When I write about love, it’s a complicated thing.

I’m not talking about a crush, or a fleeting friendship or obsession… I’m talking about love. Whether romantic love or friendship love or family love. Just love.

It’s hard. It’s beautiful. It’s messy. It’s darn complicated. It’s so so good. It can take you to towers of happiness or holes of sadness. Often it does both.

Falling in love… what is that even? ‘Falling’ is accurate… one day you’re walking along, and then you’re suddenly moving faster and you’re not sure why, and then you accelerate and accelerate without even trying until all of a sudden you realize you’re falling, falling toward something that reaches out to catch you, but all the same you’re afraid that you’ll miss it. How do you even know you’re falling in love? How do you know you’re not just falling? Or that you’re even moving at all? What I think–you don’t. You don’t know. You don’t know until you’ve been caught and everything is okay and the world is right and the sun is brighter than you’ve ever seen it. So when you’re falling, tumbling through the air with a dropping feeling in your stomach that’s equal parts excitement and fear, you just have to shut your eyes tight and hope that a certain someone will be there to catch you. Falling into love would be a better phrase. Yes, that’s it. Falling into love.

So much of love is trust. Trust in yourself. Trust in the person waiting to catch you. Trust in Jesus. No matter the situation, this is true. But the more complicated it is, the more this is true. The more trust is needed, in greater measure and fiercer strength. A simultaneous holding onto someone tighter than you ever have held anything before and also an uncurling of the fingers, an opening of the fists, palms flat and open, saying I trust that this good thing won’t run away from me. A trust that this whole crazy thing is going to work out, somehow, someway.

Yet an even crazier realization–you can hurt someone through love, even mutual love, sometimes especially through mutual love. When there’s something between you, love can push you harder and harder into that wall until you feel the hard diamond cold impressed on your skin and aching deep within your bones. Yet I’d much rather be hurt by love than not have it, the belonging and home and warmth and reassurance and hope and just pure joy¬†it brings. And any wall can be moved. Any wall. No matter how freaking tall or wide or hard or dark it is… as long as you can still feel the person on the other side, you can break through or climb over or tunnel under. Don’t stop believing that, even for a second. Never ever ever. Because that’s what makes us human, that what makes life worth living–that will to fight for love and keep on loving no matter the cost. That’s what love truly is–determination to belong with someone no matter what, just because they are them and you are you. What a simple, blazing strong, most wonderful thing. What a thing to call mine, home, a flame in my heart to keep me burning all my days.

Jesus, give me the wisdom to love the right way. Jesus, give me the bravery to follow hard after the truth. Jesus, give me strength even when it hurts. Jesus, help me trust that you’re the God of miracles.