09 July 2013

"Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him." -Augustine of Hippo

Twenty two is an interesting stage of life. The future is a vast unknown landscape, which is terribly intriguing and horrifying. Unfortunately, around my neck of the woods, at age twenty two, people are mostly looking for one thing, and that is to get married. 

I'll be honest, there is nothing that terrifies me more than marriage. After giving someone everything you have, after promising eternity and all that, after having it not be good enough, that is scary. The thought of it happening again is debilitating, actually. Oh, hey! Remember that one time we were sealed for time and all eternity? Yeah, that was cool! Thanks for the good time! 

The other night my friend and I were talking. She said something that struck me, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. 

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has felt the exact pain and rejection I feel, and have felt. He has felt broken trust, broken promises, broken marriages. Not only has He felt the exact rejection I have, but He has felt the rejection of every failed marriage and broken temple covenant in all of time. He has felt every rejection of all of mankind. He was rejected by all of mankind. He was rejected by Judas, his dearest friend. He was rejected by people who not only didn't believe His words, but who spit at Him, and despised Him, and hated Him for His words. He was rejected and He was crucified. He has felt every kind of betrayal, every kind of rejected love, in all forms. And not once did it stop Him or will it ever stop Him from loving everyone fully, and completely, and unconditionally.

Christ could have been plagued by the rejection, like I have been. He could have been terrified to feel that pain again, but He continued on loving just the same. No hesitations. No reservations. He has given His heart to all of mankind. He has given His heart to each of us. He has given His heart to anyone who is willing to take it.

As easy as it would be to cower away from love and marriage and relationships and people for the rest of my life, (and trust me that's been my plan), my ultimate goal in this life is to become closer to Christ, and more like Christ, and if I turn away from love - in any form - which is quite literally the epitome of what our Savior is, that would literally be walking away from everything He has shown me, and shown to all of mankind.

"Love is not worth the name if you keep one foot in and one foot out," as Elder Holland would say. I believe that applies to all aspects of our lives. Friendships, relationships, marriages. It's all scary, but it's supposed to be. Otherwise there would be no need for faith, and there would be no need for Christ's perfect example. 

As much as I deny it, and as much as I fight it, I believe in marriage. I believe marriage is eternal. I believe in the holiness and sanctity of marriage. And why? Because I believe in my Father and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Nothing could ever stop Christ from loving fully and completely. If anyone ever had an excuse to be too terrified to love, it would be our Savior. The rejection and betrayal and pain He felt has no end. We cannot fathom any part of it. And without His love, we would be nothing.

He that loveth not 
knoweth not God; 
for God is love. 
1 John 4:8

He that dwelleth 
in love dwelleth 
in God, and God 
in him. 
1 John 4:16

There is no fear 
in love; but 
perfect love 
casteth out fear. 
1 John 4:18

My Savior has given me a reason to love.
My Savior defines love.
My Savior represents love.
My Savior is love.
My Savior has given me His love.
And in return, I will love as He did.
For Christ's way never faileth.