I'm wondering how boxers take the hits - how they never lose the perseverance, or quit. How many punches do you take, and is the fight worthy of the hits? Jesus said forgive 70 times 7 times - but doesn't that hurt?
The point of loving (anything in the world) based on my short encounter with humans and hurt, is that it's work.
It's the discipline and perseverance in some seasons that prepare your heart for the joy and renewal in others. And this doesn't mean that the fight is always filled with despair, hopelessness or full of pain; but it does mean that, sometimes, you have absolutely nothing to gain by sticking around—except, of course, love.
It's that silent moment before your breath releases; the sinister shadows that watch you at night—which in the morning turn out to be nothing more than your fondest memories (and not in fact monster-ish nighttime fears).
It isn't easy.
The point of loving anyone is found in giving, and giving to the point of breaking—and then, seeing if you can give more.
Now, I'm certainly not advocating for the continuation of abusive or unhealthy friendships or relationships, but I am saying that when The Lord is present, the devil is right there with Him—planning on how he can enslave and ensnare human beings that seek to glorify the King. "The devil prowls around like a roaring lion, waiting for something to devour." It's a cliche verse, but only because it is true—and too often.
For all of us together and each of us individually, be strong. Don't let your heart become calloused or jaded because of a weight you feel unfit to bear; because you are right—you are unfit to bear it, and the Man who told you so also stood next to you while others waited with stones; he drew a line and protected you; he said to continue taking on the challenge of loving sacrificially, just as He died (and took on every weight and lie) sacrificially; He stands, like a lion, waiting to defend. Call on Him. He will listen as gently as a lamb.
Ask for more reasons to continue loving, and less reasons to bow out.
Because I've seen way too many "prized fighters" of the Kingdom get beaten down by the enemy's trap—and what is the biggest trap? To convince you that there isn't someone who is ready to, and in fact someone who already has, fought on your behalf.
You win. Because He won.
Do not let the lies whispering in your ear win.
You are enough. You are worthy. You are meant for great things—and in fact, you will do them (whether they appear to be great or small).
There is a great thing coming. Ican feel it, taste it, anticipate. Because even when the night seems heaviest, the morning is ready to spill over.
Fight the jaded feelings. Fight the defeat. Fight for the chance to love deeply, even as you walk down the street.
And fight for yourself—because the way you will love and be loved and win, is by embracing and building up who The Lord made you; this is The Lord who wants love for you, and who prepared you for such a time as this.
Fight for yourself. Not what the weight is telling you; not what the heaviness screams—listen for the whispers of truth. Learn how to let them sink in.
And if there are people who help you be the best you you've known, they might be able to help you through too.
You are not alone. You are always His.
Fight on. Because Love already won and freed, even if you can't quite feel it yet. Fight on. Because the night feels heavy, but the morning always comes. Fight on. Because I'm here too, sweating and aching and waiting for daylight with you. Fight. We're all fighting with you.
And ultimately, (ironically) "the battle is not yours". Ultimately, the fight is actually a surrender; and the surrender is actually to Someone who is—always has been—fighting for you.
Fight to love, to be renewed, to let go; to let the great Lover restore the ways the enemy has broken down. I promise it's the hardest thing you'll ever do—facing yourself—but it's worth what's coming, I think.
Take a deep breath; let the goodness find you; let Truth and perseverance guide you. Listen. Pause.
"This seems worth it".
At least it does to me.