Investing Love

If you are not familiar with the absolutely amazing band Mumford and Sons and their song, “Awake My Soul”, you should check them out, then finish the rest of this post. I’ll wait.

Hi. Welcome back.

The above song has had a profound impact on my life. I love the opening line: How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes. It’s true. I’ve been contemplating the fickleness of my own affections regarding many things in my life. This has been a long season of learning and enduring for me. So much so, I took to Facebook last night and posted this:

I kind of feel like one of those brittle rubber bands you find shoved in a drawer somewhere. Mentally and emotionally dry and being stretched in some really uncomfortable ways. Yet I know, because of His great love, this is for my benefit. This is what it means to be a subject in the upside down kingdom of the Lord.

While I know what I posted to be true, it doesn’t stop the aching or the searching. I can’t even call it pain, because it isn’t. It’s just a dull, ache somewhere in the region of my heart. As I sit and contemplate the good, the bad and the ugly, I realize the ache is a bittersweet reminder that I am alive. It also causes me to ponder the various things I have (hopefully) learned.

One area where I’ve experienced challenge and growth is love, relationships and friendships. For a girl who is extremely relational  I’ve had to learn and relearn quite a few things. (Practice makes perfect, I suppose. If that’s the case, I’m headed toward a prodigy badge in relationships.) I’ve dated off and on and it hasn’t worked out for different reasons and faults on both sides. I’ve had friendships fade or downright fall apart. However, there are other relationships that have experienced times of testing and separation, yet they have come back stronger than ever. Through all of this, I have learned that rejection and pain shouldn’t deter me from loving others and with many different types of love. But C.S. Lewis says it better than I ever could:

“Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore. Only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I’ve been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.” ~  Escaping Shadowlands

There is suffering in love – no matter what type we experience. Familial, friendship, romantic… there is always risk involved when you put your heart on the line. I think what I have learned over and over again is I will never regret loving or investing in someone. I will never look back and think, “Oh. It was probably bad that I loved that person and poured in to them and let them pour into me.” I’m a firm believer in the fact that while things may end, there is always beauty and goodness that comes out of it. I would rather embrace that than be indifferent to it. (See also: The Lumineers, “Stubborn Love”):

Ultimately, the place where challenge and love has met has been in my relationship with the Lord. That’s why the Mumford and Sons song speaks so deeply to me. Yes, where I invest my love, I invest my life. But I love the last refrain… “Awake my soul, for you were meant to meet your Maker.” There is depth and power in those words. When I connect it to where I invest my love and my life, they take on a whole new meaning. More than ever, I am coming to an understanding that if I do not love Him first, then all of the other loves in my life will never be right. It is only out of right love for Jesus that I can rightly love the people in my life. And when that becomes my life, I am free to love without fear.

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