Last week I posted this post on my struggle to pursue in the face of rejection, and I noted that I am unlovable. I heard from several of you through email and text, telling me how lovable I, in fact, am! Oh, how my heart sings! I am very grateful for women who love me well.
But make no mistake—I am definitely unlovable. If you love me, you overlook much to do so. You overlook my pride and sarcasm, my condescending tone and self-focus. You overlook my awkwardness and thoughtlessness. You choose, every day, to love me despite myself. You choose to focus on things you like about me, forgiving the ugly in me. And am I ever glad.
Please let me explain why it’s important for me to talk about this—if I do not recognize how unlovable I am, I will never be effective at loving others. If I think I am lovable and deserve the love of others, I will expect others to be lovable and work to earn my love.
Love is a gift. It is not earned, like trust. It is something that only the giver has control over.
If you are married, you know that every day you wake up and decide whether you will love your spouse or not. And you are likely keenly aware that your spouse makes the same decision.
Nothing about me attracted God’s attention. He didn’t notice me one day and think, Wow, look at her—she’s so witty and clever and fun and amazing; I think I’ll love her! If he did, the ugly sides of me would change his mind very quickly. Instead he decided, for reasons known only to him!, that he would love me. He loves me well regardless of how I am behaving, regardless of how I am failing or succeeding, and regardless of what I’ve accomplished. He also loves me regardless of how well I love him.
So when I pursue someone, I understand that while I might be impressed with many things, I will encounter their ugliness and it will inevitably hurt me. And I have to be okay with that.
If you are in a personal relationship with me, I have offended you, let you down, and disappointed you. And yet you forgive me and move toward me despite myself. That takes vulnerability and humility and courage, and boy am I ever grateful for it in you!
All that to say, I am unlovable and I’m okay with that. You’re unlovable, too, but it won’t stop me from reaching my hand out for yours. Thanks, friends.