I recently finished a short, ambiguous novel called Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous (yes, the author remained anonymous!). This was, unfortunately, yet another memoir-type account of obsessive, unhealthy love. The idea that “romance” is equated to something toxic and innately selfish was a definite motif throughout. To love someone is to trap them in emotional chains. To be each other’s emotional life-source. To not be able to breathe without them.
For some reason, that romantic, supposedly beautiful love sounds suffocating. Where is the freedom in that?
“Love will fight for you, but it will not fight you. Love doesn’t manipulate you with fear and intimidation and control. And it doesn’t back you into a corner so you have nowhere else to go because love, it doesn’t trap you. Love frees you because it honors your freedom.”—Lacey Sturm
As Lacey Sturm says in her beautiful Ted Talk: love is free. I look at how Christ loves me, and I see and feel a love that is immensely startling and liberating. It’s a love that makes me want to dance on the edge of the earth and scream with all of my lung power because I am alive and free. It’s a love that celebrates my worth and allows me to take risks. It’s a love that will never get bored or run dry.
Whether we are single or in a relationship this season, we must remember that love is rooted in freedom because that is the kind of love that Christ lavishes on us. He absolutely loves it when we express our individuality with abandon and aren’t afraid to unashamedly be ourselves.
I constantly have to remind myself to claim my belovedness. I do not ever need to change myself for a guy to like me. I never need to lose weight, change my hobbies, or act differently just to please someone else and appear “dateable.” In this flowery, fuzzy teddybear month of February, let the cheap cards and chocolate be a small reminder that you have a love living and burning within you that does not thrive on plastic kisses. You have a love that frees, a love that liberates and causes your heart to riot.
Single, consecrated, wife, mother, girlfriend, fiancee, daughter, sister, friend—we are powerful, we are loved, and we are free to dance to our own colorful songs with the composer Himself. Do not settle for a love that restricts or discourages or dulls. You are significant and have a sacred, necessary purpose in this world, and this purpose is not to obsess over your body or succumb to the desires of another person. We are meant for far more holy, far more extraordinary and profound callings.
So breathe, and rest in the freedom of knowing you are worthy, able, and treasured.
Jesus, I want to fall in love with You. I want to feel life in my bones. I want to see and feel every color You created and I want Your passionate Spirit to fill my heart. I want to fall in love with You because I’ve seen You die for me, and I know this is a painful love, but so utterly real and perfect. No man shows greater love than You. I give you my heart. Teach me to love You, love others, and love myself.
Written by Cassidy K.