I love music. I love my boyfriend. I love the outdoors. I love the Lord. I love adventure. I love my friends. I love my family. I love writing. I love coffee. I have been told a time or two that a few of these things, mainly the people, love me too. Had I known this to my core and truly believed it? That, I think, is something entirely different, and something I would probably have to answer “no” to. And my guess would be that maybe some others would answer no to that question too.
I mean, we hear a lot about “love,” don’t we? We toss that word at each other quite often. We use that word to describe our passions or our enjoyment of something. Every time we turn on the radio we hear about someone finding or losing love. But for as much as we hear and say the word love, I can’t help but question (big surprise, I know) how many of us actually feel deeply loved and how often we offer deep love.
For someone who has spent her life surrounded by reminders of love, I still managed to lean towards doubting being loved rather than accepting it. As I doubted, I could feel myself pushing others away, maybe in an attempt at protect my heart from any confirmation that my doubts were true. At times, I would watch this pattern hurt those trying to love me. At others, I would recognize that in keeping myself from being loved I couldn’t offer any love either. Love has to bleed sometimes, and I wasn’t ready to accept that to get to the joyous parts. But then I moved 1,500 miles away to an under-rated place called Kansas City.
Since moving I’ve had quite a few reminders of being loved: letters in the mail, encouraging texts from friends, new co-workers looking out for me to be sure I am fed, a family in KC semi-adopting me to be sure I feel at home. These reminders of love coming at me 1,500 miles from the place I call home, my heart was receptive enough to fully contemplate what it means to be loved, and to accept it… and then a new song came on my Pandora station a few days ago and connected a big dot for me:
What exact dots this song connected for me I can’t necessarily put into words. But the linking of my experiences in KC and the lyrics of this song ushered me into a space of learning to accept love and to accept it fully. There is a strange amount of freedom and assurance in knowing we are deeply loved, and especially that we are deeply loved by God himself. Simple? Yes. Have most of us heard this before? Probably. Do most of us know this to our core? I doubt it.
Even more importantly, though, is that the knowledge of being deeply loved pushes, propels, launches us to deeply love others. Because at this point of knowing depths of love, there is no longer a fear of rejection, only the hope that someone else can also share in the depths of that love.
You are loved.