Thursday, August 16, 2012


To say that my world has been turned upside down for the past three months would be the understatement of the century. (Cue the theatrical music.) I have sat across the table with friends trying to sip coffee like I’m okay, but have looked more like a deer in the headlights wondering if “my normal” will ever exist.

Tears stream down my face in gratitude as I welcome back my normal.

I have been given an opportunity to love with strings attached and by that I mean a little man has toddled into my life and ran away with my heart and I’m not sure that I will ever get it back. I have been kicking and screaming inwardly at the instability that has come into our lives from trying to give a young child stability. The truth is our adoption story is still a huge question mark. Bottom line, I don’t know if he’s mine forever. And because of that I have allowed myself to be guarded.

Over fourteen years ago a much taller man shuffled into my life. For days I have been whispering to myself, “I didn’t fall in love with him overnight.”

It was gradual.

There were no fireworks. Our eyes didn’t lock across the crowded room with “Dream Weaver” playing in background. No philharmonic symphony serenading us as his family questioned whether I was a suitable match and my dearest friends worried that my sensitive heart wouldn’t be able to stomach someone who wasn’t known for being “sensitive”. Our two weeks of entertaining the idea of dating ended up with tears and the parting of ways. That man of mine dropped me off at my best friend’s house, at my request.

The words shared as we parted ways left me feeling like I wasn’t good enough. It was something that cut me to the core. Sometimes brutal honesty stunts the growth of potential relationships, it certainly did for me. I walked into my best friends home welcomed like an adopted daughter. They assured me of my worth and value. They made the hurt sting a little less as they poured in love while he drove off.

Just like my son, I was dropped off needy on a doorstep. Needing a family. Needing someone to wipe my tears and tell me of my worth. Love took me in, baggage and all, unguarded.

Years ago, two very different hearts trying to find the will of God found each other. We had been given the opportunity to love with strings attached. I told him to run as I explained the family baggage he would be inheriting by marrying me. I tried to run when I felt unaccepted and misunderstood. But, love doesn’t run away. It runs to you, unguarded.

Three months ago, love took a little boy in. Wearing only a diaper and a button-down shirt with his head shaved, I took him in my arms scared to death.

What if he doesn’t love me?

Can I love him as we walk through attachment issues?

Can I give myself over to loving when it could end in heartache and disappointment just like the children that I had miscarried?

I could not love him guarded. Fear had to break in me.

Once again these words came to me, “You did not fall in love with him overnight.”

It was gradual.

As all the walls came down and the fear subsided, I realized that once again…a man had stolen my heart and I will never be the same.

I could quote you scripture and verse telling you that we are supposed to guard our hearts because it’s the wellspring of life. (Prov 4:23) And when our well has been tainted with bitter water, it spills out into the rest of our lives. So often we read this text and apply it to the toxic people and disappointments in our lives. But this is not talking about guarding our hearts from “people and pain” but from ourselves.

Clarkes Commentary of the Bible say it this way, “I know that the twenty-third verse is understood as principally referring to the evils which proceed from the heart, and which must be guarded against; and the good purposes that must be formed in it, from which life takes its colouring.”

By “guarding our heart” from others we mistakenly keep love out.
I’m reminded of a God who has loved me with a jealous and unguarded love even when I didn’t deserve it. Perfect love casts out fear.

But that is what love does.

It runs to you, not away from you.

It loves unguarded.

It loves even when it hurts.

Love takes you in making you sons and daughters, no longer orphans.

You are loved fiercely with an unguarded, unending love.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear...” (1 John 4:18)

Much love to you,