As we head into a New Year, I have been processing just how hard and painful this past year was. I have to admit – it was challenging, and everything felt like it was on the chopping block. Our marriage, our future, our finances, the peace in our home…our dreams…everything. For some reason, this past year, it was all on the line.
And as much as I tried to live from my heart – and engaged with the storms, I can tell that there are still walls that have come up from those challenges. But one of the most sobering things that has shifted inside of me, has been my apprehension to long for love again. Somewhere along the road, my heart grew weary of hungering for anything better than what I was experiencing. When life didn’t go as planned – my ability to feel safe in love got buried, and my heart hardened. I began to forget what I was even missing, what could still be possible, what I was originally designed for…because I grew accustomed to a “safer’ rhythm in life that just seemed more realistic.
When circumstances pushed my heart into painful moments, I was tempted to adjust my hope – my hearts desire – to match the pain. Long less, hurt less.
But what I am realizing is that that longing inside of me to be loved is somehow at the heart of everything. It is deeply connected to my salvation, because love is the life inside my bones. It is the cry from my innermost being that says I am starving in here, thirsting for nourishment. Every circumstance, relationship, failure, success, and conflict in life triggers that longing. I am in fight or flight to protect it – in a constant battle with it because I was designed for love.
But the thing about a longing – is that it doesn’t come with a guarantee. The definition of “longing” expresses that it is, in of itself, an unfulfilled desire. So the only thing I have in my power is to open up and reveal that longing, my aching.
And if I am really honest, and when I am in the Presence of God – I am exposed…and I can see that all I’ve really wanted is to be loved. When it is all stripped away, and I am sitting in the silence of my own heartbeat – I can feel that longing rising up inside of me again. My longing for His love, for Him to see me, is awakened again.
It feels vulnerable and humbling to melt in His Presence. And yet, we cannot survive without this Love. Love is not some wishy washy emotion – it is the marrow in our bones and the ointment for our soul. We long for the Presence of God because it nourishes our entire being with love.
And so, I have written all throughout my journal for this year – to keep the longing for love awakened inside of me.