Desire is such a powerful thing. Even the word conjures up various emotions.
Yet, for me, God has recently revealed an agreement I made with my younger self many years ago about this thing called love and the desire it brings.
I haven’t been able to see it before and even now, this revelation is tender, fragile and delicate to hold. I am still processing it in heart, mind, and spirit. Though, I know it’s true.
The question of how love was brought to me has surfaced a new reality, that for me, love means obligation – and with that, the desire love offers brings a system of requirements that often lead to disappointment and dejection.
Perhaps the divorce and distance of my parents helped shape this early on, as there was always an obligation to help comfort others, calm tensions, and to try and keep the peace at all costs.
The exhausting work and feeling that I had to be the “man” of the house at such a young age, while feeling so inadequate and incapable to do so was depleting to my soul, and hardening to my heart, though I didn’t know it.
With it, I made an agreement to not allow myself to desire, or need others too deeply, for the fear of failing them, myself, or never having what I truly hoped for.
The desire for love without an all-consuming obligation was never fully known, or understood until God revealed it to me. For He loves freely and His love frees.
The world’s love taught me that love comes with spurts of pleasure, entangled with subtle agendas, obligations, strings, and multiple disappointments.
As such, my young heart began to harden and become cynical and suspicious to love and desire. It retarded my ability to receive, or even recognize authentic desire created by genuine love, much less how to give it.
To me, love meant you had to do certain things, and you were obligated in numerous ways to display it, sustain it, prove it, and support it, as well as stabilize and satisfy others with it.
Although Jesus’ love sacrifices and is offered to us, it is not done so that He can be made to feel better about Himself, or because He needs something from us to help soothe and help Him cope with life.
No, God’s love is free from all that. He gives because He wants for us, He cares for us, and like a bird encaged, He wants to free us – and He knows this freedom – this life of abundance, can only come through our healing and being made holy. Something, only He can do.
So deeply wounded, confused, and distraught, I turned to things, some good things God offers, like work, sex, food, and affirmations, as substitutes for the one true God. I pursued His gifts over Him.
As such, I constructed thick walls around my heart. Believing I could never fully satisfy the obligations others placed upon me, or those I placed upon myself. If I tried, I could potentially fail. So, let’s kill that desire off before it can hurt me, and let me reject the need for meaningful relationships before I can let them down, or vice verse.
So much work, so much effort – so I agreed to not desire the need to know love, receive love, and/or welcome deep relationships because of the potential rejection, disappoint, and failure it may bring. It was all concluded silently in my heart to be too much of a burden and risk to carry.
It’s sorrowful to think about how long I did this, and how much damage I caused because I withheld love, and mistakingly abused others with my distorted interpretation of love. My wounded heart was both the prostitute and the pimp at the same time.
Only now, can I begin to see why I am hesitant to trust, guarded with others, reluctant to receive relationships, and hardened to allow myself to desire.
Today, I pray, invite, and welcome God’s healing – to make me whole and holy, and to allow me to love myself and others, as He loves. To allow myself to fully desire full force as He desires, and to help me learn to live free in the abundance of His love and care.
I am grateful for the pain of seeing my heart as it was and for God giving my heart allowance to be tender once more.
Though my healing seems slow at times to me, I know like the fruits on a vine, God’s goodness is sweet, and in perfect time.