Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

A while back, I thought of a topic I would like to blog about, but then I hesitated because I didn't know if it really applied to my life or this blog. But I have been thinking about it, and it's something I want to tackle, so here we go.

What is Love?
 Don't stop reading! This isn't what you think it is. I'm not going to tell you that I have fallen in love, or tell you a sappy story about some boy. For all of you readers who are hoping to get a glimpse of what in the world I'm doing with my college years, I can tell you that I am not currently, nor have I ever been "in love". That was awkward, let's move on. For a long time, my idea of what love is was the same as that of most teenage girls. I thought that love was when you have a boyfriend and he holds your hand and takes you on dates and tells you you're pretty. Lovely, right? The thing is, that was not part of my high school life, and it concerned me way more than it should have. It was not until I went to Honduras, and then moved  away to college that I really began to understand that what high school students think love is isn't really what it's all about. I have gotten older and wiser, and I have gotten away from the small town where people are always innocently asking "have you found a boyfriend yet?" On a side note, that question always confused me. Where exactly and I supposed to "find" him? That expression implies that I am supposed to be searching for him, and I'm not sure I agree with that entirely. Anyway, at the age of almost 19, now that I'm starting to figure out who I really am,  I am beginning to understand that love is about more than boyfriends. There is a different kind of love, a non-romantic kind that doesn't get enough recognition.

Love is when a child you've never seen before in your life, who doesn't even speak your language, greets you with a big hug.  
The experience of arriving at the orphanage in Honduras and the way we were greeted by the children there is one of the most impactful learning experiences I've ever had. They did not ask questions, they did not judge. They immediately showed us unconditional love, and I'm still to this day processing the depth of that expression. It is one of the greatest examples of love I have ever seen.

Love is having friends you can count on. 
I have amazing friends. I have friends from back home and new friends I have met here. Because of immaturity and small mindedness, I used to be afraid to tell female friends that I loved them. Now I realize that friendship is a form of love, and I try to tell my friends I love them often. Long phone conversations, random texts.  laughing over silly things, or discussing deeper issues, and just knowing that there are people who are there for me no matter what is a great example of love in my life.

God is love
I've always known that God loves me, and he sent Jesus to die on the cross to save me. I have always been taught that, and I remember singing "Jesus loves me" as a little child. But as a child, there is no way I could fully grasp the concept of someone sending their only son to die to save me because they love me so much. It's still not something I can fully wrap my head around, but what I do know is this. What the world tells me is love is not what it really is. It's not a man who will prove his love with attention and worldly things, it's a man who gave up his life for me before I was even born, so that I could live forever. 

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