Remember the Days of Love Series last year? Maybe you do, and maybe you don’t, but I do. It’s one thing I look forward to all year. I love Valentine’s Day. I haven’t always, and you can read about WHY that changed here.
Because of that experience, the opportunity to celebrate and reflect on love in all its forms, to express it, is so valuable to me. Friendship love, family love, romantic love, hobby love, self-love, Divine love, stranger love, lessons in love, WHATEVER. It all is so worth celebrating. It is so NEEDED. I’ve been looking forward to February prettttty desperately for that reason. I don’t think I need to tell you that scrolling on social media lately is a quick recipe for stress, sadness, and contention. I have been craving the opportunity to read and share different thoughts on love from different wonderful people. It makes my heart lighter. I hope you come along, and I hope it makes yours lighter, too!
Day One comes from my friend Nicole! We served in the same mission, and although we never actually served together, we served many of the same places and the same people. I admire her in many ways, and there is something so unifying about fiercely loving and serving the same people, even at different times. I LOVE what she has to say. READ, people.
“My mother raised five children on her own, and she has always been my hero for that. I can’t fathom the energy, faith, and pure love that must have taken. My father, on the other hand… well, I suppose the right word for my feelings toward him other the years would be contempt. Not exactly the ideal emotion for a girl to have about her father, but what do you expect? He left when I was six years old, and his presence in my life has been spotty to say the least. In return, I’ve always spurned his weak attempts to connect over the years.
And yet, he keeps trying.
In the past year, I have seen my father make huge strides in connecting with his children. I’m not ready for that yet, but he keeps trying, and though I’m loathe to admit it, he loves us. He tries for us.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned about love this year is that humans fail. Father, sister, friend, neighbor, stranger—they all fail. But while my earthly father’s love for me may be flawed, my Heavenly Father’s love for me is far from it. It is absolutely perfect. And His children are significantly less perfect than He is, but they display love in the best way that they can. It’s in a text from a wayward father, a phone call from a friend who didn’t even know they were following a prompting. It’s in my home teachers’ willingness to help one of my friends simply because I ask. It’s in a homeless man’s reminder for me to “keep smiling.”
It’s in the memories, too; love is in the memory of my best friend’s wedding or that phone call from a former companion on one of the longest, loneliest days of my mission. And you know what? I’ve since lost contact with that companion, and I have never thanked her for that phone call. It turns out that my love, too, is imperfect. And because I am human, that is okay.
Love is love, and this year, I have learned that “little” displays of love are not little at all.”