Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Passion of Loving Others {Guest Post}

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I've been thinking that I haven't had a guest post from one of my fellow writers in a while. So the past few days I've been in contact with one of my friends Michaela. I asked her if she would like to be a guest blogger and guess what, she said yes!! I was very excited about her acceptance and I loved what she wrote about. I hope you all enjoy. 

"So Messy asked me to write something I'm passionate about, or New Year's resolution stuff. (patiently I must add, I'm not a punctual person, and this is one patient young woman to have had to deal with me). And so I'm going to choose “What I'm really passionate about” thing, and see how this all goes (just hold with me darlings).
M'kay. So I think everyone is deeply passionate about a good few things, and for me those things are poetry, adventure, nature, and music, but I'm not going to talk about any of those things, even if I could probably go on about them for hours. Instead I'm going to choose this new found passion of mine, a growing one, Loving others. Sounds pretty whatever, but you have to hear me out.
These last couple years have been quite doozy's for me. I had a lot of bad things going on in the external world, stress from work, stress from high-school, that nasty drama between close friends and family, sickness in family, and myself (a journey of discovering I have Celiac disease), a couple deaths in the family and an unexpected death of a close friend that happened last Spring. And in general I'm a calm and steady person, nothing really rocks my boat too much for me to handle, but there was this constant sanding of all these things that slowly wore holes in my ship, wearing me thin, and forcing me to shore. Not that the storms were too much in themselves, but that I now had a completely useless ship, that even the slightest wave was making me sink. Kinda a trippy place to be in, so I got desperate.
I turned hard and bitter, hoping that would patch me up. If I could just be stone hard, and cold as ice these things wouldn't sand me down as much (That is the twisted logic of a depressed person, it is totally faulty, and honestly the worst thing for me to do). I became unaffected by things, a boring numbness fell over me, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The sorrows in life soon became mere annoyances that I could handle, and the tears dried up ( I literally didn't cry for about a year). But even if this was convenient for me with the stressful things, it had side effects. Numbness to pain is also numbness to joy. I was never more than “somewhat a good mood.” Nothing made my heart jump anymore, I never had those feelings that shook you with excitement, The thrilling things that people live for, like love, passions, obsessions with all things beautiful and good, were just whatevers for me. I was never truly touched or moved, the world lost its wonder, and things became boring and taxing, and I became a hard and cynical person who, at first is what I wanted to become, but we are never fully aware of all the terms and conditions, I hit “accept” before I had even read half a page of the contract.
So things got sucky, and quickly. I had been baptized earlier the previous years, but I was almost sure after a couple months that I didn't want to take God's wondrous path, it was childish in mind, a fantasy. I stopped asking him for help, because honestly I didn't think He was all he was cracked up to be, and I never actually doubted His existence, I just doubted that He was the God of love, the great friend and healer of man, so I guess I didn't exactly grow bitter towards him, just indifferent, really indifferent. And this had nothing to do with anyone around me really, I have a set of loving parents, and loads of siblings here to support me, it's just I didn't want to be crying in my room anymore, so I signed up for the heartless club.
But being heartless and cold wears on you on different ways than being sad and helpless. People started telling me I was unsympathetic, people called me heartless, sociopath, mean, cold, Sherlock(random one I know), too objective, and insensitive, and by gosh were they right. I'm not easily insulted, so those things at first just got brushed off my shoulders, but after awhile I wondered if maybe they were right (because apparently it just didn't sink through my thick skull for a couple months). I knew I needed to check myself before I got worse, and what was probably the leading factor that pushed me into actually doing that was when someone very close to me took me aside quietly and asked me what was wrong, why I was becoming so mean and rude. And in the moment I f course just shook my head and said nothing was wrong at all, and they left me alone for awhile. But I knew it was time to sit myself down and discuss some things over with myself. I was so numbed it pained me, and I was so bored that nothing in life seemed worth living for (I was never suicidal, just extremely bored).
So I forced some change, and at first nothing happened. I opened myself slowly, bit by bit to God, and still nothing really changed (except I became more aware of my sins). But about a month after I had asked God to take the numbness away, even if He just replaced it with sorrow, I just wanted to feel again, I had to know I was human. And apparently God didn't think it good to pour it all down on me right away. I had worked hard to become so hard, I was going to have to work hard to become soft again. I'm really glad God didn't just go “Oh! My darling Kaila is finally seeing sense! Lets give her all she wants right away.” because then I think I would have turned back to being hard-hearted pretty quickly. If God would just grant me my wishes right away, I doubt I would have appreciated the gift. So yah, I'm really glad how God had that all planned out, but in the moment I thought He was just sorta ignoring me.
Now! Back to the beginning of my passion for loving others. It's not really my passions at all thought, it's a passion I begged God to share with me, and He, like the darling He is, obliged my weak heart. He showed me that I need to love him first, because once you love God, loving others is sorta this sweet bonus pack, it's hard to come by sometimes, but it's still a pretty rad bonus pack. I wanted God to change me instantly like in the movies or testimonies of others, but I realized that just like any relationship, you need to take things slowly. And there will be amazing glorious breakthroughs, where you look up with tearfully joyful eyes and whisper things like “This is what you were talking about, you really love me, it's all around me, the signs, the whisperings of your romance for me.” and I swear you can feel God smiling back down on you and replying: “Darling, of course I love you, and nothing makes me happier than when you see that.” and it's like, a chills and shivers moment of the deepest love, an everlasting love that is gentle, yet so strong that nothing can break it, and it will never grown hard.
And I discovered that this is not so much a religion, but more a relationship with God, that this is what my life was lacking, and everything slowly cleared up. The clouds and fogs lifted, but they also shifted a bit, meaning I do not have it all figured out. I still find myself tripping up and being the bitter and unloving person I loathe (I slip up more than I want to admit, but since I want to be real with you here, I slip constantly through every day, like, a lot). Sometimes I will stop and think “Great Scotts. What is my life even about anymore?”, and I'll stumble along for while before I grasp the remembrance that this life is about God, it's about life, and that I'm here to love, and that above all, love!
This is the greatest lesson I have learned so far in life, this is that one piece of advice I would pass down or up to anyone I can. Love always, love deeply, love faithfully. And yes you'll be hurt, and yes you'll have hardships (but I'll inform you now that those always deepen love in the end). Just never close you heart to love, that's never worth it. Even in the moment when you're like “Ah yes, finally life doesn't rattle me anymore.” that's not the point in life. We're not here to master this feeling of numbness. We're here to be touched, to be moved, to really love every second of life, to all be the messy paintings that might not look perfect, but always makes you feel the thrilling things you had no idea were possible. We're here to love every inch of others, and to discover that love truly does conquer all. Love is worth it, love is worth any hardship, every pain, every dear teardrop, it's just all so worth it, and I hope I can help you see what I'm talking about. Because I used to think love was nothing more than tolerating others. That being like “Well, I'll love you, but only because I HAVE to.” no, I was so foolish. When you actually feel love, a true love, not a knight-in-shining-armor love, but the marvelous love of God, everything just makes so much sense. You love others because you want to, not because you feel obligated, you find beauty in life because it's there, and you don't have to strain your eyes to see it. You truly start to love others flaws and imperfections (and your own), you start to serve others because you just need to show them in every way you can, the love that's around us. The most poetic love engulfs you, devours you in the most lovely way, and pours out of all your broken pieces, and it shines on the shadows, and it's just so lovely, and I wish and pray everyone has a chance to see it, to feel it. Because nothing has shaken me like the poetic and wild love of Jesus Christ. Nothing has changed me in such a wonderful way. It is my most passionate of passions, and I send out invitations to you all to join me in it. It's so much better shared."

If you would like to read more from Michaela you can visit her at her blog, A Novelist Garden

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