Friday, March 28, 2014

A Lesson in Love

To miss someone or something can be a terrible thing. Being able to miss is a human function showing an emotion which is close to love. Love is a scary thought and a scary word at times. It’s a term that means something different to each and every individual that beholds this endearment in their hearts and souls. So then what is love? According to Webster, love is a profound tenderness towards an individual (animate or inanimate). Love has many definitions which all include some sort of passion or exceptional care. Another definition found within the dictionary, of course, is that love can show some sort of sexual desire. Now, in my opinion, sex has become something so easily attained that it has made love that much more difficult to attain. Sexual love however is not what I want to focus my writing on, I want to write about the subject matter at hand in my personal life at this current moment which is the experience of a lifetime when you reach the point of almost breaking due to realizing just how much love you have in your heart for others. Up until now, being in my 26th year, I have never left home for more than about 2 weeks at a time. Even in college, I lived nearby and had family come visit regularly or I would attempt to come home regularly. Regardless, I have never been without friends or family at any stage in life. After spending three and a half weeks out of state and sitting here contemplating the remaining two and a half weeks before I can return home, needless to say, it has been a whirlwind of emotion that I have experienced unlike any other previously encountered. I embarked on the endeavor of trying to determine whether or not I want to make a huge alteration with my life that would entail my moving over fifteen hundred miles away. I have always been one for adventure and thrilling experiences. Even as an infant, I wanted anything and everything I could get my hands on just to see what it was like and what it would do. Another portion of me that hasn’t changed since I was an infant is that I crave the love and affection of people I am close to. My mother often jokes that when I was little I wouldn’t sleep unless being held. She couldn’t even shower without me crying for someone to juts pick me up and hold me. It’s safe to say my love languages include a large deal of physical touch and quality time. I have also from a young age been very protective and in love with my family members; this including immediate, extended, and “others”. Now after being gone for a few weeks I have realized that I looked at all those years I have spent with family and friends so close by in the wrong light. Believe it or not, saying “I love you” and being a “huggy” person was not a major portion of who I was until after losing both my grandmothers within my senior year of high school and first year of college. After losing two major influences on my life (one of which was my roommate for a large portion of my childhood and youth), I began to love in a way I had never loved before. I began to make sure that every single person I came in contact with knew that at least someone in this world cared to not only know how they were doing, but also cared how their spiritual walk was holding up. This mentality allowed me to get through college in a way that I am pretty sure would be quite different than the average college student. Meeting a stranger on the bus or randomly approaching someone in the quad of Texas A&M became a normal day to day habit for me. This habit is still very much a part of who I am, but again, is still minor compared to the lesson I am learning now. Since the lessons I have learned through my grandmothers’ deaths, my grandpa’s struggle with cancer, my uncle’s struggle with intestinal health, my mother’s heart condition and now her relapse with stage 3 cancer, my aunt’s suicide, personal relationship struggles, and the multiple friends I have had pass away or physically had to witness pass away, I would say these past few years have made me look at love in a whole new light. I no longer view love as just a “profound tenderness” or a “care that surpasses all other emotion.” Love is much more than mere words can ever justifiably define and in all truth, love is an action, not a word. Love is something alive and within your entire being that is meant to explode upon each person, trial, obstacle, stranger, and day that you are blessed with. Love is undoubtedly everything written within 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and for that I am writing a book based on it, but this bit of writing is meant to be for the struggling believer or the individual that doesn’t necessarily want the “Jesus” answer to everything. Backing something with scripture is easy, justifying why we should love and get through something regardless due to Christ’s mercy and grace is also easy. I’m not saying it is easy to do it, I am just saying it is easy for the Christian to have Biblical answers. However, what does the Christian do when they are feeling so low they don’t want what they already know is the “right” answer. I know many times I have been so hurt or upset that I didn’t want to read my Bible… that’s not the right attitude to have by any means, but let’s face it, humans aren’t perfect and we fall sometimes. We can fall hard. This writing is meant to be an aid when the falling has already taken place, reading the Bible and praying for help has already been manifested, seeking council from loved ones is in full swing, and yet there still seems to be a void. When this is the case, we have to find what that void is and why it is not being filled. That search has brought me to this key board. Just as a body is made up of many bones, ligaments, and vital organs, so too is our spiritual being made up of vital people, places, pets, and ideals that are a necessity for our healthy living. When a member of our spiritual body is in pain, we too experience pain. When something that is a typical part of our spiritual body is missing, we feel the absence regardless of if we come to terms or acknowledge its deficiency. Once we can locate what the void is in our lives, we can begin to work towards getting it back. Prayer is always a positive and helpful aide, but God will help those who help themselves. Prayer needs action, just like love needs to be lived. Figuring out our voids and working towards fixing them or repairing them is not an easy path, but as far as I’m concerned, the items in life that take the most work to obtain, are those that one day can be looked back on and cherished indefinitely. It is these roads to self discovery and healing that we can be used as a testimony to others. It is times like this when we learn what matters most to us and how we can make sure to never take it for granted. 

So to anyone who is reading this Blog, I would like for you to think about what it is that you love. Where is that love this exact moment? Have you told them lately that you love them? More so than that, have you shown them lately that you love them? No matter your answer and no matter if they have hurt you, remind them.


Kristin McKenzie

Dedicated to all my little sisters, momma, pops, big bro, and the rest of the gang. Can't wait to see you all for Easter!