The Lens of Love

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For many, love is a two-sided coin. It can strengthen or stifle, expand or enfeeble, perfect or pauperize. When love is returned, we soar. We are taken to heights unseen, where it delights, invigorates, and beautifies. When love is spurned, we feel crippled, disconsolate, and bereaved. Polish the coin and you will see only requited love on both sides. ―Colleen Houck

With any beginning comes an end, and the end of 2013 is vastly approaching. I have been told this was an incredible year. That this was my year. I’m still not quite convinced. Love, my faithful companion, took me on wild and crazy ride – some places I would like to visit again and some I would like to wash away from my memory completely.

Love at the Beach

This year was challenging, grueling, unexpected, demanding, taxing, and relentless. Yet somehow, someway, joy managed to find its way in. This year tested my strength and my resolve. It pulled me out of my comfort zone. Well, I came out kicking and screaming.

Some days I let life get the best of me.

DefeatAnd some days I danced in the rain.
Proof of JoyI carved out space in my life and my perfectly closed heart and allowed my tennis shoe smelling, untidy 18-year-old nephew move in with me. He wrecked my perfectly confined life and my room. Opening up “room” in my life may have been the hardest part of the journey 🙂

LoganI made peace with the past that I was so desperately trying to escape when I accepted the invitation to my 20 year high school reunion.

20 Year ReunionI soared to the happiest place on earth where my heart was full and overflowing, but the ride was over shortly there after.

DisneyI took risks, I embraced vulnerability and in turn, walls crumbled. I gave when I had nothing left to give. I saw hope where others saw despair. I believed when others told me to give up. I loved my friend at his darkest moment and it nearly destroyed me. I loved and I loved well.

I saw God move in mighty ways and transform lives. He heard my cries. He answered my prayers. I was privileged to see things most people can’t or won’t ever see.  I saw promise – a two-fold promise at that 🙂

rainbowToday, as I unwrap my final gift of this Christmas season, I am reminded of the most important gift I have received – God’s unconditional love. Through painfully loving others, I in turn, learned just how deep God’s love is for me. His love knows no limits. It is patient and kind. It doesn’t brag or boast, and doesn’t keep records of wrong. It is the greatest gift anyone could receive.

Looking through the lens of love, I now see that this was an absolutely incredible year. This was a year of growth and love altered my life for the better. I am now ready to close this painfully hard chapter and begin the next.

2013So cheers to 2014! May you join me and engage the whole world with a conspiracy of love 🙂

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