Reflections - Love That's Returned to Sender

Writer Author  Shana Schutte
Christian Column : Devotionals  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer I wish I could sit with you and we could talk about love. No, not about the kind that makes a woman's heart swell. Not the kind a mother has for her child, or the kind a husband has for his wife--but the kind of love that isn't returned. I wish we could chat because I'm certain you could tell me a story about a time when you gave your love away and it came back, like an unopened letter marked "return to sender."

Few things are more painful. When love is not reciprocated, it can feel so personal--like the reason we aren't loved is all about us. We can believe the lies that we're not good enough or that our love is deficient, even in spite of our best efforts. Can you relate? I certainly can because it's what I believed--until God set me free with His truth.

In my early twenties, I desperately wanted to marry a particular young man. I begged God to deliver him to me, but He married someone else. In the aftermath of my heartbreak, I walked through years of unanswered questions about myself, God, and the past. My memories were like a tangled ball of string and I didn't have enough information about what happened to untangle it. All I knew is that my best efforts to be kind, considerate and repentant for any wrong doing didn't earn me the acceptance and forgiveness I longed for. As a result, I believed the lie that my love was not good enough.

I had no idea I believed this lie until God placed His finger on it one morning years later.

As I sat to talk with Him, a thought filled my my mind: He who has love, loves. Not knowing if God wanted to show me something through this, I wrote it in my journal. Within minutes, I opened my devotional and read John 4:7 which reads, "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."

A Holy Spirit light went on in my heart. How could I miss it? According to John, love starts with God and we love because we know Him. He who has love [from God] loves. Certainly, we can draw love out of others, but only because it already exists in them from Christ. We can't make others love us, no matter how good we are.

If your father, mother, sister, brother, girlfriend, aunt, uncle, best friend, or any number of other people haven't loved you, you can do your best in wooing them, but it's ultimately up to them to extend love.

If you are like I was, living in guilt for believing you haven't loved well enough, or been good enough to receive love, you can lay down that stick you've been beating yourself up with and do a cartwheel because He who has love, loves.

I think that's a truth worth celebrating!

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35 (NIV)

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Country: United States
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