Saturday, February 14, 2015

Choose to Remain: Love

     Love. A four letter word that has been used since the beginning of time. It brings unending joy and happiness into our lives, yet sometimes we also experience heartbreak and pain. How can a simple four letter word cause so much of these emotions to overcome us you may ask. If it was intended to bring happiness, why then does it also cause so much hurt? 
     Our perception of love has vastly changed over the years, from media to music, to the way we speak to one another... we have come a long way since "Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Yet, I still believe that deep within every one of us, the longing of being truly loved, not merely idolized for physical attraction, wealth, or temporary desires... but truly loved, and adored for who we are is still very much alive. 
     Though many of us may not want to admit it, we often give up on love. It's easier that way. We don't have to argue, or pursue something we think is long gone or forgotten. We don't have to keep trying, the pain is just too much to bear. So we choose to leave. Now you want to hear the truth? You're probably thinking 'Go ahead Barbara, tell me what can possibly be the truth, other than yes sometimes things don't work out and there's nothing you can do about it?' ....The truth is it isn't about us. 
     Love was never intended for oneself. The very act of love is selfless. When God sent His son Jesus to die, it was the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate act of love for you and me. I mean Jesus could've easily refused and saw how undeserving we were and that would've been it. Just like that, given up and all would be lost. But He didn't. He chose to love and remain instead. He chose kindness instead of anger. He chose to be patient and wait. And most of all...he chose to stay and forgive. What kind of love is that? It's a love that reaches far past anything we may ever want or need. It's eternal love. It's love without boundaries. 
     Below is a photograph I took of my grandparents the other day. They have been married for over 50 years, and I'm blessed to have seen their love. It's not perfect if that's what you think. They're your typical traditional Italian grandparents who yell at each other and say funny things here and there. With that many years together, I am certain they have had their share of hardships. But amidst it all... they chose to remain.
     They chose that their promise to one another meant more than any hardship or heartbreak could ever separate. Movies and many things we see in society tells us love should be a certain way. We should act a certain way and do certain things, otherwise it's not love.
     Real love is what happens behind the scenes. It's putting that person you love before you, it's letting go of that anger all of the times they were wrong. It's letting go of your pride. Real love is choosing to forgive someone even though they hurt you so many times. Real love is having the courage to turn around and hug someone when all you want to do is walk out the door and leave.
     So friends, choose love. Though the world may tell us we need temporary fixes, bandages over our wounded and lonely hearts... that's exactly what it is. Temporary. But why would you settle for temporary, when your heart and soul was created for an endless and true love? It just seems silly. 
     Choose to forgive. Choose to be kind. Choose to fight for love. Don't ever let the world harden your heart. Don't let anyone tell you true love doesn't exist. You were created beautifully. You were created out of love. You are loved. Always choose to remain and love, for love never fails. Happy Valentine's Day.   
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

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