In your hunger for love, have you settled for a watered-down imitation of it,
without even knowing?
We all know how the cycle goes: Someone catches our eye. We exchange numbers. We text 24/7, become each other’s snapchat best friend, go on cute dates, we feel on top of the world. Sometimes this person becomes the one we marry. If not, it comes to an end at some point. You get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you just know it’s not going to work out. Things end, it hurts, and they fade into another memory of the past, taking a piece of your heart with them.
Personally experiencing this emotional roller coaster one too many times has got me wondering…What on earth is love?
As wonderful as it is to get those good morning texts, and those butterflies in your stomach when you see that special someone…as wonderful as it is to have someone there for you all the time—someone to trust, to make memories with, and to conquer ups and downs with…I think these are just the results of love that we sometimes confuse for the actual thing. At times, we fall in love with these emotional “highs” more than the actual person. We use these love placebos to medicate our lonely hearts, and like a drug, we get addicted.
I had to write a research paper on the science behind love and learned some fascinating stuff!
So you know that feeling you get when you spot someone attractive? Your heart leaps a little and you’re like, omg who is that? Some call it attraction, some might even call it love at first sight.
Or you know that feeling you get when you’re with someone you like or love? Your heart feels full and everything just feels so right.
This attraction, this quality time, a hug, or a kiss…all of these things instantly release tons of oxytocin into our system, which is the hormone responsible for feelings of closeness and soul ties.
When we’re with someone we care about, our brains actually resemble the same activity as a drug addict’s brain getting a fix. All of these hormones being released into our system (oxytocin, endorphins, etc.) literally make us feel “high” and can trick our brain into thinking we’re in love, even when all logic (AND our friends and family) are waving red flags yelling, “This person is NOT a good match!”
A few weeks ago, as I was sitting in my room, major flashbacks to all of the “highs” I’ve had over the years replayed in my mind and weighed heavily on my heart. Since the time of my first boyfriend at 14, I’ve experienced relationships that lasted years, to mini-things with guys here and there. In every situation, I do my best to pray and ask God for His direction, and He always gives me just that by opening and closing the necessary doors.
But recalling all these “roller coaster rides” left my heart feeling heavy, exhausted, chipped, and disappointed. How many more times would I have to endure this cycle before finally finding “the one” that’s meant to be my forever? As all these years’ worth of memories flooded my mind, I broke.
But through the tears, I heard,
“Cast all your burdens on the Lord, for He cares for you,”
(1 Peter 5:7) being whispered in my heart.
I knew I needed to dig deep within myself and uproot every suppressed soul tie I had never fully surrendered. Funny how God knows just when we need to resurface the ugly stuff so He can bring full healing.
So out loud, one by one, I named every single guy that I’ve ever hurt, and that’s ever hurt me—and said,
“God, I give him to you. Take him. Make him nothing but a black and white memory that took place in my past but is no longer a part of who I am now.”
As I said those words out loud for each boy, I visualized him leaving my heart, God taking him from me, and blowing the weight of each memory away with the wind. With each surrender, I felt lighter, and like brand new pieces were added to my heart to replace the areas where it had been chipped from the past.
“You are new. You’re whole again. You are ready to love. But don’t mess up this perfectly good heart by getting into things I never told you to. Treat this precious heart of yours like the treasure it is,” I felt the Lord say to me.
I can’t describe in words what God did in my heart that night. Like this probably sounds SO crazy to some of you, but it’s real. My heart literally feels brand new, and whole.
All humans need love. We were just made that way, we can’t help it. But trying to find the meaning of TRUE love from another imperfect human is actually impossible.
So WHAT. IS. LOVE?
The answer’s right here:
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love doesn’t get jealous.
Love isn’t prideful.
Love is not selfish.
Love isn’t easily angered.
Love keeps NO record of wrongs.
Love doesn’t like evil, but it loves the truth.
Love always protects,
(That’s 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, btw).
1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever doesn’t know love doesn’t know God, because God is love.”
Kay pause, let me say that again! GOD IS LOVE.
GOD = LOVE.
Go read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 again, but this time substitute the word, “love” with “God.” People are always wondering what love is, and the answer is like right there!
God is love. He created it. He is the definition of it. He is the epitome of it. God. Is. LOVE.
So how could we ever know what love is, feels like, or how to do it properly if we’ve never fully experienced God?
Love is the most powerful force a human can experience. I think God gave us the ability to fall in love so that we could catch a glimpse of all that He is. As imperfect people, we’re just reflections of the REAL thing, ya know?
So love is not two halves making a whole. It takes two wholes to really love. Two wholes reflecting the perfect love they’re receiving from the One true source, God.
So how do we know if we’re falling in love, or falling in lust?
While caught up in the whirlwind of emotion, it’s SO important to stop and really THINK about whether or not what we’re about to get into is even right for us.
Here are some questions we can ask ourselves:
– First off, am I WHOLE? Have I taken the time to go through the refinement process of being single, and allowed God to show me firsthand what perfect love is? Do I want God more than I want a relationship?
– Is this other person whole?
– Are we compatible? Do we have important things in common? (Like values, chemistry, lives headed in a similar direction…etc.)
– Can I see this turning into something long-term? Every relationship has the potential for marriage. (If it’s more like a, “well it’s cool for right now” kinda thing, don’t waste your time.)
Most importantly, PRAY. God will give you that “go for it!” feeling or, “mmmm, no” if it’s not right. Know that you are WORTH having a crazy, passionate, over-the-top romance with the RIGHT person God has hand-picked for you at the RIGHT TIME. Don’t settle. If you’ve got some past you’ve still gotta deal with, let go and let God heal your heart, just like He healed mine.
Praying for blessings over your bright future! Hope this has helped you! You’re a total gem! We’re in this together!