A Risk Worth Taking 

I am truly enjoying Dr. Merry Lin this week. She is so down to Earth & holds so much wisdom. I feel like I could speak to her for hours. Maybe she could ‘fix’ me too!

Today’s topic is one we could go on forever about – healthy relationships. Most of our lives do revolve around relationships, don’t they? Quite often, it’s because of the people in our lives that are the reason we find purpose in living. I love how Dr. Merry reminds us that, as humans, we are wired for connection – it is our deepest need. If we didn’t need relationship, God would have left Adam on his own! In fact, it’s written in His own words:

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18

That’s where woman came in to save the day – as we often do. (I’m ignoring the fact that Eve was also the first to sin…or was she? Another blog for another day…)

As Melinda mentions, it is a risk for us to be in relationship. Sometimes the risk seems hardly worth considering, and other times it is a giant barricade we have to decide if we want to climb over or not. These barricades get formed after we have experienced the pain relationships so often can cause. Why? Because being in relationship with humans is being in relationship with another imperfect, often selfish, person who will disappoint you.

Many of us, when we get hurt, construct the wall. We don’t realize that this wall actually changes us. Once one wall is up, it’s easier to construct more alongside it, eventually hardening our hearts completely. I get it – truly I do. But the reality is that while it may seem ‘safer’ to prevent others from getting close enough to hurt us, we are also preventing them from getting close enough to love us. This results in loneliness that can easily become greater than the initial pain we experienced.

For me, in relationships of any kind, I desire to know I am helping someone. I desire to know that I can make life better or easier for you. That gives me great pleasure. What that translates to in action is service. In the past, this was taken advantage of significantly and I was betrayed. I wondered myself how I could love again after being so wounded.

As I entered into a new romantic relationship, I found myself in an internal battle when it came to serving the other party. My natural response was to serve, but then I’d have fear rise up and start questioning, ‘Am I serving too much? What if I am being taken advantage of again?’

I remember one day in my kitchen, I took this up with the Lord. I asked, ‘God, how am I supposed to know who to love & how much to serve & if I should at all?’

His response to me was very clear: ‘Baby girl, you love this way because I’ve made you to love this way. There is nothing wrong about the way you love. There is wisdom in guarding your heart, but I have called you to love and serve others. So love freely and use wisdom. If you are taken advantage of, that is the other person’s issue, not yours.’

And from there I felt released. Yes, I want to use wisdom in who to give my time & energy away to, but God has called me to love freely as He has loved us freely.

In a conversation with a friend of mine regarding if we can trust others, she said, ‘The thing is, we’re all human. They will mess up, you will mess up…but you’ve proven you are stronger than that and you’ll survive.’

I have decided that I would rather risk the pain of loving and being hurt, than risk the loneliness of a hardened heart that was made to love. The wisdom piece of this, is that I look for those people who I know, when they make mistakes that cause pain {the same way I will because I, too, am imperfect}, they will own it & humble themselves to acknowledge their failure. That (reconciliation) is worth far more to me than the impossible promise of no pain.

Sidenote: This is definitely something I find myself needing to work on constantly too. It is not easy admitting your own wrongs – but I can promise that there is freedom in it.