Let Love Dictate All That You Do
DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional counselor nor am I trying to give professional advice. I am simply sharing what I've learned through personal experience.
Love is a language that must be communicated beyond words and warm feelings. When you know you are loved and valuable, you can get through any trial in life.
Think of a time when you truly felt loved by a family member, friends, or even a stranger. It’s difficult, right?! If you’re like me, it is always hard to recall specific moments of when people have loved me. It could be my terrible memory, but it could be that I just didn’t realize it. Here, there are two problems. One is that I am forgetful, and the other is that I don’t realize how much love could cost someone else.
We forget that we are beloved when we have forgotten the moments when we received love, no matter how frequent or infrequent they may be. Before you know it, you might find yourself swirling into a whirlpool of doubt, insecurity, trust-issues, bitterness, seclusion, you name it. And if you get caught in this tornado of self-inflicting pain long enough, the destruction manifests into your relationships, mental health, and your view of yourself and other people. Depression kicks in and before you know it, life becomes a meaningless and hopeless void in which you could escape from or suffer through. These thoughts and feelings are like heavy chains pressing you down upon a cold, concrete floor. You’re stuck. You’ve been trying to break free. All you could use is your fleeting strength. How much longer before you run out?
I’ve been there before. If you’re there now, trust me, you’re not alone. But I think the whole point is to convince you that you are. That only you could understand your circumstances, thoughts, and feelings. There’s no one else who could possible empathize with your hopeless situation. Can I tell you that today, the chains that hold you down are those very lies? The great news is that we actually have access to someone who had already broken off the power of those lies.
I believe that the only way to break free from this depressing place is love: love received or love for something/someone. Some of the strongholds in depressive thinking are that there is no hope for joy and that life’s value amounts to nothing. It becomes a self-enclosed reality where you only allow yourself to feel terribly about nearly everything. For years, I believed this to be true. There was nothing left for me to be happy about because everything around me seemed to be an aftermath of a bomb. But before I found a permanent solution to end it all, a better solution found me. A ladder that would help me climb out of this hell-hole that I created for myself.
At some point in all of the mess, in my small, dark bathroom, with my heart wrenching inside my chest, still fighting for life, I cried out for help. GOD, save me. If you're there, I need you. I didn't know it then, but looking back now, I know that He never left me for a moment. How else can I explain the reason for my transformed life, but by this deep conviction that I had a God, the Creator, who loved me dearly, to call me His own daughter? And with the knowledge that Jesus paid the price for me to know this truth and to live by it, how could I not live fully? When this ladder, in the shape of a cross, became the spotlight of my life, everything changed. I became obsessed with knowing this cross intimately and climbing up out of the darkness. It was no longer about me.
I wish I could tell you that everything was happy and fun and sunshine from that moment on, but I still struggled with depression for another 2-3 years. Even to this day, I have depressive tendencies! But now I know, when those dark, familiar thoughts come creeping in, my actions, thoughts, motives, are starting to serve myself. It also reveals that I'm starting to forget how God loves me. It isn't just a few verses in the Bible. It's not just how I feel when the sun shines a bit brighter. It surely is not picture perfect or cute and fuzzy. It's bloody, messy, painful, and full of compassion. It is eternal and pure and long suffering. It was costly. It purchased my life so that now I can live to know this love and imitate it.
"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). A verse so simple to reveal the greatness of love, yet I will spend the rest of my days discovering the depths of Love. And the truths of love will continue to break open and heal my heart.
Take some time to commune with the One who paid the ultimate price of love for you and respond.
God I pray that you would reveal to my brothers and sisters who are aching in the darkness. Would you open their eyes to see that the shackles have been broken? Would you reveal to us that we are no longer prisoners and that prison door has flung open wide? Set this generation free from depression and suicide. Compel us to love unconditionally. Help us remember what you’ve done on the cross and that it becomes reality to us so that we can walk in freedom from our sins. AMEN.
A post similar to Stuck? by Lydia Yoon.