Astonishing Love. I want nothing less. Would you expect anything less on this day of love?
I wasn’t always keen on Valentine’s Day. In high school, I found a photo of cupid with an arrow in his back. I made photocopies and tacked the prints on a slew of lockers while, of course, wearing all black. I know. I know. I moved on from angst my Junior year to swearing I’d become a nun, my Senior year, to falling again and having high expectations (fairytale-esque to be exact) when it came to love. The problem was that I expected to find astonishing love in a person. Over time, after living life, being let down by others, and letting other’s down, myself, I realized that we are all inadequate when it comes to love.
Wherever life has brought you, however, it has surprised you…
Single. Married. It’s Complicated. Separated. In a relationship. Divorced.
There is only one who can love you the way you were created to be loved—astonishingly, extravagantly, and completely—His Name is Jesus.
We need not look outside of ourselves, if we are Christ followers, but rather within. Ephesians 3:17 NLT says that “Christ makes his home in our hearts as we trust in him. Our roots will grow down into God’s love and keep us strong.” It goes on to say, “May you experience the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19 MSG).”
Love Himself chose to make His home in our hearts. Your heart is a home, Lovely One. And, it matters not if your heart is broken or bruised, if the door is swung wide open or locked, tight like a fortress. His love is described as far-reaching and will plumb to the depths for you. So settle in, make yourself at home in Christ’s love (John 15:9 MSG) and let your roots grow deep. No matter the condition of your heart, when Love is in residence you will be made strong and find a full life—even in the emptiest of places (Isaiah 58).
I so relate to the visual of making yourself “at home” in love… as I see through the lens of home (you’ll see when you read this). Home is such a strong feeling for me. The feeling of being at home–there is nothing like it. It’s an exhale. It’s comfort. It’s safety. It’s history. It’s familiar. It’s casual. I can be 100% me. There is no pretense at home. Each home has its own unique story and feel (I call it “the soul of a home.”). I know completely what it means to settle in and make myself at home. There are only a handful of places that I’ve been where I’ve felt complete freedom to “make myself at home.” The most beautiful thing is that we’ve been given an invitation to settle in and make ourselves at home in Christ’s love. He makes his home in us and we make ourselves at home in Him. I’m learning to do this, friends and have found that making yourself at home goes far beyond brick and mortar. Through this journey, I’ve found that HOME IS NOT A PLACE; IT IS A PERSON, and that person is JESUS!
I’m learning to kick my shoes off, to put my feet up, and to make myself at home in a love that is far more comforting than my squidgy couch on a cold winter’s day.
The bonus is that the more I experience this to-good-to-be-true love, the more I’m able to take the pressure off of others—their love is a gift, but I don’t expect them to love me, the way God does, the way I was created to be loved. I now put that expectation on Christ. In fact, Jeremiah 31:3-6 MSG actually tells us to “expect love, love, and more love!”
We were made by Love to be loved, astonishingly, extravagantly, and completely. We were made to make ourselves at home in Love!
So on this day of love, whatever your relationship status…Join me…..kick your shoes off, make yourself at home and expect love, love, and more love.
PS- I’m going to give a shameless plug for my book because if this post resonates with you (if you find yourself lost, longing for home, you have lost love or your life has gone colorless) then I promise I wrote this book FOR YOU (yes, you!)! Much of the book has to do with home and belonging, hope and beginnings. Two chapters, for example, are: “The Lived-In and Living Home,” “The Soul of a Home.” You can learn more and Pre-Order HERE!