovable (list them specifically). I receive your love into the blackness. I CHOOSE to be loved, despite what I have believed. I CHOOSE to be loved, in spite of what I have done. Love me into wholeness.”
And then, your physical relationships here on this earth. Take and inventory of them. Who is trying to love you, but you keep rejecting their love? What’s the wound behind that belief? What got you to that place?
I promise you—receiving unconditional love will change everything about everything.
Try it. Dare you. (:
Xx, Sista Christa
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