Updated: Nov 21
For me, love was always the prize you won after you gave someone something they wanted. It was a tool I even used at times to get what I wanted, too. It was every man for himself and every woman for herself. Survival of the fittest.
I learned that early on. Sometimes, when I was younger, I would go days without eating, and I would just sit around with my little brother, bored. My mom would perk up suddenly and make dinner for us. She would offer to take us to the zoo, or to the fair or somewhere fun. My brother would get excited, but I knew what it meant.
My mom had a new boyfriend.
“Just let him lie down with you for a little while”, she would say. “It’s the only way we’ll be able to keep the roof over our heads. You don’t want to be without a home do you?”
The roof stayed over our heads, but mom disappeared again. When she got back, she still wasn’t here. She was incoherent for several days before she realized that we had eaten through our stash of ramen two days prior.
And here I was, waiting for our next trip to the zoo. Our next dinner.
And I continued waiting for my trip to the “zoo” for the next fifteen years of my life. Waiting for my next kiss, and for him to say “You did good.” I waited on my next fix, and my next payday.
I was addicted to love, or at least, what I thought was love. But with every addiction, you hit your breaking point.
“Love doesn’t feel good anymore,” I thought. “Love hurts.”
And then it happened. God flipped my world upside down.
When I first met Lisa, she annoyed me. She was hanging out front of the gas station I always went into with bags of shampoo and soap.
“No one is that happy all the time,” I thought. “I don’t need your happy soap.”
And then she came back the next week with snacks. They were the good snacks. She offered me a donut and a hot coffee, and this time, I took her up on her offer.
Before I knew it, I was going back to see Lisa at the gas station every week. Some days, I would stop by to see Lisa and forget all about any goodies she was handing out. It just felt nice to see a friendly face and receive a warm hug. Other days, I didn’t feel like seeing her, but I still felt myself drawn to the gas station. I didn’t want her to see me in the clothes I was in, with my hair like it was, or the cover up rubbing off of my bruises. I would dodge her as I went in, but she found me every time. And it felt nice to be found. Again, I found myself hooked on love. But this felt like a different kind of love. Lisa didn’t want anything from me. She just wanted to know me and care for me, but I didn’t understand why.
So one day, I just asked her.
“Jada,” she said in a loving tone. “It’s the Father’s love.”
With this, I finally started to understand. It was like I had new eyes, and my heart was opening up. After several weeks of prayer, donuts, cups of coffee and warm hugs, Lisa introduced me to Her Song’s program. I felt safe, secure and empowered for the first time in my entire life.
But more importantly, I discovered the real type of love I was addicted to. It was the kind of love that we’re all addicted to, and don’t even know it. And it’s the kind of love that changes you from the inside out – changes lives.
It’s the Father’s love. And it wants nothing in return.
*This story is inspired by true events.
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