Multiple times a day, I find myself telling the Lord that I love Him. Sometimes I tell Him I love Him like I tell the people in my life that I love them, randomly and out of habit, because I do. And sometimes I tell Him I love Him as a prayer.
Last night, I said it as a prayer. I said it to recenter, to remember that nothing matters more than my relationship with the Lord. Even when everything else falls apart, I am His and He is mine. And that is beautiful.
The knowledge that my relationship with Him cannot be taken away from me is my peace, my safety, my security. I no longer feel like I need safety or peace (or love or understanding or positive regard…) from people because He has shown me that they are totally found in Him. Hallelujah. How blessed we are to be loved so deeply by the One who created us.
I cannot hug Jesus (yet). I cannot look at Him with love in my eyes. But I can love Him in my actions, in my thoughts, and in the emotions I choose to harbor.
If I really love Him, then my decisions need to be different. If I love Him, I will be slow to anger and quick to forgive. I will radiate love, even when I am wronged.
Nothing matters more than loving the Lord and the people in this life. Being heard or right or respected or loved or understood? None of it really matters. And when I choose to act in love, in spite of how I am feeling, I am reminded of that in a powerful way. I feel Him smile at me. I feel Him draw near. I feel His love for me flood my heart and bring tears to my eyes. When Jesus bends down to kiss the top of my head, or I sense Him fist-bumping my mom and saying, “That’s our girl!”, it really helps to put every other aspect of life into perspective. I so treasure those moments.
“I love You, I love You, I love You” is a prayer.
It’s a prayer of gratitude- thank You that You love me, thank You that I love You.
And it’s a prayer for more- Lord, help me to love you more.
And it’s a prayer for strength- Lord, help me to love people with the love of God.
And it’s a prayer for peace- Lord, help me to remember what really matters.
It is an emotion.
It is an action.
I feel like I am just starting to understand that love is an action and not just an emotion. I used to think I was good at loving people, but I’m not always good at living it out. Sometimes the love just gets caught up in my heart as something I feel and not something exhibited. And sometimes I have the opposite problem- sometimes I confuse love and healthy boundaries. I confuse love and letting myself being manipulated. I confuse loving someone and being whatever they need (or want) me to be in any given situation.
The Lord is teaching me how to love better.
Thank You, Jesus, that you don’t just love me in emotion, You love me in action. After all, it was love that sent Jesus to die for me.
And the people I love? You love them, too. I can trust You to teach me how to love them well because we both want the best for them, and sometimes neither they (nor I) know what that looks like and we get confused. But You don’t. You always know.
So help me, Lord, to love You in my actions and not just my heart. And help me to love the people in my life in action as well.
And help me to remember, Lord, as I get better at honoring boundaries, that sometimes the most loving action is doing nothing. Help me to remember that even when I am doing nothing, You are working. Even in the waiting, even in the uncomfortable moments, You are moving.
Thank you, Jesus, that loving You really is the best way to love the people in my life well. Even if they cannot see that right now.
Lord, help me be firm, but not angry.
Help me be loving, but not easily manipulated.
Help me be sensitive to Your spirit.
Lord, teach me to love. Teach me to love without expectation or fear. Teach me to love even when the love isn’t reciprocated. Teach me to love like You.