I believe in Love

I was asked to write a guest blog post about why I believe in love and unfortunately, it ended up not being a great fit for what they were looking for, which is totally fine and understandable. However, this subject of love has been something I've been processing for a long, long time, particularly through the lens of a single woman in her 30's with a daughter and as an advocate for those who have seen and experienced the worst kind of lust (masked as love) on this planet. It was so helpful to get some of my thoughts down and I don't want them to go to waste, so I'm sharing here instead.

This is my "30,000 foot view" on love. There are SO MANY more details I could add but it would basically be a book, not a blog post, so this is what you get for right now. Feel free to comment with questions or your own reasons why YOU believe in love!

Here's my reason:

I believe in love because my journey to understanding and accepting true love hasn’t been easy, but once I got there, Love set me free and changed my life forever.

There are a thousand different messages about love in the world today. Some are based in truth. Some are lies. Some are self-focused. Some are others-focused. I’ve heard and subscribed to just about all of these messages at some point in my life.

There are also a thousand different ways to love others. There’s the love between a parent and child, between spouses or partners, between grandparents and grandchildren, between cousins, between aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews, between friends, and between the Creator and the people He created.

This last one is the most significant to me. It is why I capitalized the word “Love” in the title of this post. I John 4:8 says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Without God, true love doesn’t exist. Without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, which He did out of love, and my acceptance of that act of love, I would not be free today.

It is experiencing the love between God and I that has had the most profound impact on my life. I searched for almost three decades for the versions of love being modeled by everyone around me thinking those would satisfy me and sometimes, they did. For the moment. But it always seemed to end in pain, sadness, loneliness, disappointment, abandonment, or anger.

At the end of this journey, I realized that my parents, my partners, even my child couldn’t be Love for me in the way that God can. I believe in love because I have had it all and nothing was as overwhelming, relentless, passionate, consistent, perfect, and intentional as God’s love.

And that's the way it's supposed to be. Human relationships are great and valuable. It is because of Christ's love that we can love others well. But they were never meant to replace a relationship with our Creator. 

He loves me in the simplest ways by sending me an unexpected, beautiful bouquet of flowers during a financially difficult time when I wanted so badly to get them from the store but chose not to out of adherence to my budget. He loves me by being patient with me, by not shaking His finger at me when I choose unwisely, by softly reminding me that I belong to Him always, and by gently drawing my heart to His.

His love knocks me off my feet and brings me to tears. His love makes me laugh and dance and sing (always completely off key but I know He still appreciates it).  His love is incomparable, unmatched, unconditional, and life-changing. I will never, ever be the same. I believe in Love because Love set me free. 

Hello, my name is...

Not Slim Shady. But I was a teenager in the late 90's and early 2000's. Clearly. 

I started blogging in 2014 over at this link. Please feel free to check out some of my past posts. But, also, please don't judge me for the lack of experience and content in those posts. I was really just testing the waters. I'd like to think that these new posts will be a bit better.

I also hope that these posts show some transparency and vulnerability. I hope you will be able to see my heart and the heart of my ministry, Transforming Hope.  

Fun fact about me: I'm a life-long learner. I try to use all situations and circumstances to learn. I read a lot of nonfiction. I intend to get my PhD, even if I'm 100 when it happens because I just want to learn. So I hope to share what I'm learning as I'm learning it so that maybe it can help others as well. 

For now, I thought I'd start this new blog off with an introduction to me, my story, and my passion for ending human trafficking in central North Carolina through Transforming Hope. My good friend (and THM Board Member), Molly Stillman, just recently had me as a guest on her podcast, Business with Purpose, because February 23rd was "End It Day", a day where thousands of people put a red X on their hand, take a selfie, and post it to social media in an effort to raise awareness about human trafficking. 

So here is my episode of the podcast, which includes a little about me, my story, and Transforming Hope. I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially any ideas you might have to get involved in the fight to end human trafficking. Comment below and let me know! 

Photo credit goes to Genevieve Lin of G. Lin Photography