Valentine’s Day Post: My Love Story (And tips for celebrating the season well!)

“I’ve come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is, and always will be, yours.” – Sense & Sensibility

Someone recently asked me what genre the movie of my life would categorize into.

While my mouth was slow to answer and ended up saying something untrue like “adventure” (pft!), my heart quickly said ROMANCE (insert one zillion heart eye emojis!)! I love a good love story.

Close your eyes for a moment and dream up the perfect cinematic love story for me. Go ahead, do it. Share the deets- do I meet my knight in shining armor in an aisle at Trader Joe’s as he picks up the bag of cauliflower rice cookies I dropped because I (once again) forgot to grab a basket? Or does he emerge from my forgotten childhood memories and ignite this unbelievably, sappy story about young love. Maybe you’re imagining the setting at church- I look down the row during worship and make eye contact with the man of my dreams. Amen, Hallelujah!

Honestly, I could dream up a thousand and one scenarios– because, ROMANCE. It’s my favorite genre. No matter how cheesy, life-shattering, sad, unrealistic or funny– my heart can always relate.

But as much as I love a good ‘sweep ya off your feet’ story, I would honestly give up the cool, tall, dark and handsome leads in my favorite movies for a quiet love that is relentless, devout and holy. (I mean, I’m praying for both- ya feel me? Cue a photo collage of Jack Pearson.)

And as fun as it is to daydream about my future, I often forget that I am living and breathing the greatest love story I’ll ever know. It’s the kind of love they don’t write about in the movies. The lead is my Creator, the Maker of Heaven and Earth and the object of His affection is ME. And His love for me is vast and deep and never disappoints….

The love of God.

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:4-5

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

When I think about this love, it shatters all of my romanticized perceptions of what earthly love should look like.

True love is so much more than just butterflies, it’s battlegrounds. Consider the battle of sin and death that Jesus endured on our behalf. Only the purest form of love would do that.

And true love has nothing to do with scattered rose petals, but it is the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice and the relentless pursuit of a broken, imperfect person.

Real love will risk rejection. And I’ve learned that no one has experienced this more than Jesus, because He is the Ultimate Initiator. He came in the flesh and said “I want to pursue a relationship with RaKia Harris”; knowing that I would reject Him and knowing there would be times that I would choose to love myself and my comfort more than I loved Him. I think this is may be the most humbling part of Jesus’ love, because I’ve seen and experienced Him come after me. HE LOVED ME WHEN I DIDN’T WANT HIM. And THAT is love– not that I loved Him, but that He loved ME.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. I John 4:9-11

Read 1 John 4:11 again. Did you catch that? God’s love doesn’t stop with us. Once I’ve received God’s love, I MUST give it. His love is complete when it is displayed through the life that Jesus died to save. When I love others well I:

– am connected to God.

– am connected to others.

– show the love of Christ to those around me.

And when I LIVE love, my heart is truly experiencing rest, peace, joy, gratitude, mercy and grace.

Sweet friend, if you find your heart longing for acceptance and love— may I remind you that you’ll only find it in Jesus.

His love not only saved you, but His love will sustain you. It is deep and real and personal. And I promise, If you will invest time in knowing Him and loving what He loves (people!)— He will arrest your heart and you will be filled and continuously captivated by His affection for you.

BONUS:

I love Valentine’s Day and plan on celebrating ALL MONTH LONG. I challenge you to STEP UP your love game during the month of February and love BIG in the next few weeks. Here are a few ways how:

– Pray for people!

– Write notes regularly and spontaneously. Snail Mail is still V COOL in my book.

– Coffee and Chipotle dates are a REAL bonding experience. (added for anyone wondering how to love me well)

– Smile! This is simple, but often times we are too wrapped up in our schedules that we forget to give the barista that we see every day a smile. It goes a long way! Jesus = Joy!

– Tend to needs. People are hurting all around us so seek to help wherever and however you can!

– Be a good listener!

– Ask a friend what their love language is and be intentional about making them feel loved!

– Give more hugs! (I’m a strong believer that hugs are medicine for the soul! It’s science!)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love ya, mean it!

P.S. Shop my dress HERE.

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