Have you ever just wanted to be loved so badly it feels like your heart is going to burst?

Whether it is love from a spouse, parent, friend, relative, co-worker, supervisor or even just an acquaintance, it seems like we just want people to love us. Why is that? Is it the “people pleaser” in us? Or maybe it’s our fear of rejection? Some people run from love concluding all they need is themselves. You know: “I gotta look out for number one (me) or no one else will”. Even these people secretly desire love. They are just protecting themselves from being hurt by love. How do I know that? Because I have been on both ends of the spectrum; looking for love, sometimes in all of the wrong places.

As a kid I tried to buy love with my friends. I would take all of my allowance and spend it on gifts for my friends. Generosity? Yes, but in hindsight, I was also trying to replace a love void. I had loving parents, but the stress of divorce, financial pressures, guilt about screwing their kids up because of the divorce and their own pursuit of happiness (nothing wrong with that) often left made it difficult for them to express their love for me. Perhaps you can relate? But guess what? It wasn’t their fault. They were doing the best they could amidst their circumstances. And I don’t blame them! They are good people, trying to do the right thing like most parents these days. Life’s circumstances and their own love void is what perpetuated the love void cycle we see so much today in peoples’ lives and in our culture. Plus, even though they were my parents, it was never intended for them to fulfill my love void (more on that in the conclusion of this post). Ok parents, you can release a sigh of relief here.

Today, it seems like people will do anything for love…you know like “twerk” on national TV.  Some people even kill for love (we see this in all of the school shootings). We see more subtle signs of searching for love in our daily behavior like checking our social media to see if people are interacting with us or maybe we get hurt when we reach out to someone and they don’t respond. Then there is the quest of searching for love in our relationships, especially spousal-like relationships. So often we are looking for someone to complete us, or fulfill our love void.

Even though being loved by others is part of our innate desires as humans, when the expectation of love void fulfillment by another person is too great, it’s inevitable that the other person will disappoint you. Why? Because other people were never really meant to fill your love void.

So why is this wonderful thing called love we are all in search of so hard to fulfill yet so vital to our happiness?

Because we were all created out of love so that we would desire love. I know there is a lot of controversy about creationism vs. evolutionism these days, but I put my trust in experiencism (yes, I made that word up). Our whole life is made up of experiences that shape us and when you experience something so powerful and life transforming, then your belief in that very thing that changed you is undeniable. This post is getting a bit long so I will try to wrap it up quickly without losing the meat and heart of why I started this post in the first place.

As a successful career woman with money, power, authority and independence, I thought I had it all. But I was chasing down love in my dating relationships and in my own ability to prove to the world that I was worth something.  Just to be clear, I am for success so that’s not the point here. The point is that I was running after love that I couldn’t catch because love was never meant to be caught in things like success and relationships. I remember some sad lonely days amidst my incredible success where I was so lonely I would just weep in hopes that my love void would be filled by the amount of tears I shed.  I remember feeling so hopeless, and wondering if this deep, deep hole in my heart would ever be filled? What could possibly fill such a bottomless hole in my heart?

And then my wondering came to an end when I experienced (here’s where experiencism comes from), a love I had never known. It was a love that triaged my bottomless heart and started to fill it up until my heart was full. My heart became so full that the love in my heart began to overflow. So much so that I didn’t have enough heart to contain it so I started to give it away freely to others and share the goodness of that love. None of this was the result of my labor for love. It was a gift of love that all I had to do was receive it and then let the love transform me from the inside out. This love healed my broken heart, healed my searching for love in others and things (like extreme partying), it healed my marriage, it healed my low self- esteem, it healed my financial challenges, it healed my sick and tired body, it healed my broken relationships and ultimately it healed my life. It picked me up, dusted me off and put me back on the road to success and kicking tail in life. But this time I was full with a compassionate heart, not an empty with a broken heart.

Where did I find such a love?

I found it in the only place I wasn’t looking. I found it in the one person who gave up everything for me so I could have everything. I found it in the one person who loved me more than I could love Him back. I found it in the one person who said He would love me no matter what, period. I found that love in Jesus. I am not talking about the Jesus that is portrayed these days as judging our lives. I am talking about the Jesus who came down from his blissful life in Heaven, suffered through the misery of persecution to remove all of our misery once and for all…just so that our love void would be fulfilled forever. I am talking about a Jesus who loves us so much that when He died on the cross, His heart literally burst. The same burst that you and I feel when we just want to be loved. Medical scientists actually studied what it looks like when a heart bursts. They found when a heart bursts there is a watery like fluid that is present with the blood.  When the Romans pierced Jesus’ heart with a spear to make sure that He was dead, blood AND water came out His heart because Jesus died of a broken heart for you so you never have to have a broken heart again. He loves you more than you can imagine and He will never stop loving you, no matter what you say or do.

If you want that kind of love, just ask Jesus for it. He is ready to give it to you, no strings attached. I promise!