Have you heard the song lyric “Looking for love in all the wrong places?” It’s a country song from 1980, and it could be the theme song for my childhood. I was born into a large family as the youngest of 11. My parents were pioneers of dysfunction, and I grew up in a pretty chaotic environment involving alcohol and abuse. Needless to say, I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Still, it was God’s love that rescued and protected me from the dangers of repeating the patterns in which I was raised. God placed a desire in me, which is in all of us, to love and be loved. When I didn’t receive the love I was looking for at home, I set about the world looking for it.
The first place I looked for love was in the approval of others. I thought, “If I get good grades and never miss a day of school, I will be praised by my teachers.” This began a lifelong habit of people pleasing. Seeking the approval of others is not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly can be when it becomes all you live for. As I grew into my teenage years, I began to seek the approval of boys. I hoped that if I was just pretty enough, thin enough, or _________ (fill in the blank) enough, I would find the love I had been waiting for my whole life. Not only that, I would have someone to love, a desire that was in me yet unable to be expressed. Shortly after high school at the young age of 19, I was married and subsequently divorced a short time later. When that didn’t work out, I went looking for love in another place.
The next place I went looking for love was in my work. From the first job I ever had at a restaurant, I worked as if my life depended on it. I joined the Army at 20, and this is where I developed the habit of working way too much. I became a workaholic. My hard work and dedication to duty got me many accolades from colleagues to senior leaders. My identity got fully wrapped up in my profession, and I am sad to say it took me over a decade to realize that I loved the Army more than it loved me. Along the way, I was still seeking love from men.
This is where the story gets good, friends. I thought I had arrived when I met a young man, and we began to plan our future together. It was an exciting time. He was moving to another duty station, and I would follow on shortly after we got married. We ran into a bit of bump in the road when I became pregnant. This bump turned out to be too much for him to handle, and while I was pregnant, he decided to move on without us and left me to raise our son on my own. I was devastated.
I know what you are thinking. How can this be the good part?
Well, let me tell you. In my brokenness, I dropped to my knees and looked up. I cried out to God in my rejection. This crucible event led me straight into the arms of God. While this man had ripped my heart out and left it beating in his hands, God took it from him and put it back into my chest better than it was before. At 23 years old, with a one-month-old baby boy, I was baptized and began a life surrendered to the One True Love, Jesus Christ. I have had the distinct pleasure of living a Spirit-led life and learning to love God for over two decades.
In God’s grace alone through faith alone, I stand before you today as a happily married wife of 15 years with two amazing sons (25 and 13). For someone who thought she would never love and trust one man, God has given me three men who I love and trust. Isn’t it just like God to give us immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine? Ephesians 3:20 in the NIV version of the Bible, God says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Turns out that being loved by God and loving Him was the “place” I was looking for my whole life. Maybe you have looked for love your whole life or know someone who is currently looking for this great love. As Lauren Daigle named her latest album, “Look Up Child.” Surrender to God’s great love and live an ‘immeasurably more’ life. It is the only true way of getting healthy and whole so you can love others.
Lisa is a faith-filled and fun-loving wife, mom, admin guru, and RWI currently doing life in Alexandria, VA. You will find her on Instagram: @inhimwellness.
Thank you for reading along on the Revelation Wellness Blog this week as we draw near to the end of #heirtothecrown. You can still purchase the beautiful “Heir to the Crown” devotional here!
Workout with us in this #wednesdayworkout! For more workouts like this, partner with Revelation Wellness for at least $10/month and receive RevWellTV!
COURTNEY’S CHOREOGRAPHY MASHUP – “ENJOY THE PROCESS”
This workout will flip-flop you back and forth between cardio and resistance training. This workout will certainly keep your body guessing. Muscle confusion? No big deal. God is never confused about us. Get comfortable being uncomfortable in this workout.
(ALL LEVELS) (MATTHEW 7:13-14; DRUMSTICKS & AND WEIGHTS)