As a child, I’ve been a big fan of romantic films. Seeing how the characters in each movie felt happy once they realized they’re in love made me want to fall in love as well. I thought falling in love is to feel butterflies in my stomach and smile at myself once I think about a person. But growing up, I realized that love is much more than that. Love does not end once the characters finally have their happily ever after, nor when the credits start to roll. If there is something that will never change nor will end, it is love.
Love is more than a feeling, but a daily decision one has to make. We do not love just to make ourselves happy, but to completely commit our wholeness to the people we are loving. And yes, people. We are called not just to love romantically but to love each and everyone we encounter. We are to love whomever God sent us to love – whenever and wherever.
This has been true in my life. Every day is another day to decide to love the people around me, especially in this pandemic. Because when the pandemic started, I have created a safe space for myself where no one could possibly enter, except for me. I have focused on taking care of myself, not noticing how I started neglecting the people God has called me to love. I realized, then, this is not how God designed me to be. I am made for love and to love. This is where I started choosing to love.
As I chose to love, it opened doors to different emotions and challenges that would test how much I can hold on to love. The people I used to neglect have paved their way to my heart and have opened up my safe space. It was breaking to open up at first, but love made me whole. I understood how fulfilling it is to offer oneself and still be His instrument even when I am hurting too. It led me to be there for the people around me — my members, friends, and family — embracing and supporting them when they needed me the most. Loving caused me to go beyond my capabilities and exceeded my expectations of myself.
All of these is because choosing love is choosing Christ, who is the Love Himself. He, who created us out of love, has been pouring out so much love to us that it overflows and must be poured out to others as well. We are called to be vessels of love, a kind of love that does not end in happily ever after’s but continuously flows even in troublesome times.
It is indeed surprising how a four-letter word has so much power yet brings so much responsibility. It fills us and breaks us at the same time. But still, we do it because we are designed in love by the Love Himself. We are made out of love, so we are to pour love into the world.
In all things, may God be praised.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a
Gilora Rabago is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.