Love demands it all

Today I want to pour my heart out, yet I cannot find the words to utter. There is a silence in my soul that is deafening. I need to write and just allow my heart to get in touch with those places again. My life until now has been one long journey of giving up and going. Sometimes internally and sometimes physically. It has been a discovery of letting go of things that I deeply want to find the things I deeply need. Even as I typed that sentence it seems unreal to me to fully grasp how I have grown in the depths of my being…yet the idea of growing more scares me. I have come to discover that true love is not a cheap sell. It requires a deep commitment of character and resilience. One should be able to be the fool in the moment…when you have absolutely nothing to show for your decision other than that deep deep change on the inside.

The measure with which we love is the length of the road carved out by the Lord...that road is an eternal path.

The measure with which we love is the length of the road carved out by the Lord…that road is an eternal path.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. (Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare)

I find myself at the place of reevaluating that stance in my life. I feel at the end of my tether this week even as I know this too shall pass. However I need to allow my heart to feel the burn of life and to grieve. I am transitioning into another year of being an au pair…another year of being everything I did not set out to be. On top of it all I dearly miss my home, I miss being someone other than a foreign being. I miss the familiarity and comfort of my family, my people…until you find yourself alone in a foreign country you never fully appreciate the things you have. Most days I just long to hear the sound of my accent coming from someone other than myself. It has been a long 9 months for me…of deeply clinging to the Lord in a manner I have never done before.

My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:8)

Underneath all of the sacrifices made in my life (I am not unaware of the fact that I chose this)… I am met with such depth of self, depth of intimacy which I would never want to exchange for anything. Yet I feel the need to express my heart so that someone out there can know that love is costly yet beautiful. The theme that resonates within me is that love demands everything. This week my life group studied this portion of scripture and it has broken me to an extent that requires much careful reassembly.

Now the Lord said to Abram, Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy- five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring I will give this land. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 12:1-8)

This story of Abram’s courage digs deep into my soul. My heart almost breaks when I think of how much this man had to leave behind because he felt the Lord ask him to leave it and follow. There is something both brave and broken about the thought of leaving and sacrificing the comfort of staying. What struck me most about this text was the process of following…so the Lord says to him ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you…’. It is only until he reaches Canaan that the Lord says to him this is the land: When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring I will give this land…for part of the journey (however long it was) Abram just went on the Lord’s word to him. There is something about the Lord’s character Abram must have come to know. I am reminded of my own personal journey in which the Lord spoke this verse to me:

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty (Psalm 45:10-11)

I left home in pursuit of growth and intimacy with the Lord and I have had to cling to this truth spoken to me by the Lord…over and over again. Even midst my family and friends thinking ‘Ok…does she really know what she is doing?’…and now I find myself there again. Do I really trust the leadership of the Lord? I have no idea what the next year will hold. All I know is that letting go of my ‘vision’ for my life is increasingly staring me in the face. How far am I willing to go if he asked me to? Am I ready to lay hold of intimacy with Jesus if it costs me everything? There is something about that reality that deeply scares me and causes my heart to leap a little. I am deeply and utterly in love with the man Jesus and all he has given me…so now I have this one life to give. The journey from this place will be tough, but I pray I find the courage to just say yes. I am amazed at the change that has taken place in me…it is something only I can experience with the Lord, no one will ever see it…yet it deeply motivates me to follow him. The Lord has given me his life…how can I not find it in myself to give him mine. The measure of love was set when the eternal God  became a man, walked this earth and submitted himself to death on a cross…because he knew somehow, someday this girl would say yes to his call. That somehow he knew that my love was worth the cost of his life. The measure of love is wholehearted pursuit…and I am made to live that way whether I feel it or not…love demands everything.

In a world where love is reduced to mere emotions it is hard to remove myself from that idea. As I choose to find real love and true intimacy…I begin to find whispers of eternity on the inside. I hope that someday I will look back on this blog entry and see how I have changed because I let go of illusions of love for the sake of finding true love. Life is beautiful and everything it has to offer me is truly amazing…yet there is an emptiness it brings…and it hardly begins to touch the depth of the Lord’s eternal beauty. Sometimes I forget that…I hope that someday, just like Abram I would know that leaving my legitimate desires behind was well worth it. That I too would find that the Lord is truthful and faithful to lead me well and to meet my desires as I find them met within him first. For me this journey always leads me back to my desires for marriage and family…yet I know that to be fully able to function as a wife or mother who is able to love well…I need to find this in the only source of love…letting go of this is hard for me. Somehow I know he will lead me there eventually…for now I need to let it go and trust that he will give it back to me.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm,for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

I pray this always as I try to find my way and navigate my heart through it all:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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