Hey Brother, We’re All Learning to Love Again

Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog, and I feel overwhelmingly grateful for the joy this blog has brought me. Thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting me both in my writing and in my life. The past year has been chock full of growth and change, but I can honestly say it’s been the best year of my life.

Telling you why I named my blog what I did has been one of the many things that just never quite happened this year, so in honor of my blog anniversary, I’m going to write about my name choice.

My blog name, Learning To Love Again, is inspired by a Mat Kearney song with the same title.

Ever since I saw Mat Kearney in concert two summers ago I’ve been a big fan of his music. I especially appreciate how his lyrics get under my skin. They make me think about God, and love, and life. When I first heard this song, it didn’t strike me as anything special, but as I listened to it again, I was hit with the realization that humans, in our fallen state, are learning to love again.

I don’t know about you, but for me, loving is hard.

First, it is hard to love God. I can’t physically see Him, hear Him, or touch Him, which can make Him feel so abstract. I know He is very much a part of my life, but some days I forget He’s even there. While I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves me, sometimes (oftentimes) it is hard to love Him in return.

It is also hard to love others. They make decisions that hurt me, and do things that are not in my best interest. I know I am called to love them, but that can be so hard to do.

Finally, it is hard to love myself. Although being selfish comes naturally enough, I really struggle to value myself just the way I am. Instead of being confident and selfless, I am selfish and insecure.

And yet, even though love is difficult, we are learning to love again. When humans sinned, they broke their ability to love, but when Jesus died, He set in motion the restoration of all things, including our ability to love. While this restoration is by no means complete, we’re making progress everyday, and someday, all things will be made right.

So I named this blog Learning To Love Again to help me remember where I’m going, and how far I’ve already come. “Hey brother, we’re all learning to love again.”

You’re My King and I’m Your Lionheart

This song has been a favorite of mine ever since I stumbled across it last fall. I love the way Of Monsters and Men sound, but their lyrics are often quite nonsensical. Take, for example, their song “Dirty Paws.”

“Jumping up and down the floor,
My head is an animal.
And once there was an animal,
It had a son that mowed the lawn.
The son was an ok guy,
They had a pet dragonfly.
The dragonfly it ran away,
But it came back with a story to say.”

Really? If anyone can make sense of these lyrics, let me know. However, the lyrics to “King and Lionheart” ring clear and true to me.

Until tonight, I had always viewed this song from the perspective of a woman singing to her lover. She’s saying, you’re a king, so you’re strong and powerful, and I’m a lionheart, so I’m bold and courageous. It’s an anthem of the idea that together, we can do anything!

Tonight, however, I heard this song differently than I ever had before. I was lying on my bedroom floor, worrying. At the moment, life is just a tad bit scary. Yesterday, I moved home from college for the summer. This means readjusting to life at home, saying goodbye to dear friends, and testing if I’ve truly internalized the myriad of lessons I learned this year. Not to mention that I’m trying to work out a summer job, and I’m a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding in six days. Oh, and did I mention that I leave for Romania and Moldova in ten days? So as I was saying, life’s just a wee bit terrifying.

As I was lying on the floor listening to this song, however, it struck me that while this song could be a girl singing to a boy, it could just as easily be me singing to God. He’s the King, and He calls me to be His lionhearted disciple.

When I see the song in that light, I find it even more encouraging.

“Howling ghosts – they reappear                                                                                           In mountains that are stacked with fear”                                                                           (King and Lionheart)                                                                                                              “In this world you will have trouble”                                                                                  (John 16:33)                                                                                                                        “But you’re a king and I’m a lionheart.”                                                                            (King and Lionheart)                                                                                                           “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”                                                                  (John 16:33)

This world is scary, but God is bigger than my fears. That’s the “He’s the King” part of the song. It’s a message I can never hear enough, and fortunately, I do hear this message often. A message I don’t hear often enough though is the lionheart part of the song. I am bigger than my fears! So I can move forward in courage, knowing not only whose I am, but who I am. I am a lionheart!

551e8f2319e4ae4827b275df9afda887