Day 266 & 268 – Catching up. On learning how to love.

To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever.

I’m sorry. I have not been keeping up with my blog in the past few days. I’ve journaled and written and been thinking, talking and praying. Yet I haven’t found the energy to sit down and write. It seems to be easier for me on days where I am already behind my laptop working, typing and creating. It’s just another 20 minutes to sit down and write my blog. But on days where the sun is out, the breeze is wonderful and books demand to be read, it’s harder. And in the end, we are social animals. So I invested time in spending with people that might be in my life for quite a while.

Wherever we are, it is our friends that make our world.

After all, I promised myself to be kind to myself. So instead of writing, I spend my long weekend building up friendships, spending time with myself, catching up with old friends on Skype, taking naps, yoga, reading, eating good food and cleaning. I am starting to get really comfortable in my life. In the first month, I had this feeling that life was only just about to start. That I was waiting for something. That life wasn’t enough. Not complete. And yes, even though there is still much to be explored, I’m starting to feel more and more at home.

I wrote about this before. Giving and receiving. I don’t remember when exactly. But I feel that it’s a lesson I have learned in the past couple months. Today is a Monday afternoon, I just had a lunch with a young woman I met in church. We talked about how moving to a new country is incredibly hard, yet also liberating. No one knows you. You can start all over. The baggage is there, but people don’t know about it just yet. Friendships start with just being you. Even when you feel tired, lonely and sad.

Therefore keep in the midst of life. Do not isolate yourself. Be among men and things, and among troubles, and difficulties, and obstacles.

I am at this point where I am starting to build new friendships. And I get to give. I get to cook meals, share food and joy and hugs and laughter. And I get to receive love and prayers and warmth in return. It’s been a weekend in which I really missed home. I wish I could just be back. Snuggle on the couch with a cup of coffee and some good apple pie. Home. With family. I haven’t really cried since I got here. Except for when I cut onions. Especially the red onions are the worst. Anyways, yesterday I had a little breakdown. Where I just let the tears flow. And yet it felt safe. People around me were reaching out to me. Taking care of me. Being there for me. It made me realise that I have started to form a new family and a new life. In which it’s not just about giving, but I get to receive love and warmth back. And that makes me grateful. It makes me realise how true the words in John 15 are.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

John 15:9-17

Life isn’t always easy. There is a lot of brokenness and pain and confusing questions. I don’t know what the future holds. I wish I would know sometimes. Yet in the end, I know that only one thing truly matters. And that is love. The kind that is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. I know I have written about this a lot already. But I feel like there is so much left to learn about love. I don’t even know a fraction yet of life and love and how to mix them all together in every single breath.

Last night, before I went to sleep after a really needed evening with friends, I read a book. It was a short sermon from Henry Drummond. I never heard of the guy, but apparently, he was a young Scottish evangelist, biologist, writer, and traveller. And he wrote about the greatest thing in the world. Paulo Coelho rewrote it and I just couldn’t put it down. (Check on my reading list: a book you can finish in a day.)

I couldn’t put it down, because, in the end, it may sound very cheesy, it is all just about love. Learning to love yourself. Love my tears. Love others. Love the sunshine. Love the sunflowers in my garden. Love cleaning. Love the difficulty. Love making your own choices. Love Jesus. Love life. Simply love.

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

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