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The Diary of a Doubting Daughter

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christian

Love Anything

I know that this is a doubt blog, so I just want to talk about one of the things I doubted the most; Love. I’ve always struggled with the idea of Love. What is it? Why do we have it?

As a hopeless romantic for most of my life, I not only wanted to figure out what love was, but I also longed to feel this thing and find it for myself. To me, love was defined by the excessive amount of Hallmark movies taking up 90% of my recordings. In Hallmark movies, love came unexpectedly; usually tall, handsome, and mysterious. He came when the girl needed him the most, and even when everything looked like it might end bad; it didn’t. People always laughed at me and rolled their eyes when they saw me watching those movies. My mom would occasionally sit down and watch them with me, but my dad usually never did, and now I understand why. However, back then I didn’t care if I knew what was going to happen, or even if they had the cheesiest lines and actors. This is because Hallmark made me believe that love would come and love would stay.

There came a time when I stopped watching Hallmark movies and I moved on into the big leagues. I started watching movies that society said were,  “the best representation of love,” and while watching them I realized that I wanted this love. In those movies love was passionate. He came in the pouring rain. He came yelling and throwing dishes. He came with a deep voice, calloused hands, and scars from his past.  His love was hesitant, confusing, and harsh, but somehow in the end… beautiful. Those movies made me believe that love would come cold and distant. It made me believe that love was supposed to have lots of passionate screaming and fights.

Eventually, I started to observe the relationships around me. My parents have the greatest love for each other. They were my first and greatest example of what I want in a relationship. Honestly, films should be making movies about them. They were and are always so joyous and just partners in everything. They encouraged me to find that same thing. My friends on the other hand made me afraid of love. I would watch them crying and yelling and I  would get confused as to why they would want to be in a relationship that made them do that. One day I told my two best friends that I was scared of love, and they both replied,

“Sarah, it’s all worth it.”

I let them believe that it was worth it, but I was very set on never loving anyone. However, that quickly changed. Junior year, love finally came to me. He came unexpectedly, just like those Hallmark movies, but he was nothing like the movies. He caught me off guard, because I expected him to be like the guys in the movies I saw. I expected him to be distant and harsh. But he wasn’t. He came sweet and gentle. He came smart and funny  and I wasn’t mature enough to realize that. As a hopeless romantic, I longed and maybe even got too infatuated with having the perfect love. That made me ignore the real love I had in front of me and it made me have unrealistic expectations for him and our love. And so, when love finally left, I realized what I had lost. But by then it was too late.

I wish I could say that the breakup made me realize that I needed self love and made me an amazing human being, but it didn’t. For a while I was just filled with such anger and bitterness; not only towards myself, but towards others as well. I became distant and spent my time sleeping. I started getting onto myself for everything I did. I stopped wanting to go out and I started thinking of guys as dogs. I started telling myself that I wasn’t enough, because if one person didn’t want me, why would anyone else? I eventually realized that I needed to snap out of it. So, I started to write more in my journal. I got painting supplies and started painting. I became obsessed with nature and being happy. But in the end I realized that I wasn’t doing this for me, I was doing it for everyone else. I wanted everyone else to see me and think that I was alright. I wanted them to know that Sarah Taylor was still doing okay, but I wasn’t.

The problem was that I kept telling myself that love left, but y’all love never left. I thought that love had to come in the form of a man. I thought that love had to be romantic and I completely forgot about all the different kinds of love. I was obsessed with my pain and feeling bad for myself, that I completely ignored everyone else around me that loved me. But slowly I started to see them. Love finally came in the form of my beautiful parents. It came in them continuously loving me through thick and thin. It came in their “thinking about you,” or “praying for you” texts. It came in  dinner and watching my favorite shows with my mom on Wednesday.

I saw love in the form of my best friends. It came in their encouraging messages to me. It came in the “you go girl,” “you got this,” pep talks. It came in late night phone calls when they would calm my aching heart. And finally, love came in my college friends. It came in late night dance sessions, screaming songs at the top of our lungs, dying hair mistakes, road trips, unexpected ear piercings, and multiple trips to Walmart.

In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis says,

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Love anything: friends, family, animals and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. That’s scary that loving anything is a risk, but it’s so beautiful and so worth it.

So, as silly as it might be, Hallmark taught me that love would stay and it took me a while before I realized that love did stay.

-much love

Sarai Smile

We have all heard the story of Abraham and have probably all memorized his song. Abraham was promised by God to become “the Father of many nations.” It’s a big promise/covenant that God made with him, but God was true to His word and it happened. However, people tend to overlook Sarah (Sarai). Sarah was Abraham’s wife and she could not give Abraham a son. So, Abraham had a son with his slave, Hagar.   At the age of ninety, Sarah had given up and had no hope for a child. Until one day, Sarah overheard the three men visitors tell Abraham that she was to bear him a son. At this news, Sarah, not only smiled, but laughed to herself. She said,

“After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”-Genesis 18:12

Sarah was basically saying, “screw you, God. There is no way in hell that I could have a child at this age.” She didn’t necessarily say those words, but Sarah doubted the Lord because of her old age and it came out like that. God knew that Sarah was doubting and He said,

“Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord?”-Genesis 18:13-14

I am very much like Sarah, because I am a big doubter. I might hear something and say, “oh no, I can’t do that,” or I come up with ideas of people who could do it better, because to me I am just, me. And me is just a simple girl who is inadequate for the works and plans that God has in store for me.  I am a little, loud, black girl who occasionally cracks a joke. So, when God pushes me on a new path that I’m scared of, I laugh. I’ve found that laughter is the best coverup for the fear/hurt we are afraid to show. That’s why people joke up being overweight or death or rape or just things that shouldn’t be joked up.

I could sit here behind my screen and tell you guys that I would’ve believed God right away if he had told ninety, wrinkly, old me that I was going to have a son. I could pretend that I would’ve leaped for joy at the idea and given God a big high five, but then I would be lying. If God had told me that, I wouldn’t have laughed to myself like Sarah did, no, I would’ve done my worst laugh ever and walked away.

However, the beauty in all of this, is that the Lord didn’t rebuke her or hurt her for doubting. No. He simply asked the question,  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” And at the end of the day, that’s the only  question that should matter. Nothing is impossible for the Lord, absolutely nothing. 

In the end God did as he had promised and Sarah bore a son. She named him Isaac because she said,

“God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.”-Genesis 21:6

I am a doubting daughter, but I realize that God always fulfills his promises and Sarah did as well. So, to all Sarahs out there (literally and not literally), you can smile, and you can laugh, but never doubt the love and covenants of the Lord.

-much love

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