When I was in high school, I fell in love. I, especially, loved the idea of being in love and even more exciting was the idea that someone would/could love me. Therefore, as much as a teenager could love, I loved that much. Honestly, I was self-centered, insecure, and wanting another teenage boy to fill a hole in my heart that wasn’t meant for him to fill. It was too much to ask and left me spiraling in confusion and hurt during those tumultuous years. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to love well in your adolescence; actually, I’ve seen it done amazingly… I just wasn’t at a place where I could do that wholeheartedly because I didn’t have a whole heart.
I would say that I truly truly fell in love between the ages of 21-22. It was a slow dance that started off with a weekly date and gradually wanting more and more time with Him. I was in a vulnerable place of recognizing that I was looking for people to fill the hole in my heart. I desired relationship, but I was seeking it in the wrong places. Through previous heart break, disappointment, and self doubt, I found myself wanting an anchor and truth like no other.
Remembering that time of going to church by myself, buying my first Bible at Target, and going to my first Bible Study is a time I cling on to. In Revelation 2:4, Jesus says this to the church on Ephesus:
“But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning.”
This was a church who was working very hard, but they forgot something: His love, that feeling, how to show love, and how to receive it. They were all work and no heart. How easy is it for us to forget our first love…to forget the dance of getting to know the Lord, to live in the constant discovery of Him, and wonder what will be next.
The beauty of falling in love with Christ is that He gives us our true identities, our grace in the hard times, and purpose in the unknown. When this is our first love, we are able to love in magnificent ways; not from a place of scarcity or insecurity. It comes from a life that is given to us from the inside.
Revelation 2:5 continues to say, “So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first. “
Some of the best advice Steve and I ever got was to be sure to put our marriage before our kids, spend time together, and continue to date one another. Whenever we go out, just the two of us, there is always that element of doing what we did when we were dating… even if I’m sweatpants. There’s still an element of, “We’re in this together.”
I think returning to our first love in Christ is much the same way. What did you do when you first fell in love with Him? I love the idea of returning to that place.
I feel so blessed because I get to experience kids falling in love with Christ right alongside them. I see kids who are excited about the mystery of not totally understanding what His Word says and discovering how He feels about them. I have this incredible privilege of saying, “Yes, and see this. Look what He says here. Isn’t that awesome?” His love is so big and so overflowing with life that it’s more than we can imagine.
I am the person who gets introduce kids to their first love, and THAT is pretty awesome.