He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1:53)
I had such a wonderful time at the LA Congress this past weekend. Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop or stopped by the book signing table. Please continue to send feedback, questions, and comments. I’d love to hear from you!
I heard a story this weekend, and I suspect this story is not uncommon. Someone approached me after the “How I Stopped Dating and Started Living” workshop and described how she grew up in a difficult and broken family. Without much stability, her single years have become a constant search to fill the void and find a love that her family could never provide. But instead of real and lasting love, she feels lured into the hook-up culture, with its fleeting passion and false sense of satisfaction. She asked me, “Is true love even possible, and how do I begin to find it?”
We all want to be loved – whether we desire physical or emotional closeness with another, a person with whom we can share our joy and sorrow, or being at peace with ourselves in the presence of another. These are all good things! And it is good that we seek them with the right intention.
The reality though, especially in our sex-crazed culture, is that selfish love fails to satisfy. We cannot demand that another person love us or complete us or fill the void for us. We objectify the other person if we force them to be “everything” for us or if we insist that they be someone they are not.
Finding true love first begins by knowing that we are loved. We love because God loves us first. (1 John 4:19) God loves us as we are – whether we are in a relationship or not, whether we are ready to embrace God’s love or not. We do not have to be perfect to seek God’s love.
God’s love fills our emptiness, brings us healing, teaches us forgiveness, and shows us what true love for another looks like. True love is modeled after God’s own heart – selfless, forgiving, caring, and accepting of the other. We begin to know God’s love when we surround ourselves with a supportive faith community, spend time in prayer, celebrate the sacraments, enjoy the company of good friends, and treat ourselves with kindness.
Psalm 34:10 reminds us that “those who seek the LORD lack nothing.” (Psalm 34:10) It is a challenge to know and believe that God will provide all that we need. When we seek God’s love first and allow God to fill the “void” – only then are we ready to embrace another person, allow them to accept us for who we are, and experience true love.