Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love, Strength, Weakness and Protection

So...I haven't really been much up to writing lately. Those of you who have commented on previous posts, thank you very much for stopping by, I'll be responding soon.

I just need to post a few thoughts right now so I'll be able to sleep tonight.

To be honest, I'm feeling quite disgusted with myself at the moment, and it's not a very nice feeling. Did I do anything really horrible? Well...I guess not. Nothing that would raise anyone's eyebrows in particular, but a lot of little failures all added together and put under the glaring light is still a big mess that needs to be sorted through. And the fact that I haven't let myself do this for a really long time of course means the pile is a lot bigger now than it needs to be.

Now combine all this with the worry and anxiety, hurt and rejection I have been feeling lately, and of course the love I carry for so many people that at times I feel like my heart will burst. And this love is quite a conundrum in itself, because how much of it is really love? I'm pretty sure that most of it is just selfish gratitude on my part towards people who fulfill some sort of need in me. If this is the case, how do I know what real love is? And no, I'm not talking about the romantic sort, just the love I so desperately want to have for as many people as possible, because I want to be a channel of the love God has for me. But I'm learning more and more just how selfish I really am, because always in the back of my mind, even if I don't realize it, is a whisper of the question of what I could get out of the situation.

And yes, I know I'm pouting.

Just one more thought, before I drive myself crazy with circling, unending questions. Talking to my stepmom tonight, she told me something I've heard her and my dad talk about before. They both love each other unconditionally, loving both their strengths and weaknesses, because both things makes them who they are. But it doesn't stop there. She said something that I'm still trying to figure out, and I'm not really sure what to make of it. Not that I don't agree with it, but I cannot figure out for the life of me how one is supposed to go about it. A big part of unconditional love is not just acceptance, but in protecting the other person in their weaknesses. Not protecting their weakness, but protecting them IN their weakness. What exactly does this mean? How would it change my relationships with people? And most importantly, what is God trying to teach me in an attempt to draw me closer to Him?

3 comments:

Benjamin Graber said...

Hi Amanda!
I would suggest that you not worry about having a completely selfless love. None of us can love perfectly on our own. It is Christ who transforms our love and makes it like His. Instead of worrying about having a selfless love, I would suggest just focus on loving as much and as deeply as possibly, and I believe that as you continue to pour yourself outfor the sake of Christ and for the one you love, Christ will continue to refine your love and make it more and more pure.
Those are my thoughts, anyway... I just don't feel it is that profitable to feel guilty about not having a perfect love, because non of us are perfect.
May God bless you!
Your brother in Christ,
Ben

Todd said...

Amanda,
"Protecting someone in their weakness" is a hard concept for me to get comfortable with. It would depend on what type of "weakness" I suppose. Certainly not nearly all weaknesses would deserve protection so I suppose it would come down to the judgement of a pretty wise "loved one" to decide whether it would be prudent to protect, or to just leave someone be "accountable" on their own for some weaknesses and then protect them as they try and get stronger.

Faith, Todd

Hadassah said...

Say my husband's weakness is alcoholism. I certainly would not want to protect him, as in allow him to continue with a drinking problem. But suppose protecting him in his weakness means that I don't drink myself, and that I don't ask him to go to a party with me if I know other people plan to drink? And that I don't even attend the party myself.

Could that be what she meant?

Also, this whole idea of love gets very confused these days. I find it helpful to think of love not as an emotional experience at all, but rather a sacrificial giving of myself, and accepting the sacrificial giving of those who love me in return.

When I was younger, I experienced a lot of emotion that I thought must be love. But in retrospect, it wasn't love at all, because every bit of it was selfish. I never had the other person's best interest at heart, only my need to feel a certain way and have them "feel" a certain way in return.

(oh, and by the way, I don't think drinking is a sin, but if you do, try not to get distracted by that in my first example! :-))