Love puts you in a vulnerable position. So for those of us who have been hurt, taken advantage of, or wronged by someone we trusted, vulnerability may be particularly hard. Putting yourself in a position where there is a chance you will be hurt again, left again, abandoned again may feel too risky. But there is such beauty and joy in loving someone and allowing them to love you. There is freedom in being in a relationship with someone you can trust and be the “real you” around. God is love, and He designed us to love one another through family, friendships, and romantic relationships, leading to the covenant of marriage. Love is part of His design for this life.
I have been hurt, taken advantage of, and lied to—left more than once, by more than one person, in more than one type of relationship. Honestly, if I decided I was never going to let myself love or be loved again, never trust anyone or let my guard down, those who know what I’ve been trough would probably understand. But that’s not the life I want to experience—a life without the love God created for me. So I choose again to trust, to be vulnerable, to believe people are who they say they are and that their word is good. I choose to love.
But I’m emotional. I love hard and hurt even harder when that love is taken advantage of or unappreciated. The hard things I’ve experienced in life have caused me to struggle in many areas. Sure, they’ve taught me lessons and helped me mature in many areas as well, but it’s not my own strength that has allowed me to move past my pain and choose to love again. It’s my tight grip to the love of God that gives me strength. It’s knowing He loves me and wants what is best for me. The only way I am strong enough to love, forgive, accept, work hard, serve selflessly, and trust again is because I cling to God with all I have.
It’s my tight grip to the love of God that gives me strength to love again.
Scripture says we love because God first loved us. And I think this is really the only way to be fully invested in other person without letting the chance of them hurting you keep you from being all-in. I can love others because God loves me, and His love protects me and gives me strength to be selfless, vulnerable, and exposed.
Without God, forgiveness without punishment and a fight for fairness seems like we are letting people off the hook.
Without God, serving selflessly is risky because it seems like we are letting people take advantage of us. Plus, who is going to care for us if not us, right?
Without God, trusting people can be dangerous because we will be failed. People fail all the time. You and I fail all the time.
But with God…
With God, we can show grace and forgive others because we know that vengeance belongs to the Lord and is not our responsibility.
With God, we can serve selflessly because we know we are covered by God’s selfless love for us.
With God, we can choose to trust people because our foundational trust is found in God’s perfect will for our lives, not in the people or things around us.
So when people fail us, hurt us, and leave us, when we need to forgive and love them anyway, we have an endless source of strength to be able to that: the love of God.
You don’t have to write-off love just because you’ve been hurt. Instead, I encourage you to find the source of true Love and use His source of strength to try again.
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*** This doesn’t mean we should let people walk all over us. There are definitely times to leave a relationship, like when physical or emotional abuse is taking place. Patterns are telling, and staying with someone with problematic patterns who is unwilling or unable to change usually isn’t a wise choice.
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