My heart is full of love right now. I started out the year with a trip to Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA. It was an amazing, uplifting experience where I was able to spend a few days making friendships with people my age in the Spirit of the Lord. We worshiped together, learned together, prayed together. It was wonderful.
In February I think, I attended a Crazy Love retreat with some women from my church. It was incredible. the speaker was amazing, the women were uplifting. It was an intense weekend and near the end I recommitted my life to Christ and made the decision to be baptized. It was kind of the first time that I really got it, that I really started to understand His crazy love for us. The He made the stars and the universe and the ants and trees and He made you and me and He loves us so much that He gave His only son for us. Crucifixion and humiliation and suffering for our sins. So that we might know Him and enter into our Heavenly home one day.
So the past couple of months I have been growing spiritually but I have also been experiencing a different kind of love. I have never felt this before. I have never dated much, I've only been in one serious relationship previous to the one I'm in now. But after the first relationship, a year and half ago it ended I think, I was a mess. I wasn't where I am today spiritually and I think this had a huge impact on how the relationship affected me. I felt like I was alone and like I just wasn't worth anything. I felt so helpless and vulnerable and unloved, and I have never felt like that before. I think it was a combination of factors--the boy probably wasn't the best guy I should've been with. I had kind of rushed things and I had become emotionally attached very quickly. I had made him such a priority in my every day life that I didn't know what to do without him. It was bad. But through that, I learned what heartbreak was like. I learned what not to do in future relationships. And I learned that I was not spiritually strong. If I was aware of God's immense and crazy love for me, I wouldn't need the love of a boy so much. I learned this through a few bible studies I attended in the year (and continuing) after the break up. I realized it didn't matter what the boys on this earth feel about me because my Heavenly father, my creator, my savior, He loves me with all of my faults, with all of my sins, with all of my baggage. Always and forever not just while it's convienient or fun.
Anyways, after all of this, the past couple of months I have been experiencing new love. And I don't like getting emotional or mushy or anything like that. But I have to try to articulate what is going on in my head and my heart even though I don't really know how to. I have been reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It's what our retreat was based on. It's about God's crazy love for us and how we should be responding with a consatant, whole-hearted, crazy love for Him in return. It's very convicting, I highly recommend it, Chan is an inspirational man, truly trying to live his life for Christ. In the book, there is a chapter titled, "When You're In Love."
Now, don't misunderstand me here. Typically what I get out of the book is how to strengthen my relationship with God, how to love Him more, how to serve Him and others every day. There will be a book closing blog all about that, I promise. But with this chapter I realized something else, about romantic love, not Godly love. With my limited relationship experience, I am not quite on the same page as most of the other people at the book study I attend for this book. They are mostly married or have been married before, etc. They have two views on what crazy love is, I assume. One for our Heavenly father and one for their spouse.
Here is where I am not going to say much because it's personal and honestly it scares me and writing it all down makes it more real. There is a paragraph in the chapter about when you're in love.
"When you are truly in love, you go to great lenths to be with the one you love. You'll drive for hours to be together, even if it's only for a short while. you don't mind staying up late to talk...When you are apart from each other, it's painful even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together."My current romantic situation is wonderful. As I was reading this excerpt, I just kinda got scared honestly. I am dating a boy who I have known for a couple years but have only been romantically involved with a couple months. But some of this already rings true. Especially the being-apart-being-painful thing. Now don't worry, I'm not going to jump the gun here and rush anything. I'm just taking it a day at a time. Just one text/phone call/face-to-face conversation at a time. I am 21, no need for big commitments. But my mind just looks back to this passage and thinks about the feelings I have right now and the feelings Chan describes as those you have when you're crazy in love.
That's all I really want to say. No dilemma, I don't need advice or anything. I just needed to write down somewhere that I'm so full of love right now. Love for my God, my merciful, gracious, mighty savior. Love for my family and friends who are always very supportive no matter what. And love for this boy, who has filled these last few months with an earthly joy that I had not up to this point experienced.
Crazy love is the theme for this year for me. I am experiencing it on so many levels. I am overwhelmed and overjoyed.