2013 A Year of Learning to Love

2013 has been incredible! I went to some great concerts, went on a summer mission project, found a church home in Boston, fell deeper in love with my boyfriend, saw how generous people can be, learned to really  trust God, learned “The Way of Love” (1 Corinthians 13), learned how to be more intentional with people, learned to manage time when I actually have  a busy life & saw how much better your life is when you surrender all to God :).

Of all the things 2013 taught me, I feel compelled to share in greater depth what it taught me about love. First I remembered something I’d known for a long time: love is about risk. Friend, family, boyfriend/girlfriend, when you pour love into any of these relationships you run the risk of being hurt. I’ve always been scared of that risk because when I take it if I don’t receive the love that I’m giving, I feel frustrated, upset and even bitter. This then releases my defense mechanism: I put up a wall and vow to show less love to avoid future hurt. Super smart, right? Wrong. I tried to justify this mindset and It wasn’t until a challenge my boyfriend gave me that I realized that I had to stop. The challenge was posed when he pointed out this flaw and asked me “What are you going to let God do about that?” …

Prayer, a week’s reflection and memorizing of 1 Corinthians 13 are the starting steps of what I let God do. In doing this I learned that true love is given selflessly, with the expectation of nothing in return. It’s given humbly, with a shock if you do receive anything in return. It’s given with forgiveness, care, surrender, kindness, patience, etc. and most importantly, it’s always given. These things are all often easier said than done, but with much prayer & intentionality, they can be done. And when they are done, the results will be incredible. So I challenge all in the coming new year not to just love your friends and family, but to love all you come into contact with, including & especially those that have hurt you in the past. Love with sacrifice, grace, humility, but most importantly, just get out there & love :).

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

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