When this year started and as I began to watch the events of my life unfold, I told one of my best friends Clara that God was creating something different in me this year — He was crafting the experiences of my year so that the walls of Jericho that I had been building around my heart would come crumbling down. I told Clara, “The Lord is opening up my heart.” And lately, I’ve realized, that He is doing this by teaching me how to Love.
“Faith, hope, love, abide by these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:13
I would say that I am ok in my journey of faith. I am quite consistent or persistent in serving the Lord at Church. If I can, if I am able, if I am willing, I will serve, but “You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right.” Acts 4:19 I constantly have to examine my intentions, whether I am doing this for God or whether my heart is being pulled somewhere else. I try my best to be honest with myself especially… If my intentions are not to please, praise and serve the Lord, I do not attend. I ask for His grace to guide the longings of my heart… and I walk along side Him. I don’t want my faith to be based on shallow feelings, therefore I seek His face. I trust He is guiding me and I have faith that He can be found everywhere, not only in the Church or in the holy people who serve the Church. I seek Him constantly, through my days, I call upon Him. I try to see where He is directing my life.
He directs me: “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
I do not want my journey of faith to be full of mindless or empty duties. … If I do not have love, I am nothing.
I reflect on love. What does it mean?
I look again at the walls of Jericho I had built around my heart. I have kept family away. I’m not talking about my direct family… I’ve kept my relatives out of my heart… there is a wall. … But when my uncle died early this year, the Lord tore down that wall, and He is continuing to tear it down… brick by brick.
The Lord is expanding my boundaries.
I used to pride myself in the fact that I could easily say, “I can detach myself easily from things and people, because year after year, I have moved all my life and it has become a part of me”… But is this saying even true? I am not made out of stone. I have loved and lost, because of my lifestyle. Since birth I move, I let people in, I leave, and I am shattered. It’s a vicious cycle that I had to learn to cope with at such a young age… And at that young age, the walls were already being built.
Now, slowly… I am opening up to friends, too. I’ve never opened up like this — acknowledging that I am tearing down walls and embracing my vulnerability — showing my true self, without masks, without pretensions, without any self-made protection but accompanied by the Lord.
These are the steps I have made so far. Love. Facing fears, and taking down walls. I am trying, … slowly.
I came across this line once: “The only remedy for love is to love more.”
And to love more is what I am going to do. I’m learning to love, and I take my cue from the Lord:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8