I can remember when I first heard the song, “I wanna know what love is.” I’m sure I said to myself what so many others have said, “Me too!” Finding love in this world has become such a daunting task. Or maybe it isn’t. After all, we have television shows like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette who find love in a few episodes. Only in America can we endorse a man having his pick of multiple women while all of them doing everything to gain his heart. What kind of love is that?
From a little girl, I dreamed of finding my prince. I knew that he would whisk me away to some perfect place and we would have our 3.2 perfect children. I would be a hot at-home mom and he would love me forever. Like many of us who dream this it never happened that way. In fact, most of my life, I have been unlucky at love. Sure, I have found men to fall in love with me. Each of them always wanted marriage soon after dating so I was luck there. I was and am the marrying kind. But, I was never truly happy. I always lived in the fear of the relationship failing. After each failed marriage, I knew then what I had known when I walked down the aisle;I shouldn’t be doing this. The Christian girl in me always wanted to do the right thing. I didn’t want to have sex outside of marriage. I wanted to be able to say I did the right thing. No one ever taught me how to love. I didn’t have examples growing up. I just fell willy nilly into relationships. My mom was a product of an accident she was told regarding her birth. Her mother was young when she had her so she was raised by her maternal grandmother. Her grandmother was uneducated and the fund of her knowledge was picking cotton. There was very little in the development of families during that time in south. Just trying to survive daily on the plantation was all that many could do. My mom, like her mom, got pregnant early. My dad, married and raised my mom is what he would say. They too, were children and didn’t know much about love. So it was a cycle that was perpetuated. When my older sister was born my father did what many black men did during the era, the got married. Our society teaches us that many men didn’t own up to their responsibilities back then. I don’t firmly believe this. Many men during this time, did get married. Although my parent and my parent’s parents didn’t have a Dr. Phil or an Oprah to tell them how to love they went on instincts and I guess somehow that was passed down to me. I knew how to be responsible. If I had sex, that meant get married. However, I lack the social skills, ingenuity, spirituality, and emotional capability to make any of those relationships work. I had a form of godliness, but no true God.
I found myself in my current marriage, desiring love. I knew my husband loved me. I knew that if he had his way we would be together forever, but I wanted him to LOVE ME!!!! The difference between love me and LOVE ME I hadn’t a clue. The sad part to that statement is that I truly had no idea what that meant. I remember having a conversation with my husband and him asking me ,”how can I not love you.” He asked, What is it that I am doing that makes you think that I don’t love you? All I could say is that I know that you love me, but I need you to love me. It doesn’t make sense, right? It doesn’t make sense, but it was what I meant. For days I kept asking myself what do I want. I tried to make lists of things he could do, but nothing I wrote every amounted to him LOVING ME. You see, I didn’t want him to kiss me more, or wine and dine me, although those things were nice. I didn’t want a new car or a big fancier house. All I knew is I wanted something from him and he wasn’t giving it to me. I started to become bitter. How could he not know what I needed? Why couldn’t he just fix me? After, all I got him where he is. Being all happy and stuff. Why couldn’t he make me just as happy as he was? My days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. I wasn’t happy and I wanted out!
One day as I contemplated the Mr. new guy who would give me exactly what I was looking for, I tried to imagine what he would be doing differently. I couldn’t conjure up one image of what that love looked like. I slowly beginning to realize that the problem might be me. It was sobering. I had blamed my husband for my unhappiness. I wanted him to save me, but I could never tell him what the danger was. I had all these expectations, yet no real visuals for the expectation. Even if my husband had met my needs, I would have never recognized it. I had pushed love away many times because I stood asking, I wanna know what love is. It’s like standing in the ocean and saying I wish I had water. Love was all around me yet I couldn’t see it. The best way that I can explain this is if you have ever lived by an airport or a railroad track, in time your mind has filtered the noise and you no longer hear it. It is only when a visitor comes that hears the plane or the train and reminds you. Love can be that way sometimes. You’ve had it near you, but you’ve filtered it as noise and it becomes a part of your world. So in time, you lose the beauty of it. You secretly long for it because you think you either lost it or it is gone. This is why many marriages fail. No one has taught them to move to dry land and look back at the water. Love has to be experienced at some point from a distance to behold the beauty of it and appreciate its value. To be in awe of something you have to behold it. Standing knee deep in water, you will never appreciate it. But, once on dry land, the enormity and the vastness of the water is clearly seen. I found love again on dry land.
My dry land came in the form of a deep separation of almost all things. I unplugged from life. Except for the necessary, I did nothing. I got in touch with God. I didn’t intentionally start with God. I’m much too stubborn for that. I started with all the remedies I had to fix it and when I saw that didn’t work, then I tried God. I’m just being honest. I learned that I would have never known what love was no matter how hard I searched. If he was rich, cute and intelligent, godly and rich(I know I said it twice), I still wasn’t going to be happy. The love I longed for is that one that never fails. No man or no human could have ever filled what my spirit and heart needed. It was designed to be filled only by the presence of God. The love I found in God taught me to accept the love of my husband in all of its completeness. I no longer dictate the way that my husband loves me. It’s his love and it’s not my business to tell his love what to do. Whew, that was a big step. I had to trust in his love for God that would empower him to give me all the love that I needed. We often ask God for things and I wonder do we really think that God is going to give it us when we ask. I asked God for a man that loves me, yet I didn’t believe. I was waiting on a feeling. I was waiting on the extraordinary. I was waiting for the fairy tale. I will let you in on a secret you probably already know; fairy tales aren’t real. I learned this the hard way. If you wanna know what love is, Genesis to Revelation is the greatest love story ever told.