Love's a Lover AND a Fighter
I'm repurposing this blog from 2014, with a few added revisions and thoughts. It fits me most Valentine's Days because the fight of life doesn't take a break even for a day beautifully dedicated to chocolate consumption. (I'm a dark chocolate junkie in case anyone is itching to send me some.) If your day is more about warring than loving, know you are loved even when you are called into war.
X's and O's
"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance."
1 Corinthians 13:7
Love, I've wondered, may be made out of mohair.
It's warm, fuzzy, cute, and when you're wearing it, everyone around you and everything you touch is sprinkled with a little piece. Strands of mohair also stick to your lip gloss and love might do that, too.
That's the cutesy side to love. The flowers and candy and such. The fat, diapered baby with arrows. The rom-coms and date nights. And there's not a bloody thing wrong with any of it.
So it's cheesy. So what?
Revel in it, my friends. Enjoy the ridiculousness. Life has lots of serious moments so never discount the lighthearted ones.
The soft stuff, however, isn't what I'm thinking about today. Today of ALL days I'm thinking about fighting. Real left hook/right hook kind of fighting. No holds barred style. The kind that hurts and usually draws blood.
In other words, today I'm thinking about love.
This song by Switchfoot found me months ago on a day too heavy to live underneath. A day I was driving myself to the hospital, yet again, to get more bad news, yet again, and all I could think about was how I didn't have any fight left in me.
I was tapped out.
At that moment, I'm not sure I loved anything enough to throw a punch for it. Not even my own life. It was a day after a long siege of days where pain and struggle and uncertainty were the only things on my horizon or scheduled for tomorrow.
I drove, but I drove without hope. And that's when this song came on.
Down but not out
Life at that moment wasn't worth the fight. Neither was my future, my dreams, my faith, or my hopes, which had faded like draperies in east-facing windows. But I had no options but to keep moving forward because, in life, there's no such thing as reverse.
So I drove. And I listened to this song.
This is what the Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman said once about the thoughts behind the song:
"From time to time we all come to those difficult moments of struggle when life becomes a fight. Maybe we are depressed and can't seem to find a way out. Or maybe we're dealing with the loss of someone we love. And maybe in that existential moment we begin to wonder what we're living for, what we're aiming for, what we're struggling for."
Love, he explained, is the only thing worth fighting for.
Take it to the mat
In the middle of nothingness, when I'd lost all purpose and heart to take one more hit or go one more round, God was showing up to tell me if all I had was Him, then He, alone, was worth the fight.
Not the life I had wanted but didn't have. Not the plans I had designed but couldn't complete. Just God. Just love. That's all I needed. If He was the only thing left about my life, then it was still worth fighting for. And He would be its Savior.
During recovery, this song became my anthem. I played it A LOT. Still do. And on days when all I can do is put one foot in front of the other, I still put on my headphones, turn on this song, and put one foot in front of the other.
If this finds you in that kind of a moment, or that kind of a month, year, or decade, then all I have is one piece of advice:
Love, all by itself, is worth fighting for. Even in the moments you don't feel it or see it. Even if you think all you have is the hope of love.
Don't give up, my friends. Don't grow cold or hardened or detached from the hope that things can and will improve, that God will answer you one way - one day - or another. Whatever in your life has died, you have a Savior who specializes in resurrection.
Happy Valentine's Day.