To say 2018 was a year of monumental change might be an understatement, or maybe not even applicable to some of us at all. And for some of us, 2018 was the year we were challenged to question our understanding of love.
A dear friend of mine who also entered a relationship this year confided that people were asking her how she felt now that she is in a relationship in comparison to when she was single. Many people have the perception that once they are in a relationship, everything becomes more beautiful, more purposeful, shinier. But alas, it is a misconception and this should not be the goal of our pursuit in the first place. The truth is this: being single does not make you less of a person, and being in a relationship does not up your worth as a person.
But being in a relationship, especially in one that the both of you are working towards the same pursuit, is an experience of what it’s like to be loved and to love in return. As kids and as teens, and even adults, it is easy to get carried away with what we see on the media to define what love is: dates, fights, and make ups.
Being able to love and to be loved in return brings about a whole new level of understanding of God’s heart for us. Experiencing this whole new level of love allows a glimpse into the love of God and how He chooses to pursue us every single day. The gift of a relationship is not to define our value, but it helps direct us towards Him, who gives us value and whom we invest our identity in.
Love does not necessarily arrive in a monumental haze of emotions in that one swooping moment. Love can arrive from out of nowhere, from the most unexpected of places and from the most unexpected of people. Inviting another person into your life makes you question the baggage you were okay living with when you were on your own: the toxic habits, the self-deprecating mindsets, the unforgiveness, the experiences of our lives from years ago that we still allow the power to haunt us.
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to wait for that person to come to tell you all that. Even in our singleness we were and are able to invest into our own dreams, build our relationships with people, learn to love, and work on our own glaring faults. And what you invest into during the days of your singlehood is what you will bring into your relationship, and this is something we should embrace wholeheartedly.
But as a bonus addition, having that person who is always on your team, or even on your case sometimes when you are not allowing yourself to be at the very best of your ability, is a gift that words cannot truly explain. Accountability in itself is gift. It’s one of the strongest gifts that a relationship can give. Love makes you see yourself through the eyes of another person and realise how you were able to sweep so many things under the carpet that has built up over the years to a point that you had to stop caring — because if you did, you would have to address everything you’ve allowed to slide over the years.
Love does not necessarily halt you in other aspects of your life, and love does not bring a contentment that makes every aspect of your life stop running. In fact, you are still able to invest in your own vision, but the difference is this: in the midst of our own struggles and strengths, there is a person who you want to grow and mature with, and who also wants to love and share life with you.
I call my partner my team, because he has truly been a blessing. In every attempt to show I was not enough or that I wrecked everything I touched, he did not brush away what I’ve felt or what I’ve said. Instead, he chooses daily to express how he cares, and how he wants to walk with me while I actively choose to conquer the things that have plagued me. I have been on his case just as much as he has been on mine on the way we view ourselves, our reminders to each other to pursue the many dreams and goals of our lives, and walking alongside each other in our journey of faith.
No, love is not the answer to the great question of why we exist. But the way we choose to love, and the love you choose to give, is able to change the way we see this world.
Love will change you. Speak this into existence and let it.
But never forget what God has put in your heart during your days of waiting. You are loved beyond measure, and you have love to give regardless of the stage or status of your life.