Love To Me Is ..

love

Love has many meanings to people. It is made up of our own experiences in life. This past year, my journey has been amazingly life-changing and has shown me more about what love is. I’m not where I pictured myself to be, but I am confident that I’m where God wants me to be.

I think about my experiences and people that have impacted my life, either in a good or bad way. Old relationships have rekindled, improved, or dissolved. New friendships are developing. My relationship with my sons has improved. My love for God is growing on a daily basis.

Love to me is my 14 year-old son who still gives me goodnight hugs and displays his affection for me in public. Love is my 11 year-old son, my defender and protector, who still wants to be tucked in at night. Love is hearing, “I wuv you, Aunt Honnie” from my two year-old nephew. Love is sliced up apple and peanut butter arranged on a plate like a flower, lovingly prepared by my mom. Love is weekly group texts with my three sisters to keep in touch. Love is the encouragement and support I get from family and friends. Love is my forgiveness for others and me.

Love is what I do for other people without expecting anything in return.

Luke 6:35 says this, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (NIV).

Love is a simple smile and “Hi” to the person at the checkout, although they might be unfriendly. It is holding open the door for the person behind me, even if it means they’ll be seated first. It is showing respect for others because it’s how I want to be treated. It is stepping out of my comfort zone and singing praise and worship songs in front of church on Sunday mornings. It is being a blessing to others in my darkest moments.

I also learned that love is what I do for myself. I’ve always been more of a giver than a taker. I’ve said “yes” many times when I should have said “no.” Though it is my nature to please, I am learning to form boundaries and know my limitations. My value and respect for me increases by allowing others to respect me for who I am. Most importantly, in my spiritual journey I have found that God is love. Scripture tells us this: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8, NLT).

With this foundation, my love for God, others, and me is in abundance.  This love has helped me in my physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. As we end 2014 and begin 2015, let us open our minds, hearts, and souls to bring God closer so we can all be loving people. A recent quote by my good friend, Dawn, says it best:

“The most powerful tool you can ever have: LOVE. It conquers, it heals, it transforms …”

I want to thank God for all the people in my life, old and new. Thank-you for lessons learned, the support and encouragement, helping me find me, and being on this journey with me. I will continue to move forward. This will be my last article … for this year!

Happy New Year! See you in 2015. Stay tuned …

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