Over the years, I have struggled to understand myself and value who I am versus who I once was. I’ve erred on the side of caution that just because my old friends knew me as the OCD/Plannerized being, that doesn’t mean my new friends have to see me in that old and stealthy dimmed light.
However, transforming into a funny girl full of smiles and laughs hasn’t always been rainbows and sunshine. Although this is my authentic character, that doesn’t mean the process has been easy. Loving myself, and learning how to love others correctly, for instance, is something I still struggle with daily.
Because as much as I would like to tell you that I wake up every morning and apply the advice I give to others, I honestly do not. That as much as I write about Jesus and how His love is so unlike anything we will ever experience in this temporary life, I still find myself longing to understand the magnitude of this conception.
And although I profess to others that this life is beautiful, and love is not a feeling or emotion, but a state of living in God’s will, I too still struggle to make it through periods of loneliness, drought, and feeling anything but loved.
However, while going to the Pumpkin Patch with my mom, God began to reveal to me the aspects of this love in an entirely new light. As I walked across the crisply fallen leaves of fall and weaved my way in and out of the vines that entangled my every step, the number of pumpkins that surrounded my feet surprised me.
Sure, there were probably 3,000 pumpkins in that field to be picked, but at least half of that number had already been selected and were sitting beside the vine they once grew. Looking down at the pumpkins that had already been picked, I found myself resilient to pick any like that and instead chose the ones freshly attached to their source of life. My mother, on the other hand, looked at the pumpkins already picked and said, “Nothing is wrong with them, so why don’t we pick a few of those?”
Allowing her words to sink in, I was appalled at the voices in my head that said, “Why would I do that,” when I had no justification. Other than not being as fun as searching for the “perfect” pumpkin, and getting to rip it off the vine itself, this got me thinking a whole lot about love, and a whole lot less about the pumpkins I was picking.
I think sometimes in life, we approach love in the same way that we approach these pumpkins. We search high and low for the “perfect” one and avoid those picked and placed over. Though a few are unsalvageable due to rotting, many are perfectly great pumpkins; we simply are not attracted to them, find them as our ideal “choice,” or want to have the fun in the chase and search of our selection instead. And don’t we tend to do the same thing with love?
We meet hundreds of people, probably even thousands every year, but this one isn’t the right height, this one is too weird, and this one is not “the one.”
But what if we stopped looking for what we thought we wanted, and allowed God and His Will for love in our lives to rein instead? What if we stopped comparing the “brand new” pumpkin, to the one that was already picked and neatly placed on the ground beside us?
Perhaps Jesus is trying to teach me something about love through something as strange as a girl aimlessly wandering through a pumpkin patch. To reveal to me that in life, there may be three types of people and the love that they offer: