I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.—Alfred Lord Tennyson
If you love, it’s guaranteed that you will also have loss. All things, including relationships, pass away. So is loving worth the grief we suffer? God thought so. So much so, that he was willing to come in the form of a baby, be hunted, persecuted and died and was raised, all to demonstrate his love for us. It is that kind of suffering life that changed my destructive pattern and opened my eyes to the love of Christ and therefore his love for all mankind.
I had already begun this post when the following happened:
Daniel: Mom, can I ask you a question? . . . Oh, never mind.
Me: Daniel, please go ahead, it’s okay.
Daniel: Is all this bad stuff we are going through even worth it? I mean, what’s the point?
Me: Do you mean, what was the point of loving Jonathan if we were only going to lose him?
Daniel: Yah, and Sonya too (our dog is in the last stages of dying.)
Me: All I can tell you is my own experience. I spent the first part of my life trying to avoid pain and it never worked. I didn’t know how to give or receive love. But Jonathan changed everything for me. Suddenly my eyes were open to God’s love, and though there was still pain, I didn’t try to avoid it. Actually I grew stronger and loved deeper because of it. So yes, I definitely believe that loving Jonathan or Sonya was worth more than the heartache we are experiencing now.
Daniel: You wouldn’t be standing here talking to me right now if you hadn’t made that choice.
Me: Exactly. Think of it this way. You’ve asked me how is it possible to love you when you are unkind to me. It’s because God loved me that way.
My experience is enough to convince me that no matter how deep the sorrow, opening my heart all the wider is worth it.
Suffering doesn’t equal punishment, it equals perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that we are complete, not lacking anything. Life is not happenstance; it is a beautiful woven design. I just kept looking at the backside with all the ugly knots. It is in keeping our distance from God that we are most deeply wounded, not in drawing close to Him!
I loved Jonathan and losing him hurts worse than any torture you could put me through on this earth, but I agree with the poet whole heartedly. My life is better for loving God, and therefore opening my heart to my children, and mankind.