Love is so misconstrued and misinterpreted in our culture. It is equated to a warm fuzzy feeling or romance. I think love is so much more.
Staying awake all night to reassure that you are there, that everything will be alright. This can come in different seasons of life. When you have an infant, or when there is a traumatic event in life, or you or your loved one is just going through a rough time. When you or they are sick or even nearing the end. Love is staying by their side.
Wiping noses, changing diapers, feeding, cleaning, dressing them. It's not the most enjoyable part of love but, love will see you through your worst and at your most vulnerable. From the time when your infant needs you for all diaper changes and feedings and cleanings, to the time in life when you or your spouse or loved one may need help through sickness, injury, or old age. When they can't lift their head or body to help themselves. When they need you to help them get healthy or even keep them alive. That is love. It's wading through the mess. It's giving them your best, even when it's not pleasant.
It's putting your dreams, goals, and ambitions on the back burner and sometimes it's not. There are seasons when your loved one may need you physically to be there by their side and there are sometimes that they need to see you work hard for your dreams. Determining which and when can be tricky but, in the end that's what love does. Love sacrifices.
It's encouraging and equipping and sometimes letting go. Even writing that was hard. The last thing I want is to let my children leave my nest one day. The world is cruel, the world is tough. It's unforgiving and brutal but it's also beautiful and awe inspiring. My children have big goals and aspirations. Chasing after those may end in defeat or victory. It may not be safe but better to have lived and experienced than to sit on the sidelines watching. I want them to see and experience all that they can imagine. I want them to dream and inspire others. In order to do that I must give them wings and let them go.
Love is also holding on. From infancy we scream and we cry, this doesn't change. When we become teenagers we scream and push our parents to the brink. As young adults, discovering our new found freedom, we push and scream some more. And sometimes as spouses when the going gets tough, we scream and we push again. Love doesn't waiver. Love doesn't budge. Love holds on through the storm. Even though the winds may blow and the boat may rock. Even though the one we love screams and kicks, we are their constant. We are steady. Even if when they look at us they don't see us or know us, love never stops loving.
Love is sacrifice. Love is caring. Love is holding on and letting go. Love is never giving up. Love is so much more than just a feeling. Love is hard. Love is perseverance. Love never ends.