“Loving a person just the way they are, it’s no small thing. It takes some time to see things through. Sometimes things change, sometimes we’re waiting. We need grace either way.” – Loving a Person by Sara Groves
Today’s January Blog A Day topic 25 is love. I didn’t really know for sure what I wanted to share about this topic, as you could take it so many different places. I wasn’t planning on sharing anything too personal but as I was thinking about the subject this song by Sara Groves called “Loving a Person” came to my mind… and soon this post came spilling out.
There was a point last year when I was ready to throw in the towel and give up on a friendship with someone whom I love with all my heart. It puts a lump in my throat even typing it. But it’s true.
I could’ve never imagined myself feeling this way. Not in a million years. The fact that all of this was happening was hard for me to even grasp. You have to understand this is someone with whom I grew up with, someone I was so close to,… we were always inseparable. It was one of the strongest bonds in my life and I would’ve thought nothing in this whole world could possibly break it. But somehow, in what felt like a blur, something did break it. It all unraveled so fast that I honestly didn’t even know what had hit me. In a flash things had changed, we had changed faster than I could wrap my head around. I couldn’t understand how things got so screwed up.
After a lot of turmoil and pain it came to the point where we barely even spoke. Which in a way felt easier but in a much bigger way was killing me. But so much had happened that it just seemed easier to cut ties, let go, and walk away for good. I had been so very hurt by this person so many times that I just wanted to get away and stay away. Trust had been broken and I felt like there was just no way to go back to how things used to be. No matter how much I loved them. That love just didn’t feel like enough to us through this dark time. I guess when we get hurt our first instinct is to run away.
“There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free.”
Now make no mistake, I did my share of hurting too. I don’t want to put all the blame on that person, I definitely played my part. I could’ve reacted differently, more lovingly to what was going on. But as the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. And we just both hurt each other over and over again. It was a vicious cycle. Where once there was so much love… now there was only hurt and anger. Even attempts to talk things out and make it right only yielded more fighting, more tears, and one of the worst things of all, blame. Oh yes, the blame game.“If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it.”
I honestly thought there was no hope but finally… slowly, painstakingly, we were able to work things out, forgive, and start rebuilding a friendship again. But it took us both making the decision to swallow our pride, let go of the anger and hurt, forgive, and give each other grace. To decide that our friendship was worth salvaging no matter how hard it was. Deciding to not run away but to stay and show each other unconditional love. A love that keeps no record of wrongs. Because in spite of it all, we loved and needed each other. And that in the end was more important. It just trumped everything else.
I’m not going to lie and say that it’s been easy. Truth be told, I still sometimes fight those feelings of unforgiveness. It’s a process and everytime those feelings start to come back, I know that I just need to hand them over to Jesus and let him take care of it. I simply can’t do it on my own.
Proverbs 10:12 says “Hated stirs up strife but love covers all sins”. I really believe that. The love of Jesus covers my sins… and therefore His love living in me can cover the sins of others. It’s choosing to forgive, daily. It’s choosing to love (because love is a choice), daily. Choosing to love and accept each other just the way we are, mess and all. Because loving anyone is messy. Choosing to hold onto each other and not let go just because it’s seemingly easier.
I feel like I have so much to learn about what it looks like to love well… to love like Jesus. Really loving someone well is no small thing, it takes time, but it’s worth it.
“Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through”