In college I lived in a fraternity surrounded by friends partying every weekend. Yet increasingly I felt lonely. I know, it sounds bizarre.
By my senior year I was five years into an on and off relationship with a long time girlfriend. I had just broken up with another also. I was a bit unsettled.
Yet, I yearned to have a deep relationship with someone. At times I despaired of ever finding that.
I realize now most of the problem was caused by focus on my own needs. Frankly, when I got bored in a relationship I simply took off.
So when I prayed that February night to ask God to come into my life there were two remarkable things happened.
I felt an incredible peace which I’ve written about before.
And I also felt an unexplainable love. I truly felt like God’s spirit had somehow come into my heart and changed me. I felt love in a way I had never known before.
I no longer despaired of love. No longer felt lonely really. I enjoyed being with others for sure but no longer needed to constantly.
And I felt a surprising sensation growing in me. I started to care about other people in a way I never could before. I cared about their feelings. I apologized to some I’d hurt and reconciled some relationships. I began caring more about not hurting others than filling up my own needs.
It was so strange.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve messed up plenty since then. I’ve hurt people way to many times. But the difference is I realize it and care enough to fix it.
I experienced what Paul says, “I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.” (Ephesians 3:17 NCV)
Jesus’ spirit lives in us as we simply have faith. And out of that we’re promised two things. We’ll grow in knowing his love. And we’ll grow in loving others. How could life be better?
Love grows from feeling loved.
When have you felt that love from God?