Losing My First Love & Other Black Hearted Discussions!
When I write, it is often out of desperation, to right the spinning in my head, settle my thoughts, & bring them around to God. I so often want to be an encourager, but when I put pen to parchment it is usually out of a deep need to spill out my shortcomings. There are times, when space allows, that my joy will overflow onto the page. I am grateful for those times. But, more often than not, when I sit down to blog it is from an aching need to be filled up by Him. In order to be filled I must spill out the dirt of my heart. So, with that said, I need to let go of some things…
I don’t have it all together. In fact, I am a deep and utter mess at times. I am self-serving in my actions. I have lost my first love.
Bro. Jesse talked about this very thing this past Wednesday night in our study of Revelation. The church at Ephesus was doing many great things. They were in the trenches of their community. They were serving the people of the community. They were zealous, patient, & ever willing to do for Christ. But, they had lost their first love…
“To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Revelation 2: 1-7
I always thought losing your first love was something you just had to fight to recapture, but it is sin. It is sinful to do things without the deep reverent love of Christ flowing in our veins…
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthinians13: 1-3
As I have shared in other posts when I came to Christ it was like an arranged marriage. I knew He loved me, & because of the deep & abiding love He had for me I agreed to the marriage. But, I cannot say that I loved Him. I was deeply thankful for the price He paid for me & I knew I owed Him all I had, but the mystery of loving an infinite God was a bit lost on me. I didn’t know if I was even capable. But, through the years, Christ has wooed me into a loving sacred romance with Him. He has always proven true when others have left my side. He has protected, encouraged, sustained, & loved me. In turn, the beautiful mystery that comes from loving the Invisible God came like a wave that washes over me still.
To be loved by Christ is a great & wondrous gift. It is beyond the grasp of human love. It does not leave you feeling empty or abandoned. Even when, like a harlot, I have abandoned & ran from that love, it is ever reaching. He pursues me with jealous fervor & rescues me from my own folly. It is a broken spirit that wonders in the wilderness, cursing God, & seeking his own crust of happiness. Thank the Beloved who leaves a trail of crumbs that guide us back to His banquet table.
I had a beautiful afternoon with one of my dearest & closest friends. She & I have always, for lack of a better word, had this spiritual connection. We may talk of pleasantries & day to day momentary things, but we quickly pull back the veil to the divine…dining on a sumptuous feast of memories from our homeland. She settles my spirit & God often uses her to speak directly to me.
I am selfish. I do things for others so I will get praise. I am always seeking affirmation of a job well done. It is this desperate need of acceptance & not from a deep root of love that I do for others.
She had shared with me her heart struggles. That in the past when I would have come over she would have fretted over making the house look wonderful, getting the dishes & house cleaned, making sure she cooked a meal that would hopefully bring praise for her to my lips. She would sacrifice the care of her son to make herself look good. But, she said, that God had brought her so far. When I said I was coming over she knew I would have to go into work. She wanted to fix something that would nourish my body & settle my restless spirit. She did it out of love and compassion for me – no other ulterior motive.
I had been wrestling with the same thing. I was to train another dear friend of mine that evening & I wasn’t concerned for her in the least. I feared I wouldn’t train her well enough, not because of my love for her, but of fear I would look bad. I wanted to train her the best way I could for my benefit not hers. My beautiful friend who had me over for lunch gently encouraged & corrected me, “Melissa, teach her from the love you have for her. Teach her because you want to see her best!”
My hands shake with the typing of this. It is hard to expose a black heart. But, there it is, the whole of it. It turned out, due to traffic, I was thirty minutes late to work. Being late unsettles me quicker than anything. Satan knew that. But, God knew that without the tender love & mercy He showed me from a compassionate & loving friend I would be completely undone by these unfortunate events.
I don’t know if my attempts to train were any better than before that moment. I felt lost in the wilderness. But, I trust Christ used those ramblings of a crazy white southern woman to meet the need of my friend that night. Because, I do love her & I not only want her to succeed, but thrive.
We fight against ourselves & God. We make our hearts bloody, black, & blue. We lose our hearts desire to bleed with compassion for others. And, we often don’t even realize we have lost our first love! We do not even realize we are sinning. We become angry with God for not giving us our way. We struggle with making ourselves look clean and presentable in front of the flock. When in truth, we are all stupid sheep! Without a Master we would follow one another right off a cliff.
I will never fully understand Christ’s love for us. It is beyond human understanding.
I am desperate to recapture my first love! For love, beyond human ability & understanding, shows us the face of God!!!