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Radiant Fear/Radiant Love

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I am afraid.
I said it. It’s on paper and its real.
Afraid of Loss.
Rejection.
Failure.
Loneliness.
I am afraid I am not good enough to be loved….wholly or completely.
I love BIG, I love boldly. I give all of my heart. I sacrifice of myself for the ones I love. I give unconditionally. And I’ve been hurt, really really hurt.
One would think that after the pain of rejection, after repeatedly not being someone’s priority that the next time I would protect my heart, cage it so no one can penetrate it without access to the key I carefully save for someone who proves themselves worthy of handling it. But I don’t. I love without abandon. I risk it all. And people take advantage of my generosity to give my heart. My sensitive heart can be swept away by words of affirmation, desire, a loving touch or an intimate sharing. I believe the goodness of people, and I buy what they sell as if my heart was for sale, for any bidder. They buy when they experience what my heart offers and convince me that what they are offering is real, is true, is genuine. They can feel when I’ve fallen, when I’ve released what little control I had over my heart, because this heart was meant to love. It’s yearning to love can’t be boxed in or controlled with a thought or desire or even fear of heartbreak. My heart will love because it was created and molded to love…..it can’t be pressed to stop. It won’t. No amount of self control can reign it in.

I’ve felt loss in life greater than what feels fair. At least to me. But who dictates what’s fair, how much each person can handle in life? I’ve lost friendships, I’ve lost a marriage, I know too well the loss of relationships, but the scar that remains most vivid on my heart is the loss of my unborn son. It was him who taught me how to love unconditionally. Without sight, without the reciprocation of a touch or time. When my pregnancy was revealed, the floodgates of a parents love was instantaneous. It wasn’t the kind of love that needed to grow or develop or deepen with time, it was the same kind of love that our Heavenly Father feels for us. There was nothing this baby could ever do that could lessen the intensity of my love for him. And it was in that moment that my heart grew eternally large, never to be reigned in again. He changed me. I have great gratitude in having the experience to love in that way. But it would also make the pain that was to come greater than any other pain I could have ever imagined was possible. I never did see my son take his first breath, I never got to look into his glossy eyes looking back at me or feel his tiny fingers grip one of mine. But I held him for as long as I could, knowing the weight of the clock as it ticked toward the funeral homes arrival to take my son’s tiny body away. And the most intense love I had ever felt was carried away late the afternoon of November 1st, 2001.

My son opened my heart to love deeper, to love more intimately, without condition and without abandon. My heart was never meant to go back to the shape it held before my sons conception. He was sent to mold it into something new, and he did just that in the short time he grew inside of me. And as a result, I love from a different capacity than before. But the risk is also greater than ever before. The hurt from rejection of not receiving that same kind of love in return is like a heavy dark blanket whose weight is often more than I can bear. So I tackle each hour with the smallest bit of strength I have left after more heartbreak. With my mustard seed size faith I seek my Abba Father who loves me in a way that goes beyond what I felt for my son. He will meet me where I am and deliver the strength I need and the confidence to step forward. To find hope to love again, to trust that despite the disappointment in love lost. He has a plan for someone who can cherish the gift of my love, and truly desire to hold my heart protected with their gentle giant hands. And just maybe, he’s out there somewhere waiting for someone to love without abandon too, just like me.

So, for now, I sit in the fear. It’s intensity at times does whatever it can to crush my spirit. It begs to be felt…..the pain, the loneliness, the desire for something real. So I’m here. In it. Only for a moment though, because my Daddy promises me that it will weaken if I trust, if I expectantly seek Him. Come back to my promises, my dear child. I am faithful, He says. And what I know, buried deep somewhere in the web of scars of my heart is that His word is true, even for me. And that truth sends out the tiniest glimpses of light, that lightens the pain and shatters the darkness if even just for a quick moment of time. But it’s there, sometimes in print, sometimes the voice of a stranger or other times just the smallest burst of deep inner knowing. I’m a work in progress and that’s ok. That’s ok because I am loved intimately by the One who created me and gave me the gift of love to share and for that I am not ashamed. It’s the reason that I won’t change or protect the heart he molded inside of me. I will be grateful for the opportunities to love, even when it hurts…..and I will love radiantly again.

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