All of us have struggles and some require years of emotional work and determination to overcome. Few of us feel confident to be genuine with others because we don’t trust that they will love us through the emotional work. We hide behind what we think they want to see or hear. We hide behind smiles and ideas. We live isolated and contrived lives. My challenge to you is to discover those who will love you through and then let them!
The first part of that challenge is not easy. For years I struggled to learn who was going to love me through hardship and who was simply waiting until I crossed the finish line to love me in celebration. I made some mistakes. I trusted words over actions. I gave more weight to what I wanted instead of what I needed. Although I made errors on whom to depend on, I compounded my own difficulty by then loving fearfully instead of freely. I instituted a blanket method of relationship. No matter what individuals had proven, everyone was treated the same. Everyone heard the same response. Everyone received the same smile. I threw everyone at the finish line and pushed myself into running the race alone.
Loving freely requires trust. Trust means being vulnerable, placing your confidence in someone else, and giving up control. Yes, all of that is extremely difficult, but it is no less emotionally taxing than forced loneliness. Maybe you’ve had this vision of who would be standing by your side, loving you through and the ones who have proven themselves aren’t the ones you pictured. Maybe you’ve been so busy chasing who isn’t there that you can’t see who has been standing beside you. Don’t allow the absence of someone cause you to miss the presence of anyone.
I think about the little people in my life. They can have a catastrophic, emotional outburst or get the disciplinary action of their young lives in front of me. Even still, just moments later, no shame nor guilt nor doubt prevents them from jumping in my face, asking me to take them for ice cream, or begging me to play some game. They have the confidence to know that I’ll love them through their outbursts and lapses in judgment. I challenge you to exercise the same level of wisdom by trusting those who have been purposed and have chosen to love you through your doubts, fears, heartaches, and difficulties.