A story of Unrequited love.
I liked her. Honestly, I wanted to love her. But, she rejected the possibility that such love could be her reality. Dismissing it like it was only a fantasy or made for TV. She was bright and brilliant. Sassy and passionate. Sexy and silly. She was all of those things, and now, finally, unapologetically. Though, that wasn’t always how she viewed her essence and beauty. Finally, she sees.
But, back then, she’d been convinced to shrink, so men in her life could shine more brilliantly than she. And she allowed it, at the expense of denying her Christ given glory and individuality. But with time, she allowed herself to be more dynamic, giving herself permission to embrace her complexity. Finally, appreciating her flaws and fragility in vulnerable places, and honoring restoration in her foible spaces.
And all the more, as she bloomed in front of me, my heart longed to love her completely. It really did. But, the things she’d heard about who she “should be” made her resist. And The work of unpacking the weight, the hurt and heart toll of condescending opinions about her girth, left her scarred and waning in her sense of worth.
But, thankfully she purposed in her heart to see herself through her Creator’s eyes. Reading the double love commandment, in Matthew 22, changed her life. She was awakened to the truth that she’d been dimming her light. And that such an act didn’t honor Christ and was literally squelching her spirit and life and that that’s the antithesis of why Christ died, rose ascended and sits on the right.
Slowly her heart began to believe that Christ desired to give to her generously. Gifts like love, power, and a sound mind + a sweet reprieve from the lies and ideas to which she had so long cleaved and aligned.
And after giving herself some gentleness, mercy, kindness and grace, she’d finally begun forgiving herself for the mistakes she’d made. Some still hurt her, until this very day. Some hurts she wasn’t sure would go away. But, even with those uncertainties, and the difficulty getting to that place, reaching the place of peace and forgiveness, was well worth the journey she’d had to take.
Laying aside every weight was truly liberty. And Along that path, she learned to love herself more ferociously. And consequently, on that on path, she’d given herself permission to be loved by me.
The story of this unrequited love, the love that evaded me so elusively, this unrequited love of which I speak was with me.
It’s been hard embracing what’s broken and healed along with the unknowns and unrevealed in me, because it’s contrary to the perfect porcelain doll I’d learned to be. It was antithetical to what I’d come to believe made me valuable, worthy, seen or desired intimately. Nobody ever said it blatantly, but it was evidenced in the men who wanted me only secretly, or the shame some people wanted to give to me when I wouldn’t conform to the mold prescribed for me. Or in the insistences for my silence for the sake of someone else’s brand security or the pressure to “perform” in order to protect a public illusion of perfection or propriety.
Those times hurt. They were the worst. But, unearthing them and shaking off the dirt were what revealed, the truest me, “her”.
The woman I was afraid to fall in love with, because she didn’t fit. Especially not in the box I was told to cram in.
And although it is taking work, and this work hurts, I am reminded that GOD isn’t afraid of a little dirt. Actually, out of it HE crafted his greatest work. And this emerging me, she was fashioned and refined with the deepest love in mind. So, who am I to disagree with the DIVINE’s intention and purpose for His design.
So, In time, she’ll trust her heart in the hands of a man who sees her through the same kind of eyes and thinks of her with that same kind of Christ like mind.
But, in the meantime, or if that desire is never realized, she has found that her identity, worth and value is not outwardly defined. Not in her clothes or in her size. Or what she can or cannot buy. Whether she has caught some man’s eye or whether her business has dotted every “t” or crossed every i.
Her value was crafted outside of time and no small ideas or finite minds can confine the vast beauty and purpose for which she was designed.
And THAT realization… is peace personified.