Love keeps connecting

by Craig on January 10, 2011

Love was simple when it was just me and God – an intimate sharing. Him revealing some of his secrets and knowing all of mine. He leads, I follow. The math is simple.

Enter this year of “connecting”, and now all the numbers are different. Now there are feelings flying everywhere, and the once simple line between points A and B are branching out in all directions.

But Love doesn’t, and never has, existed in a vacuum. There has always been a mystical union between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even without humans there was love.

And this connecting thing? It’s critical if I am to love like Corinthans 13. I cannot be isolated, I have to be reaching out, and not just to a close one here or there, I need to be part of the body of believers – or I’m being disobedient, not loving, not living.

How did I ever miss this?

But I’m not missing it now and parts of me that have been dormant are growing.

More pain than joy so far, but still change, growth – love.

I am reaching out every single day now.

Every day an intentional connection, heart to heart:

A friend who is giving it her best shot to lose weight. She shares, and the old me wants to rush in with instructions. I used to be a personal trainer. I ran health clubs. This part wants to instruct.

But I sense something where I never used to sense anything. I sense a fear, and an insecurity, and a voice that says, “I’ll lose the weight and still won’t be good enough.” It sets me back a little, along with the embarassing newness of this ability to hear.

So I’ll help if  asked, but what’s needed now is encouragement. So I reassure. I support. I remind that although being fit is great, please remember that it’s just your body. The shape of your body isn’t you. Who you are is magnificent. And your heart is right, and you’re a great mom, and a loving wife, and a child of God – this is who you are, not numbers on a scale. And there are tears – and I almost blew it.

And another connection…

A friend who fights depression in the most valiant of ways, But it’s hard, and it’s dark, and it kills pieces of her each day. But she fights. My heart says to check on her and make sure she’s still fighting. She needs to know she has a listener nearby, that she’s not alone, because she feeels very alone in this darkness.

I’m not not to fix, but just to be a place to rest, a post to lean on, a candle in the window – until she finds her way to “normal”.  I know what it’s like to be so far out of normal that just getting there is a slice of heaven – so God has prepared me for this role. It’s no big deal. It’s just love.

Love must be vertical and horizontal. It must be up – and around. I’ve been living two dimensionally  – me and Him – and now three dimensions are springing up.

This is me admitting how insufficient my faith has been – and my Love. It’s me being sad that I’ve missed this for so many years. And so as I list my connections in this year of connecting, know that it’s not bragging – it’s confession.

You all know things I don’t. Feel free to correct me where I’m wrong. I plan on sharing this time of growth with you all. It’s nearly virgin territory for me – and I know you all have been in this place already for years – this place where my footsteps are fresh.

Thank you for reading me.

Thank you for helping me grow.

In God’s Love.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 10, 2011 at 4:57 am

and I know you all have been in this place already for years — yeah right. We are also learning. I, too, find it hard at times to stop giving advice. But my regular prayer is “help me to see as You see and hear as You hear. And give me wisdom as to when to speak and when to listen.” I believe He answers that. Sure, I stuff up and speak when I shouldn’t, or stay silent when God tells me to speak. But our Lord is gracious.

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Craig January 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

I thank you for the kind words Michelle. And although this isn’t a contest I’m happy to win – I have so much to learn about connecting – and thus love – that…

I win:)

Sorry:)

God Bless

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Debbie January 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

So happy you are connecting, that there is something new going on in it . . .A God thing. :) He is going to give you more and more love stories to share with this, more glory to Him. I love it when God grows us. Sometimes its painful as something else in me needs to die, but it’s so so much better to grow and push through and away from that old dirt. 😉 And He encourages us in it too, that we CAN grow and CAN change with Him! Love it! God bless you and all the connections that you make . . .that make your connection to Him even stronger. He has asked me to deepen relationships this year. Not sure how to in some of them, but this post helps me soooo much! Thank you!

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Craig January 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Deb – that’s something for me to learn. Thank you. Is it then, that all the connections that we make . . .make our connection to Him even stronger? That’s a new wisdom for me.Wow, how little I really know about this. God Bless. I’ve prayed for your connections, hard and easy – and for discernment.

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Debbie January 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Well, I may not know what I’m talking about! ha! Was just thinking that in all our connections, we need Him and so more connections means needing Him more and more, thus growing our connection to Him, making it stronger. what do you think? Am I just stretching things too far? ha!

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Craig January 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I think you’re brilliant.

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Elizabeth Laryn January 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Listening and hearing — really hearing–and responding is such a gift. I struggle with this a lot. As a mom, always wanting to give my advice. As a teacher, always wanting to teach. But I have found, like you, that listening and hearing with an open heart opens doors in the relationships that remain closed if I just give my two-cents. I needed this reminder today, as classes begin and my son spends his last few days at home before returning to college.
Blessings,
Elizabeth

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Craig January 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Elizabeth. So it isn’t just men? Moms want to rush in and give advice too? Still there is little on earth that can replace the feeling of a loving mom holding, rocking, running fingers through hair. Loving moms are magical. Thank you for being here Elizabeth. Thank you for making me feel not so alone in this. God Bless.

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Shell January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Such a beautiful post.

Our pastor challenged us all to love LOUD this year. It’s been something I’ve really been thinking about.

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Craig January 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Thank you Shell. Lots. Really.

Love is everything. Loving loud – I like your pastor.

God bless you and all your hairless bears :)

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Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home January 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Glad you are finding yourself growing. It is good to grow.

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Joyce L Gibson January 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I’vve been out of it for a few days, needing to learn (again) in a new way that HE is enough, and when I am held closely by HIS enough-ness I have love to express as He would. Blessings, grandson. God is giving you so much and you, in turn, are giving us so much!

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Anonymuss January 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Connecting to those who are most difficult to even be with-one of my challenges. I like the anecdotes you shared-the examples of connecting. Those were very touching. Thank you-I need to be better at this, too.

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susan January 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Thank you for sharing these changes-even for those who have been multi-dimensional in their love, they forget the subtleties, that in your new-ness you make so clear & real. Re-learning & re-newing & re-viewing — these are all good things. I never really focused on connecting-i just knew if I wanted to be truly heard, I had to truly listen first,from as early as I can remember. And when people feel like they’ve never been heard, drawing them out is work. And that takes love. I like the intersections; the circles; the ovals in your graphic. It shows the difficulty; the precision; the sheer simplicity–if we look long enough. If we hear enough. If we love enough. Thanks for sharing your “growing pains”-we all have them, we all need them to remember the lessons. -s-

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Craig January 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Thank you for the insight Susan. I’m beginning to get what comes so naturally for so many. There is a reason for this difficulty connecting. I wasn’t going to share it – but I may tomorrow.

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Dawn January 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Craig,

I see you’re connecting. This is fabulous. While you are out there venturing to connect, I forge ahead choosing to live in the now. Every so often I realize I’m wanting to skip the present and get to something I think is better up ahead. When that happens, I stop, reboot and continue…in the now. Good things are coming of it. The end of your list of 100 things about yourself speaks about the now. I was encouraged by your list, by this site where you talk about connecting and by the brother site with the deep theology. I LOVE the ancient theologians. Keep it coming. I was sorry the puppy was down the hall in your list. I am not a cat person. I’m glad God put you in charge of cats!!!!!

Dawn

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Craig January 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Dawn, the connecting will continue too – and I’m really pleased to see that “now” is as well. I need to be more “now” too. Because yes, the future needs planning, becomes it becomes the present. Learning from the past is important because it affects the future and now, but the “now” is the big thing. God Bless – I’m with you on your journey – and I’m glad God put you in charge of the dogs!!!!!!

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