Monday, December 30, 2013

Lesson 199. Love always has and always will bring you through.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2013. Somewhere in between arguing with my family about Downton Abbey, and eating copious amounts of chocolate and as a result feeling deathly ill (wild exaggerations are my strong point. That and eating copious amounts of chocolate, did I tell you that already? I can't remember on account of all the chocolate) I've begun the process prompted by the turn of the year most commonly known as reflection. Are you still thinking about chocolate? Cheeky, stop that, your waistline will be unappreciative of my blog posts and ban you from reading them if you so weakly surrender to the train of thought that I'm dancing around and I rather like it when you read my terribly composed rambly (not even a word) sentences.

Reflection stirs up all too many emotions at the best of times. How do you sum up 365 days of conversations and revelations? How do you choose what you want to do better next time from 8675.81 hours of blunders and battles won? Well, to put it simply, you don't. I've typed and backspaced, mentally paced in one direction and turned to the next in the hope that I might conjure up some grand conclusion of the year that has been, but I can't. It's been the worst year of my life, but I have learnt the best lessons yet, and although I will not be sorry to see the end of 2013, the details of it will remain etched in my mind for as long as I live. I have learnt that life is never what you expect, that detailed plans will always falter to hopelessness, and that above all, love gets through. Love gets you through.

And it's not the kind of love that lies within romantic gestures or pretty pictures. It isn't soundtracked or perfectly timed. It is the love within the arms that caught me when I got the voicemail message that changed my life forever. It is the love that sat beside me when I sat glued to a pew in the Bethlehem College chapel. It is the love that shows up without needing a prompt or an invitation, and offers a hand regardless of efforts to push it away. The kind of love that will carry you looks more like your Dad than Ryan Gosling, but it is unwavering and without agenda. It doesn't seek to gain, but to give. That's the kind of love worth investing in, and that's the kind of love that changes things.

It is a quiet love that often goes unrecognised, which perhaps makes it the most spectacular of all. It doesn't ask for recognition or result, it loves because it is. He loves because He is, and I have never been so sure of God's ability to pour love in abundance into the broken places. It is a love that cradles vulnerability, and is far from blind to your flaws. It more than sees them, it knows them and chooses to persist in the small moments and gifts of each day so that you know that it is always present. It is a love that consists of hand squeezes in the hard moments, shares in belly laughter in the happier, and encompasses all of the things that love should. It carries hope.

So I give you this to see in the New Year, I do not present a resolution or a groundbreaking revelation, I ask that you might acknowledge that love somewhere between 11.59pm and 12am. I ask that you might appreciate it, that you might take the time to let those who have stood beside you this year know that their quiet love has played an important part in your journey to the 31st of December, 2013. Go into the New Year knowing that no matter what it holds, love will bring you through it. Trust me on this one, there is no circumstance in which love will neglect you and your heart. In fact, in the hardest of situations, love is highlighted by people you never expected.

My eyes are weary and my mind seems to have followed them to bed, so I leave you with a cliche that I very much hope you'll consider heading into the New Year: Love always has and always will bring you through. 

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