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Some Thoughts on Love for Valentine’s Day

As I stirred oatmeal on the stove this morning I had an epiphany. Not a world-class epiphany. A me epiphany. I realized something that is vastly important to me.

 Facing infertility and all of the many, many, disappointments that crop up on a daily basis because of it is putting my relationship with God through a test of fire. All my bows and frills are being burned away, pretty ruthlessly. The core of my love for God is gradually being laid bare amid the ashes. Right now, the core does not seem impressive.
In the past week, in the aftermath of yet more bad news relating to our desire for a baby, I sat with my Bible open before God. Impatient. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say to Him that didn’t involve my desperate desire for a properly functioning body and a little one inside of it. I wrote out my prayers, the same, in essence, every time.

Please. Hear me. See me. Give me.

Every time I closed the notebook after time spent in prayer, I was reminded more of finishing a business meeting than of leaving a retreat spent in the company of someone I love.

And that was what I realized while I stirred oatmeal this morning. I haven’t been loving God for who God is. I’ve been waiting for Him to do something for me. Can I love God and want a relationship with Him outside of what He can do for me?

I want the answer to be yes.

So I decided this morning to take a break from asking God for anything. Instead, as I ate my oatmeal, I focused on who God is. And when I stopped to focus on God, I was swept up in the reminder that God is love. God loves me so tenderly and passionately. So much love. Amazing.

I’d mostly forgotten how much God loved me, or at least I hadn’t thought of love in our morning chats for the last few weeks, I think because I’m afraid. I’m afraid He won’t give me this thing that I want so much. I’m afraid He’s withholding something wonderful from me that would make my life better, more complete.

This morning, though, I pondered the verse from 1 John: “There is no fear in love. But prefect love drives out fear.” If I could accept God’s perfect love for me, I wouldn’t be afraid that He’s withholding anything good.

Right now, perfectly understanding God’s love is just out of reach, like trying to catch a seed floating down from a cottonwood tree. I see the little puff of white cotton. I reach my hands around it, but every breath of air that my hands stir up push the seed into a whirling dance, first one way and then another, but always away from my hands. I see it, but I just can’t quite capture it.  And that is why I’m still fighting the fear, still fighting what God is giving me.

I’m not entirely sure where I mean for this to end. Maybe right now these are just the ramblings of a sometimes-sad person who also sometimes understands that she is loved.

I am loved. I am blessed. And the God who loves me is worth every minute spent pursing Him and enjoying His love, not because of what He does for me, but because of who He is.

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