I used to think that love was just how you feel about someone, but now I know it's so much deeper than that.
Six and a half years ago, I thought I was in love. I was smitten, to say the least. I had just moved to New York City on a mission to change the world through fashion, and here came this tall, charming man who completely disrupted my world.
It started off as an innocent crush. We worked for the same company, and he quickly became one of my best friends.
We would talk on the phone every evening, text throughout the day when we weren't working together, and occasionally hang out if our schedules allowed it.
Oh, and the voicemails ... he used to leave me the funniest, but sweetest voicemails. I would listen to them over and over, and every single time, I would have the biggest smile on my face.
I couldn't get enough of him.
Things were great for a while, but then the strong feelings entered. He made it clear to me from the beginning that he didn't want a relationship, but I didn't listen. I thought I could somehow be the one to change his mind—foolish me.
To protect his heart, he tried to distance himself. But the more he pushed away, the more I pushed toward him. I was very persistent, and eventually, he gave in.
This story doesn't end well, though. It never does when you try to force love. I wound up giving my heart to someone who didn't ask for it, and I let him abuse it for almost two years.
Those were the darkest years of my life.
I was stuck in a web of my feelings, and I lost my sense of reality. I hated the hold he had on me.
When I was at my absolute lowest, he called me, and I remember telling him I wanted things to go back to where they were in the beginning—as if we could erase everything that happened up until then. Life doesn't work like that.
What he said next broke me into a million pieces ...
"I don't want anything to do with you. I. don't. want. to. be. your. friend."
I said okay, hung up the phone, and cried my eyes out.
For months, I was so hurt and broken. I thought I could never move on.
When I woke up, I thought about him. During the day, I thought about him. When I went to sleep, I thought about him. Our "situationship" was on constant replay in my mind.
But with the grace of God and a lot of time, I moved past that dark period of my life. My heart just needed to be reset.
I thought that I needed the love of a man to fill the voids in my life, but what I really needed was to break the cycles of my insecurities. What I really needed was to find the root of my emptiness and burn it. What I really needed was to decide "enough is enough" of settling for people and things that weren't serving me and my relationship with God.
If you want to experience true love, stop searching around for people, careers, and money to complete you.
"If only I had this, things would be better," we say to ourselves.
That's a lie and a trick of the enemy.
If you aren't content where you are, adding "things" to your life will only amplify your discontentment. Nothing will ever be good enough.
You'll never have enough money. You'll always find something wrong with your relationship. And you'll never be completely satisfied with your job.
In the Bible, a rich man asked Jesus what good does he need to do to achieve eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the commandments.
The man responded and told him that he's done all of that. So Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)
The rich man sadly walked away because he had a lot of possessions. He wasn't willing to give up the things closest to his heart.
I've been there before.
Having career goals, financial goals, and personal goals is important, but never more important than God. Stop seeking things, and start seeking Him, because only He can completely satisfy you.
I'm the first one to admit that I can be very impatient at times. I tend to mess things up—like all the time. I'm constantly battling my need to control every situation in my life.
And sometimes my flesh wins.
But God is merciful and always has His arm-wide-open waiting to embrace us when we fall. He's always ready to pour out His love on us like a good, good father does.
There's no condemnation in Christ, only an unconditional love that transforms every ounce of our being.
When you find yourself seeking things more than God, reset your heart with His Word. When you begin to doubt yourself, reset your heart with His Word. When you need direction and wisdom, reset your heart with His Word.
In everything you do, reset your heart with the Word of God.
"My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end." - Psalms 119:112
True love begins at the end of yourself.
What's one thing you can do to apply today's message to your life? As always, I'd love to hear from you. Head on over to the discussions page on the blog, and I look forward to chatting with you.
You were born to do great things. Keep resetting your heart to Jesus.