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What if LOVE is All That Matters?

[Originally published October 4, 2014]

I pulled out the strange and soft purple chair from the folding table and sat down amongst a sea of people I had never met.

As I scanned my surroundings, my eyes landed on a young couple seated next to me and within seconds a beautiful friendship began. Over the next year and a half we would create dozens of inside jokes together, laugh until our sides were racked with pain, and become a weird and awesome family.

They were my people. And then in one day, they were gone.

My phone calls and text messages were never returned. I wrote a long Facebook message that no one replied to. No discussion, just an abrupt and painful end. A door slammed and the dead bolt thrown securely in place.

I’m not innocent in it at all. In fact, I blame myself more than anyone, as I do in most situations. Yet all these years later, I still feel the lingering side of effects of people who have left my life without saying goodbye, who in an instant decide their life is better without me.

LOVE

 

I can think of at least a dozen times I have lived out this story, going back to my own Dad. My heart is so burdened with this pain I’ve realized I don’t trust words from anyone. Again and again I’ve listened to acquaintances say they want to be a part of my life and never show up or claim to want to invest and mentor me but never follow through. And the ones that do tend to move far away.

My heart is so burdened with this pain that I’ve realized I don’t trust words from anyone.

The truth is the more you love someone the greater the devastation you’ll feel when they’re gone. Yet, I believe God calls us to let people in even when there are no guarantees. You can choose to live your life keeping everyone at arms length or you can recklessly love people as God loves us. The Big Man knows full well you could turn your back on Him in an instant, yet his love endures forever. That’s the type of love we’re called to, a selfless love that trusts in the unknown.

You can choose to live your life keeping everyone at arms length or you can recklessly love people as God loves us.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”-John 13:34-35

 

I hope with all my heart that you will be bold enough to spend every day on this planet loving and serving people from the depths of your soul. When you meet someone new, offer to help them move and help them paint. Bring them a meal and share your story.

Be honest and present with them. Laugh until your sides hurt.

Sure, if it ends it’ll hurt like umping without a nutcup, but after awhile, after you get some perspective, you’ll realize just how beautiful it can be to love and forgive people for exactly who they are. And when you get to the end of your life and you ask yourself, “did I love enough?” I hope you think back to all the laughter and the tears and smile knowing you did.

The truth is our lives are not measured in wealth or accomplishments, they’re measured in love.

That’s why we’re here and that’s all that really matters.

Love,

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About Sam

in love with all things Jesus, music, adventure, writing, teaching, laughter, running, friendship. Founder of recklesslyalive.com.

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14 comments

  1. Awesome blog! I’m sorry for your losses, but your attitude is spot on! We need to keep reaching out and taking those risks. I do hope you can slowly learn to trust people…and most of all trust God!

    • Thank you so much! God has been showing me how important it is but that doesn’t make it any easier. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. Good words friend. I have been in this same situation and it hurts beyond belief. May we both lean so hard into our Father that we are able to open up and be vulnerable once more. May we be people who love fiercely knowing full well it might lead to more hurt and pain but also knowing that it is the same thing Jesus does for us.

    Lord, help us on this journey. Heal us. Restore us. And make us lovers of your children.

  3. Wow, So much wisdom here. Thankfully we love and serve the One who will NEVER leave or forsake. The One who counts our tears. I’ve been crying over a past rejection today. Thank you for sharing your heart and lifting mine. We are not alone on this journey, even on those days when it feels that way. Many blessings.

  4. I was best friends w a person since the 9th grade. Even after high school we kept in touch. Then bam, just like that she was gone. I can relate to this post so much. I wanna keep love arms way to protect myself from hurt. Yet that’s not God love. Thanks for this reminder. At the end if it all, its love that really matters!

  5. Sam, in just a few of your words my own scars have been unearthed. I have felt that devastation. Truth? I know more who have than haven’t. It hurts so painfully deep. But you know what- loving wholeheartedly has also brought joy to my soul to the same depths (if not deeper). You cannot have great love if you do not risk great pain. This, this will stay with me forever: “The truth is our lives are not measured in wealth or accomplishments, they’re measured in love. That’s why we’re here and that’s all that really matters.”
    Your vulnerability here is priceless and these seeds you’ve sown – He is faithful to tender!
    Thank you!

    • What a beautiful quote! Thank you so much for sharing it. Does your “loving wholeheartedly” come from Brene Brown by chance? She uses that language in her book “Daring Greatly,” and that book changed my life. Thank you so much for the encouragement and wise words!

  6. so hard to keep trusting and loving and investing in relationships but hopefully the good times outnumber the hurts in the end. Love should be all that really matters. We’re called to love everyone – even when they don’t love us back – but that’s oh so hard! Sorry for your experience and adding one more hurt, but praying for healing and courage to try again.

  7. Sam, thanks for such an awesome blog post. It’s crazy how great a void is left when people leave without closure. It’s something that I believe only the Holy Spirit has shape to fill. Rejection was Jesus’ specialty, he felt it to the very core, there can be no doubt He understands that pain. So grateful that when we weep He weeps with us, and when we love, He loves through us. How fascinating is it to know He enables us to do both endure the rejection and love without restraint! So wonderful.

  8. I totally know the feeling of loving people with all you have and then boom! they’re gone. No reason at all, they are just gone. Their season in my life is over.

    Thank you for pointing out that we must love even though we may get hurt in the process.

  9. It’s hard to love at times because it is ‘inconvenient’ but that’s when we need to push through and do it anyways. Glad I found a new bloggy friend. 🙂

  10. Indeed! The sad thing is that people find it hard to accept this because they’re like ‘aliens’ to what really matters. I quote Michael Jackson, “I love animals because all they really want from you is love. Too bad that’s even too much to ask for from some people.”