A year has passed since I prayed to know perfect love.
From the midst of deep wounds, hopelessness, still orienting to a life lived with a history. marked with shadows deeper than I ever feared for myself, I prayed.
My old self may have remembered that prayer from a year ago, looked at circumstances today, and felt like my prayers were still unanswered. The truth is, I do know a real love, a better love than any I prayed for back then.
"Do something with this. I have nothing to offer, nothing to give. I'm a mess. My life is a mess. I do not want to go through this."
The road looked long ahead of me when I wrote those prayers to God. They came from a heart that couldn't imagine what I was asking for or how God would answer.
Just a few days later the first step towards redemption, towards my journey home, were made.
I wrote on July 9th, 2016, in my journal, "God rescued me even though I didn't want rescuing."
I was still so shattered and hardened even after that initial rescue, that breaking away from an emotionally abusive relationship, and I felt so fragile as I took the first steps away from it. I prayed from an aching heart, with faith just the size of a mustard seed, that God would redeem me, that He would do something with the shattered and broken life that was now mine.
I prayed to know real love. Real trust. I prayed to be fully known. To be noticed. I prayed that the walls I had built up would come down; that I would be pursued.
"Love became ugly and dark and heavy. I want to experience the kind of love that is beautiful, sweet, sincere, pure, and full of light."
I knew a very imperfect love from a man, but instead of crushing the hope out of me, I knew deep down that God had designed us to know true love, a love very different from the one I had experienced. So I prayed for it.
And now, writing in the same journal, I can write with confidence, thankfulness, and joy.
"Truth is, I do know real love, a better love than any I prayed for back then. I know the perfect love of a Savior, Redeemer, and Father."
You and I, we have a shallow concept of love, and our Father knows that. We pray to know love, not imagining what He will do with that prayer. We think we know what real love is because we have known what real love is not, but perfect love is only known in being loved and loving our Savior.
We still pray to know that human love, but we know now that it can't satisfy the way Jesus does. It can't come close to perfect love, the perfect love we pray for.
I'm writing to you, dear broken one, to give you hope. In just a year and handful of days, God took my shattered heart and a whispered prayer to know real love, and answered far beyond what I could even hope for. Even in your own self-inflicted foolishness and sin, God still desires to rescue you, show you our real purpose. He desires to write a story from your ashes, the ones you lay on the alter with empty hands, and pronounce as nothing.
Even in your faith so small, pray to know perfect love. He'll show you what it is. He'll show you that you already have it.