Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celebrating Love.

Yesterday, I went to visit friends of mine at, what potentially will be, my home in the near future. After spending a bit of time there, I bid my goodbyes and gave hugs to a couple of my friends that were there. One of them gave me a "side hug with a tap on the shoulder". I couldn't help but laugh & say..."what kind of a hug is that? give me a real hug?!" and ofcourse he couldn't object and gave me a "real hug".

I've been told that my hugs have the possibility to break a really frail womans back :) I know that sounds kind of morbid, but I'd rather give hugs like that than the side-tap-hug. I just recently realized that I like to give & receive hugs, especially coz it's for free :) I have also been told that I laugh - a lot. And when I laugh, its a belly laugh.

It's funny though, because if people here in America knew me 15 years ago, they would know how rare it was for me to ever hug a person or how rare it was to see me smile. I grew up not hugging my sisters, my parents, my friends. In fact, 15 years ago, I never said I love you to anyone. I was this rebellious girl who wanted to drown myself in drugs and alcohol & partying, trying any outlet I could just to numb myself of pain.

Pain of what you might ask? The pain that life offered before I met Christ. After years of being abused, left by myself to raise a son on my own, and all the other quirks that circumstances brought along the way back then, life taught me to fend for myself because I thought no one would.

That, in return, caused me to harden my heart towards everyone I knew. People were seriously scared of me. If you don't believe me, ask anyone who knew me from before. I would get fits of rage & anger (like I was incredible hulk or something). If someone said something that I didn't agree to, people would have to hide themselves & things away from me, since I had the tendency of destroying things/people/ especially myself. I was a time bomb waiting to explode.

It's amazing, now that I look back to see who I was before, how much God's love has changed me. Some might say I changed because I had to mature and grow up but I contest that thought. Statistically, people who have been abused end up being abusers themselves because they get so used to that pattern of thinking.

See, I believe in the saying "you cannot teach what you don't know". For me to be able share love, I must have experienced real love for myself. And I've never really received the fullness of love until I met my Jesus. I can tell you now, no person will ever give you extremely selfless love like Christ. And because of what He's done for me...I now live my life attempting to emulate and live out His love for myself & others. I am not perfect, but I know I'm not where I used to be.

I try to live my life everyday believing & living in love. Not the romanticized love portrayed in hollywood, but real love - by serving, encouraging, trusting, believing for the best in others, praying, forgiving (even when others don't apologize). There are days that I fail and act out in my own weakness, but more often that not, I have seen the miracle of love melt the hardness in my heart away as well as in others.

I've somehow become this "gushy" person who cries with people when they are sad and empathizes for people. I have become "that girl" who loves to give hugs, and smiles and laughs often. I've seen my life and my heart transformed in a way that I still am in shock and in awe that He was able to perform that miracle.

Miracles happen. This life can attest to that. I would literally be dead already if it didn't. (That's another story to tell). But because they do, God has given me the awesome chance to change the world by celebrating in His love daily and showing it to others as often as I can.

And that is why I love to give "real smiles and hugs" and laugh at every chance that I get. We only get one chance to live and I'm going to maximize every chance I have. I've lived the first 20 years of my life as a dead person...

...and now that I've found Life - I choose to live it to the full everyday.

"I am The Way, The Truth, The Life - John 14:6"

"Whoever does not love, does not know God for GOD IS LOVE - 1 John 4:8"

"I have come that they may have life to the full - John 10:10"