Tag Archives: love

Love from My Gut

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A heart shape drawn in the condensation of a window

There are many young people in my life right now who seem to be on different planets. Some are heading off to new adventures, full of life, full of promise. Some are so hurt and so lost that they are acting out in unhealthy ways. Some are just living, going from situation to situation; just waiting to see what’s going to happen next.

Every day I wonder how best to love each of them.

A few weeks ago, my pastor talked about love. He spoke about our culture’s definition of love; always agreeing, affirming and/or approving of another’s life. He spoke about what a cheap form of love this is.

This kind of love has no heart to heart talks, sets no boundaries, gives no advice and will waffle when things get too hard or weird.

Isn’t a deep and expensive love the thing we all crave the most? The love which will stand up and tell me when I’m wrong, and love me anyway. The love which will sacrifice comfort in order to make me comfortable, and love me anyway. The love which will come beside me when life is hard, catching my tears, rubbing my back and love me anyway. A love which gives encouragement, declares truth and inspires change.

How can I give this deep, expensive love to the people in my life?

As I look back through my prayer journal a piece of the puzzle falls into place.
Romans 12:9  Love from the center of who you are.  (MSG version)

My head holds my intelligence.
My face will change depending on my mood or circumstance
My heart houses my emotions and feelings.
But my gut is the center of who I am. My soul. My conscience. My truth. The undeniable point when I know that I know.

Love is to come from my gut.

If I am to love the people in my life well, my love for them has to come from my gut. The center of who I am. The piece of me given over to a Savior who has promised to guide me. The place where divine truth is planted and where my identity can be found.

My gut, my center, my core is where absolute truth resides. The place where my opinions, my fleeting thoughts and my wishes come to die when held up to the blistering light of absolute truth.

Do I have the courage, the strength to love the people in my life like this?

Love from the center of who you are.

When others disappoint you.
When dealing with loss.
When crying in anguish.

Love from the center of who you are.

When dancing for joy.
When embarking on adventure.
When laughing till it hurts.

Love from the center of who you are.

Let Christ be my truth.
Let God be the center of my being.
Let the Holy Spirit communicate love through me.

Love from the center of who you are.

Love You More

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Hispanic woman holding large, woven heart

It’s a thing I send to my best girlfriends when we’re texting and have to say goodbye.  “Love you.”  “Love you more.”

I say this to my mom or my sister when we’re ending a phone conversation.  “Love you.”  “Love you more.”

So when the words came out of his mouth, it brought immediate tears to my eyes.

“Have a great week pastor, love you.”

“Love you more.”

Three small words.  Three small words which crumbled my heart into a happy bit of rubble.

My pastor loves me.

Really, this shouldn’t be such a big deal.  A pastor is supposed to care about the people in his church.  A pastor is supposed to teach, lead and guide.  A pastor has many ‘things’ to do in the life of a church.  And a pastor should love the people in his church, unfortunately many don’t.

Then my pastor said “Love you more”.

I wrote awhile ago how we had started the search for a new church.  We had visited a few churches in the area, but nothing seemed to stick.  So when husband said we should check out the church down the street, I figured the same thing would happen again.

We’ve only missed a handful of Sunday’s in the past six months.

We walked in and found a place where ‘real’ness and sincerity met.  We walked in and found a place where safeness is a goal.  We walked in and found a place where it’s OK to be broken and healing.  We walked into a family, we walked into a home.

And it freaked me out.

Terror filled my spirit.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of being hurt again.  Fear of being disappointed.  I wanted to run away, the risk seemed too great.

But each week, I return.

Leaders are showing themselves to have integrity.  Teaching is deep and challenging and biblical.  The people are sincere and willing to come along side and walk life’s journey together.

Each confirmation, each step forward causes me to shed tears.  Tears of freedom.  Tears of healing.  Tears washing away the stain of hurt and bitterness.  Tears that drip down my face and chin, leaving their trails on the front of my dress.  Tears which are breaking down the wall I built for protection.

My pastor said, “Love you more.”