February 13, 2017


image via Unsplash.
I feel like I'm writing this as an expert in this area, but we all know that that's pretty far from the truth. To date, I've been in two relationships and while they didn't last, they were some of the greatest learning experiences I've ever had to date. I learned more about myself, my faith, my desires and values, and about others in those two relationships than I have in my entire life.

Love is a tricky thing. For one, it's more than just a feeling. Feelings are fleeting and come and go depending on someone's actions (or lack thereof). Love, however, is an action. It's a choice. You choose to love someone every day you wake up and get out of bed. And I've come to realize there will be days when you don't feel like loving one another--no matter how compatible you are.

So I'm learning that I'm not interested in the kind of love that's solely based on feelings. While I thoroughly enjoy the giddiness from being in a relationship, I'm not looking for the honeymoon kind of love that only lasts a few months. I hope and pray that I'll find someone who shares my same values so together, we can build a love that endures, that forgives, and that pursues.

In the past, I let feelings, chemistry, and that pep in our step from a new relationship cloud my judgment. I fell in love with the concept of love and lost myself in the process. But love overcomes those things and it works to grow deeper, last longer, and seeks Jesus first and foremost. As I get older, the more I realize that true love strives to mimic the love that Jesus has for us--and that in doing so, we show the world how God loves us.

And I'm learning--slowly but surely--that the kind of love I'm ultimately pursuing isn't found in a man. The kind of love I know I need is the perfect, life-giving love found in Jesus alone. His love is the love that will truly fulfill, truly meet all my needs as well as my desires. And it's the kind of love I need to remember I already have, no matter how far away I stray from Him.

Love also goes beyond the romantic relationships, the holidays, and the people we get along with best. Love is something we choose to do and then keep choosing. It's about sacrifice and giving our time. It's about listening and sharing stories. It's about authenticity and vulnerability. It's about looking beyond the faults and shortcomings and seeing each person as the unique individual that God created them to be.

Love is so much more than I ever imagined it could be. It's something that I'm not sure I'll ever fully comprehend but something I'm grateful to have in my life.

How do you define love?

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall