Faith Over Fear: Choose Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Hello my lovely friends. I’ve decided to put up a little blog post on my real life heart health update. I feel like a lot of you followed along with some of the events that unfolded in 2018 that really turned me into the person I am today. Before I get into it, I will share that one of the biggest things that changed for me, was turning back to my faith and diving back in head-first. I had been far away from it for awhile and found myself more lost than ever, here I am to share my story and where I am now.

If you know me at all, or have followed my blog posts, or my Instagram, you know that I went through the worst heartbreak of my life back in June 2018. It is honestly crazy to me that it has been so long, I never thought that I was going to heal, back then, and to see who I was then and who I am now is crazy. If I saw myself now, I wouldn’t recognize myself, and vice versa. I have grown immensely in strength, in faith, in love, in confidence, in so many ways that I never thought possible.

Something that I need to share about myself, is my limitless capacity to love and to empathize. To a fault. This is something that has helped and hurt me throughout my life, and while I have always tried to find the balance in giving too much of myself to others, I don’t know how to cap it off. For better or for worse, I wear my heart on my sleeve and feel things deeply. I’m also acutely aware of how I feel at all times. I try to be happy no matter what and I know how to cover feelings with laughs and jokes and goofiness. I do believe I’m a happy person, I really do, and I try my best to always be that way around others. Everyone else is dealing with too much crap already, I would rather stick to complaining about superficial, fake problems that we can vent about and laugh off, than talk about the real, deep stuff that causes a little bit of real pain. Listen, my life isn’t tough, it’s not. Things are pretty good: I have a loving family, I have my health, I have the best friends ever, I have a job that I love (even though I’m in that weird post-college life figuring out what I want to do), I’m not in financial crisis, and I get to sleep in later than 8am on a daily basis. For me, I think the thing I would consider my biggest enemy is my heart health. And no, I don’t mean diseases or sickness, although I should probably chill on the Girl Scout Cookies, no, I mean how much I hold in and how I love. I felt like I couldn’t talk about my hurt because it was insignificant compared to other people’s problems, but I’ve learned that that is so not true. Every feeling you feel is valid and every thing you go through is worthy of being talked about.

I have always thought that I wear my heart on my sleeves so clearly. And while this isn’t completely false, I have found myself holding more in lately. When all of the crap initially happened last year, I was “allowed” to cry, I was “allowed” to vent, I was “allowed” to talk about how I felt and whatever else came with that. However, as time went on, it became something I felt was less accepted.. I felt like nobody wanted to hear about it anymore.. And let me tell you, I am a talker. I will talk your ear off about anything and everything. I love to talk and discuss and laugh and cry and just talk about anything.. But a lot of people don’t know how to talk about real stuff, or it’s hard to talk to them about real stuff because they don’t know what to say or how to react or what they should be doing.. this, in turn, makes it difficult to talk about. So, what do I result to? Being weird and goofy and making people laugh and being silly. It’s easier to be this way sometimes then to try to dissect what’s really hurting you.

My heart still sometimes hurts. I hate to write it and I hate to accept it and writing this in a blog post makes it real… but it does. My friends always laugh because whenever we are all together, one of my favorite sayings is “my heart is so full.” It truly is when my heart is at it’s fullest, when I’m surrounded by my incredible girl gang, but even so, I think there is some deep, dark, scarring in the depths of my heart that are having a hard time mending completely. With anything, especially heartbreak, there are so many unanswered questions and so many things that you are expected to fix on your own. I feel lonely at times, I still feel confused at times, betrayed, hurt, all of the above. While I always hoped for certain apologies or certain advice or things from outward sources to help me heal, the truth is, the healing comes from within.

When I think about a broken heart, I think about a scraped knee. When it initially happens, you have to clean it out and put some ointment on it and a bandage over it so that it has some time to heal. When your heart is initially broken, your friends and family bring you ice cream and flowers and they stay with you every second of every day to make sure that you are okay and heal without bleeding everywhere. Once it heals enough, you remove the bandaid and can start wearing clothes again that show your knee. Eventually you get to a point where you are healed enough to go out and start to enjoy the little things in life again, like a breeze from a tree, birds singing, ya know, things like that. The scrape continues to heal, as does your heart, and the body knows exactly how to heal it. When you get a cut, the body knows how to clog up the cut with the special blood cells and all that good stuff, well I think the same goes for a heart. Although it’s hard to believe, I think that your body knows how to heal itself, including a broken heart, it just takes time to heal. The cut may have been healed for some time, but oops, you accidentally hit it on the edge of the table and it opened up a little again. The same goes for you heart, you may have had a solid few months being the best version of you, and confident, and strong, but there are days when the wound is reopened, and it almost stings as much as it did the first time, but like the other times, the body will heal the cut again. Whew, the cut is finally healed, but there on your knee, is a little scar. It’s slight and small and can only be seen when carefully looked at, but it’s there. Well, guess what? The same goes for your heart. Every heart break you have gone through in your life leaves a little mark on your heart and changes the way you step into loving. Maybe you cut your knee by running in flip flops down the sidewalk, you aren’t going to do that again are you? The cut was super painful and took a long time to heal… Now here’s the difference, it’s not so easy when it comes to love.

I never got the apology I deserved, and I held onto that for so long. I had soooo much anger pent up inside me and was so mad and angry at the world for how I had been treated. I thought that I could never move on until I received some sort of apology or some sort of sign that there was a little bit of remorse for the horrible treatment I had been given.. That’s not the case. I realized that forgiveness is something that you choose to give whether it is asked for or not. I realized that we were forgiven for things before we ever did them. I realized that moving on with your life, starts with letting go of things that cause anger and pain and evil feelings. And I realized that I would always love people just as much as I had, and love even more than that.

Loving is a choice. One that we have the option to do everyday. I always thought and hoped that I would find a significant other super young and I was willing to try to make it work with someone who it never would’ve worked with. I was in love with the idea of love and what love is, rather than just love. This is exactly what my pastor talked about at church last week. It has really stuck with me this past week and has had my head spinning. He talked about how you don’t get to your 30th wedding anniversary by being in love with the idea of love, you get there by choosing love. Love is more than loving all the good parts of someone, it’s about knowing all the messy, ugly parts of someone and loving them because of those things. It’s choosing love in the most difficult times and the most trying times. This is something that I have felt I try to subscribe to my entire life. I’m not perfect, but I’m not one to give up on someone and I’m not one to stop pouring love into the people I care about. And this is where I found out, it wasn’t my problem. I thought there was something wrong with me for pouring too much love into relationships, and friendships, but I realized that it wasn’t something that was wrong. If someone else decided to give up on me, even with all of the love I was pouring out, that’s not my problem and that never will be. And you know what, that’s how I learned to forgive. Even with pouring out so much love and being given up on, I continued to pour out love and forgive someone who didn’t even apologize. God forgave us for our sins before we even existed. And people definitely turned their back on Jesus and he still forgave them and still loved them.. I should try to do the same.

Not every day is perfect. I wake up, I count my blessings, I pray and thank God for what he has given me and what he has not. I try to start off positive, but there are days when darkness creeps in a little and it is difficult to shake. I take comfort in the fact that God loves me and that I have control over being able to choose to love others as much as I possibly can. I’m so happy that these darker days are few and far between, now, and that they only happen once in a blue moon. But today was one of those days, and I felt like I needed to write this post before my completely, outrageously happy self was back. Just to show that I, too, am human and that while I try to portray a happy go-lucky woman every single day, that isn’t alwayssss the reality. I hope that I’ve shone some light into how I’ve dealt with my feelings and how I’ve persevered through some of my tougher days. I am very aware of my feelings all the time and what defense mechanisms I use to deal with them. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very very happy, confident woman who feels blessed beyond words, just know that it’s okay to have bad days!

Choose love. That’s all we can do and all we have control of every single day. Circumstances change and life happens and what we go through is part of it all, but we have the choice every single day to love others with more than we may think they “deserve”. Love freely and unconditionally and love without any fear of what could happen. Don’t forget those scars on your heart, but grow from them and learn from them and continue to love so hard that those scars keep getting smaller and smaller. Don’t forget that God is faithful and what happens in this life is meant to be. Don’t lose faith ever. You are so loved and I challenge you to choose love every single day.

“We can’t do anything about yesterday or tomorrow, but we can pour love into today.” Mary Davis

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