The One About Learning to Love

Maybe today, you took your mom out to dinner to the burger joint down the street. It’s not the steak house meal she deserves for all her relentless work, but Dad’s not around anymore and that’s all your allowance could afford. You try to make her feel less lonely but you can tell this day is always nostalgic, and this day always hurts. You are mad that he hurt her, and you are mad that he isn’t sorry.
Maybe today, there was a lot of fighting and crying and screaming and you feel like you just can’t do it anymore. And you’re ready to give in and you’re ready to give up and you’re starting to believe that he’s not the one for you anymore. He’s not the man that you fell in love with all those years back. You are mentally, and emotionally exhausted from trying to keep this relationship together with all the tape and glue. And after all mistakes, and the heart ache you begin to wonder if this is really love.
Maybe today, you were sitting in class wishing for your name to be called as they passed out the candy grams. But of course, you didn’t receive one. You’re stomach began to tie itself in knots as you started to list all the reasons in your head why you are unloved.
Or maybe today, you’re alone for the fifth year in a row. And you start to feel like this is going to be your forever. You’re frustrated because love hasn’t shown up at your door yet. According to your timeline, your prince is late and you’re about to take matters into your own hands. You pick up your phone and slowly begin to morph your standards and change your morals just so you can be called lovely. Just so that you will feel admired, even though you still feel lost.

Sometimes things get blurred. Things that were once black and white become grey. And I’m sorry if this sweet, and special feeling has now become bitter and distasteful. I’m sorry if people’s actions, or lack of actions, have caused you to feel less than enthusiastic about the idea of love. It’s okay to be hurt but I wish you would cling to a different emotion.

If you have ever felt love, if you’ve ever received a hug from your friend after hurting their feelings, or laughed too hard in a room with your sisters, or have come home to your favorite candy sitting on the table because your mom knows it’s your favorite, if you have ever felt that kind of love then you know it is worth fighting for. You know that it is worth actively pursuing.

I don’t care how old you are I think everyone knows what love is and what love is not.
And love is always leaving the light on.
Love is forgiveness and love is no matter what and love is sometimes just because.
But most of all love is hope.

To those who have been hurt, betrayed, or mislead, and are not hopeful about this feeling because you have witnessed its side effects, I pray that, even so, you would have a “leave the light” type of love. Even when people disappoint you or when people fall short of standards, you extend an undeserving and unexpected hand of grace. Think about how crazy it would be, to be at the type of person that when people made mistakes, we didn’t just give up on them. What if we could be people that never shut ourselves off to the possibility of redemption, or restoration…or healing. I thoroughly believe that love is a choice, and today you have the power to pardon and to act on mercy. So forgive your dad, and make peace with your husband.

And to those of you haven’t been hurt because love showed up but then left, but rather have been hurt because love hasn’t shown up at all, I desire for you to understand your worth. If you hear nothing else today, hear this…if you didn’t receive a valentine today, you are still loved. Your intrinsic value is not reliant on whether you received a candy gram or a kiss. Just because you were not called beautiful today, doesn’t mean that you are not beautiful. You are generous, incredible, intelligent, and fascinating. You do not need to find your other half because you’re already whole. You’re not too fat or too ugly or too mean or too messy, or too much of anything. I promise you are not too much. And just because someone has not realized that does not mean that you are unloved. You are loved immensely and completely and perfectly. If you mess up, go searching for satisfaction, or if you ever feel isolated or inadequate, please remember there are people who absolutely undeniably love you, and they will always leave the light on until you come home.

Maybe today, you can give love a second chance.
Maybe today, you can be hopeful.


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