So, this is embarrassing. When I hear a love song on the radio? I totally pretend Jesus is singing it to me. Yep. I do. I'm probably the only woman alive who believes Jesus speaks to her through Ne-Yo. Girl, let me love you until you learn to love yourself!
Oh, it gets better. Sometimes? I totally sing secular love songs back to Jesus. This past year, there was one particular song lyric which summed up my feelings: "bring back that lovin' feelin'." This, of course, is just a catchier way of saying: "Restore to me the joy of my salvation." Can I get an amen?
Weirdly, my little game actually worked. I mean, for the past 365 days I've been pretending Jesus is singing love songs to me and all this "acting as if Jesus is IN LOVE with me" is making me feel more loving. Which is to say, Jesus doesn't love me more or less than He ever did but I am becoming more loving and tenderhearted toward others. Those who know they're loved are loving toward others.
Pouring out love regardless of whether I feel it or not reminds me of St. Therese's first disappointing days in the convent. She found the community in a sorry shape with all kinds of neurotic nuns, a strict and capricious Mother Superior and physical labor for which Therese was not accustomed. Regardless, Therese understood that her vocation of love was not about leading her to greater feelings but greater sacrifices.
As someone who is, um, overly emotional, managing my feelings is a daily challenge. I once heard Lysa TerKeurst say that "feelings are indicators, not dictators." It's important for me to sit with my uncomfortable feelings instead of acting on them. St. Therese gives me hope that even extra-emotional-Ne-Yo-loving-mama can make a pleasing offering of her extra-emotional life.
Today's Little Way Challenge:
Today I will behave lovingly even if I don't feel loving.