Rachel's Blog

Discussing faith, politics, and life.

Category: Life

Falling In Love —Is it real? Is it possible?

Falling in love. What is it?

People often scramble around wondering what it means—what it feels like—to be in love. The reality is humans are really bad at love. Why? Because we are unwilling to fully receive it. Regardless of what we may think, falling in love with someone has a whole lot to do with whether or not we are willing to receive the love somebody is giving to us. Being in love with somebody requires love flowing from both ends.

Why do we often run away from love?

It seems foolish to reject something as wonderful as love, so why would any of us ever do it? Deep down many of us are guarded, because we believe we are unworthy of love. We have experienced rejection, neglect, and know our own shortcomings. We avoid falling in love, because we cannot fathom how someone could fall in love with us. We are ultimately avoiding getting hurt.

The Difference Between Knowing Something and Believing Something

Many Christians have heard that a relationship with Jesus is the cure our hearts need. We have heard that our flaws and others’ perceptions of us do not matter, because God deeply loves us. We know about God’s love and understand the concept of it, but there is something keeping us from fully believing it. Head knowledge and heart knowledge are two different things. We only accept the love of God to the extent our hearts believe in it.

The Walls We Put Up With God

Falling in love with God is one of the most beautiful experiences on earth, but it is hard to experience. Why? Just as with people, we have walls in our heart preventing God from completely pouring out His love onto us. We project the rejection from the world onto the image of God. We cling to other things to fill us, because we fail to recognize Christ is trying to fill us if we would let Him.

The hard thing about being in a relationship with God is we must accept the truth about ourselves. We must be willing to come to terms with the fact that we are imperfect and broken. The problem is too many of us stop there and feel shame; and so our reaction is to run away from God (Genesis 3:10). Our shame makes us feel unworthy of God’s love, but God does not want us to feel shame. He wants us to lay our shame down at the feet of Jesus, so He can fill us with His grace and love as we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Why are we worthy of love?

The narrative should never be “I am not worthy of love, because __________.” The narrative should be “I am worthy of love because I am made in the image of God, I am deeply loved by God, and God paid the ultimate sacrifice for me.” Our worthiness is not because a human decided we were worthy—or even that we are a good enough person deserving of love—it is because God made us worthy and has sacrificed everything to show us we are worthy. Throughout the gospel we see Jesus demonstrating love to those most cast aside in society. He loved those who people deemed unworthy (lepers, prostitutes, etc.). God’s love has no bounds.

My Love Story (Sorry for being cliché)

Over the past month or two, I prayed to love God with all my soul, heart, and mind just like in Luke 10:27. I thought that I was not good enough at loving, so I needed to pray to love better. Recently God revealed this to me: The key component keeping me from falling entirely in love with God was not about my ability to love. I wasn’t falling in love with God, because I wasn’t allowing God to fully love me. I needed to break down the lies in my heart saying I was unworthy of love, so my heart could actually receive God’s love. Once those walls were down I was so completely overwhelmed with God’s love in my heart that I could not help but fall in love with Him. (1 John 4:9-11)

Jesus fell so deeply in love with me, every inside and outside existence, that He died so we could spend eternity together (John 3:16). By the grace of God, I have had the walls in my heart torn down (Psalm 147:3). I have fallen in love with a God who has never left my side (Joshua 1:19), who has pursued me with passion (Luke 15:14-17), who has paid the ultimate sacrifice just so we can be together in eternity, who knows each and every part of me (Psalm 139:1-4), who has never forgotten me (Psalm 139:17-18), who always appreciates my honesty (Proverbs 24:26), who loves me at my worst (Romans 5:8), and who loves me unconditionally everyday.

And while my journey was unique, the ability to experience this love is not. God is patient with all of us, pursuing us, and yet giving us the freedom to reject him if we so decide (2 Peter 3:9).

So Back To The Original Question

Yes, falling in love is possible. The good news about falling in love with God is it’s always reciprocal and His love never fades. It’s no wonder life long romance is something people want so badly. It’s the closest thing to God’s love we can find on earth. And it’s no wonder so many people are repulsed by the idea of romantic love, because human love will always fall short. All forms of love on earth are just a tiny reflection of the love we already have from God. The important thing to recognize is falling in love with a human only goes to the extent to which each party is willing to receive love (which often reflects the love they have already received). (1 John 4:7-8 )

We all must grapple with these questions to experience love: What lies am I believing about my unworthiness to receive love? What walls have I built up in my heart to prevent the love from coming in? And even more deeply, what am I trying to fill myself with that is preventing God from being able to completely fill me? For we cannot fully love—or be in love—without letting others love us. Every single one of us is worthy of love.

Don’t Ditch Rest For “Success”

This is a blog for those of us who lack balance and fill our schedules to the brim. It’s easy to live a hectic lifestyle while we work toward a career (or other life goals). We feel validated through our success, but often do not reveal the stress, pain, and lack of self-care it took to get there. Why do we ditch rest?

The Lie

Many of us buy into the lie that we gain value with more success. The goals we achieve in life show perseverance, focus, and other positive attributes. However, overworking ourselves can become detrimental. If our minds, bodies, or souls begin to deteriorate in the process, then we are not our best selves in our “success.”

God tells us we don’t earn our value. He already showed us how much value we have when Jesus died on the cross (Ephesians 2:4-9).

God Commands Us To Rest

God wants us to have balance in our lives. He wants us to work hard, because we were created to work hard (Colossians 3:23). At the same time, God commands us to rest. Our best selves may not have the largest list of accomplishments. Our best selves come when we give ourselves time for self care and relationships, especially our relationship with God.

Did you know that the Bible says when we do not rest we are being disobedient to God?

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
-Hebrews 4:11

Our all-powerful God rested after creating everything in existence (Genesis 2:2). In addition, after each day He stepped back to look and reflect on what He had done (Genesis 1). God doesn’t need rest, but He still rested as an example to us. Why would we deny ourselves something that God hasn’t even denied Himself? God could have gone without rest and we technically can do it too, but we are hurting ourselves in the process.

Learning To Say No

Rest means different things to different people, but we make a mistake once our schedule becomes so full that we cannot rest. I have the tendency to want to do everything at once, but we need to be wise with our priorities. What we say no to is just as important as what we say yes to. Sometimes the answer is not yes or no, but instead “not right now.” The commitments we chose and leave behind reveal our values in life.

Finding Rest in God

God wants us to find rest in Him. God wants us to value Him. He is our healer, our comforter, and our source of power. When we give no time to God, we are saying we do not value Him. When we don’t give time to God we are idolizing other things and hurting ourselves in the process. Why are we getting hurt? Because we are looking for purpose and fulfillment in things that cannot give us full purpose or fulfillment. Only God can completely fulfill us and selfish-ambition is such a deceiving idol (Psalm 135:15-18, James 3:16).

I have learned that I cannot find rest without going to the One who gives me rest (Psalm 62:1-2). I cannot heal unless I go to my Healer (Mathew 11:28). God calls us to a better way of life than the hectic scramble to look perfect. While there may be hectic moments in our life, spending time with God gives us the opportunity to recharge (even if it’s just a little bit). When we take off the chains of believing we must constantly attain “success,” then we can realize going on a walk, reading the Bible, and building relationships can give us more fulfillment than a prestigious achievement.

So remember, rest is good and God even demands us to do it. Our best selves are our most balanced selves. We have our whole life to do amazing things. Let’s try to foster that ambition with endurance dedicated to God instead of burning out through an ambition that brings self-destruction.

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