Strands of Love

As a writer, I always struggle with what to share because I want to say something that is authentic.  I also struggle with wanting something that others can relate to so that those who take time to read what I write find their time well spent.  As I wrestled through how/what to say for this post I had an image of strands of thread.  All I can offer you is a beautiful strand - it doesn't amount to much when it stands on its own, but if you can take a strand or two of mine and combine it with other strands that you yourself hold in your hand, then perhaps, out of those strands something beautiful can be weaved.

In this post, I want to look at how relationships can lead us to a deeper understanding of God's love towards us.  I know that not everyone has experienced positive examples of these types of love, but that is why we should glean from others when possible.

So here are a couple strands for you to add to the life experiences that you yourself hold.

Parental Love Strand:
I had a heart-rattling dream where my son was lost for a day-and-a-half.  The emotional upheaval of thinking he was dead really shook me.  During the dream I made the statement, "How can I live without him?"  In the rawness of that dream, I realized how deeply entrenched the parent/child relationship is - there is no ceremonial moment of declaration for this love - it just is.  This child, who is birthed out of you and becomes a separate, individual person, is deeply connected to your heart. 

In awe of this love, I stepped back to reflect on the fact that our God declares that He is our Father and we are His children.  I know that the pain in my heart from a nightmare (that I got to wake up from - and not everyone gets to wake up from) is only a mere droplet of God's heart for us.

Where did humanity come from? 

It was birthed out of the heart of God. 

How can I live without them?

 Maybe, just maybe, this is a small glimpse of how our Heavenly Father longs after us.  We, who were created in His image - individual and separate yet deeply connected to His heart. It isn't through ceremony nor anything that we have done. Perhaps seeing Him as Father, through His eyes (instead of looking upward as a child) will help you to see how full of love He is for you, His child.

Marital Love Strand:
I'm coming up on 14 years of marriage and I love it.  I've been to two weddings recently and each time I hear those vows repeated they hold so much more meaning.  You realize that in that moment you had no idea what you were actually declaring, yet how true each and every word would need to be to carry you through life.

I found love on a swing
I found love on a swing.  I was young, he was young.  I remember the sun setting and the rocks tickling between my toes.

As the metallic chains twisted we talked about life.  He said, "What's the point of dating if it's not the person you plan to be with all your life?"

We were young.  How could we know what life and love would throw our way?

We are still young, I'm sure in many ways but in other ways I feel we stand at a crossroads: watching our grandparents teetering at the end of life.  Watching our parents whom we remember as young as us entering "old age." The letting go of today and welcoming the unknown.  We see our kids young and impetuous, full of life and dreams yet just starting to touch their toes to reality of hardships that life brings.  And in this place of middleness, I remember finding love on a swing.  The words and promises that were made without knowing the depths it would take us.  The snapshot of perfection in time.  I know that I was given a gift from above.  A gift that undergirds my entire life.  

I found love on a swing; it is such a gift to me.

There is something about marital love that is unique and special.  Unlike parental love, it emerges from a choice that we make after we learn more about the other person.  It is a type of love that strengthens and deepens with time.  God has invited us to not only know Him as our Heavenly Father but we have also been invited to be the Bride of Christ.  This next type of love, is an invitation for us to know Him more deeply, to experience everyday life with Him.  Yes, there are moments of declaration of this love, but only time lives out the reality of this love.

Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age.  This is the love that He has declared for you.  A love that was declared in a moment of time, yes, but also a love that walks beyond that moment with you through time.  Do you see it embedded into your life?

As I said in the beginning, these are mere strands that I offer to you.  I know that not everyone has experienced true parental love and/or marital love.  I do pray though that what you walk away with is a pinprick to stop and reflect on when you have experienced a type of love that moved you.  How has that love moved you?  Does reflecting on it give you a greater glimpse to the depths of the love that God has towards you?

In Christ,

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