To Love Deeply
How do you love, really love, when you know the object of your love is temporary? How do you do relationship the way relationship was meant to be when there is the possibility, the probability, that the closeness of relationship will be compromised?
How do you embrace change, and not run screaming in the other direction?
When we moved to SC a little over a year ago, we had a feeling that it was not to be a permanent location. We didn’t know exactly what that meant (and still don’t) but neither of us felt that this was to be our last move. When we started building relationships and strengthening existing ones, I knew in the recesses of my heart that at some point we would have to say goodbye. I just always figured it would be us doing the leaving – that’s way easier, right? I’d be the one pulling the rug out, not the other way around…ummm…maybe not so much!
In the 15 months that we’ve been here, we’ve been blessed with friendships with like-minded, like-spirited friends. It is an amazing thing to connect, and to keep connecting on a level that is not found every day. Depth ordained by God, community that is uncommon. When we first started feeling the kindling of the flame of friendship, my first instinct was to pull back…to preserve myself from the pain of saying goodbye. If you are not invested in something, it is way easier to let go.
But then I was thrust into a situation, albeit willingly, where the overwhelming theme was “love deeply the ones that are with you, while they are with you.” I watched an amazing woman of God struggle with that very thing, and though I was not in her shoes, per say, I felt and learned right along side of her. When someone comes into your life for an undetermined amount of time, what is your reaction? Do you dive in? Do you wade slowly, cautiously, trying to find your footing? Do you turn and run back to the safety of the shore? Do you immerse yourself, knowing that those you love may be ripped away?
I witnessed this woman seek and struggle and laugh and cry. I watched her surrender to her desire to love the way Christ loves…with all that she is, no matter what. To give everything she knew how to, holding nothing back, though the outcome was uncertain. She probably has no clue what an eternal impact this had on my life - on the way I do relationship.
So, here I am now, watching friends leave. Saying goodbye to “those” types of friends. You know, the ones you will have for…ever. I do feel sad, I do feel kind of like the rug has been pulled. But, in the midst of it, I feel peace. I know they are all where God has placed them. I would rather have them there – whether it be 3000 or 300 miles away, than next door to me. There is comfort in knowing that I have loved to the best of my ability – flawed and wounded though it may be – I have loved.
A great man of God once told us to “hold lightly to people, places, and possessions.” Hard, but true and necessary. If our palms are open, if our plans are moldable on the potters wheel, if our hearts are softened to the leading of Love, than change is not quite as scary as once thought.