Her story is below
We walked down the hallway, tired from spending the whole mid morning playing but happy. He gave me a peck on my cheeks and uttered the words, ‘I wav you’. It was unexpected – My heart missed a beat, I looked at the baby I was holding, tried to digest what I had just heard but it was still unbelievable. Maybe he meant something else, not what I was thinking…maybe it’s a toy called ‘Iwavyou’…or maybe…just maybe. I knew he loved me but never expected to hear it that soon. He was about a year old, I always told him how much I loved him but I didn’t imagine he understood it. So for clarity I responded with an ‘I love you’, he said ‘I wav you’, again! This was the sweetest and the happiest moment of my life.
So why would I make a big deal out of a seemingly simple event like this?
Growing up, the word ‘love’ was foreign to me. I can’t remember ever hearing it uttered anywhere in my home and the first time I heard it was when I went to church. I was told God loved me so much that He gave His only Son Jesus to die for me. I believed it, I gave my life to Jesus when I was rather young and I was still confused on how this thing called love worked.
Then checked in a boy in the hood who was also a school mate. He was a bit older and two classes ahead of me. His sister and I were best friends and we spent most of the time together in and out of school. So dude noticed me and I had these weird feelings towards him. I don’t remember how it happened, how he asked me to be his girlfriend but yeah, we started dating. He wrote me multiple love letters which were delivered to me by his sister, others he gave them to me. Whatever he wrote in those letters all I can remember is, it intensified the weird feeling…maybe he had rhymes. We used to walk to school together every morning and once or twice a week he could take me for evening walks, sometimes he could take me to a field where we could have a clear view of the sunset(how romantic- and where do kids get such ideas anyway). I mean this was ‘The Man’. This boy was the first human being to tell me he loved me.
Then he left me.
I was heartbroken, wounded, disappointed, hurt and a miserable little girl who did not know what to do and had no one to turn to. I became ill. He never came back and I somehow got over it. I thought it wise to wait till I was older to start dating again and that I did after high school. The experiences were more like the first one.
They left…and I gave up on all hopes of love. As the only form of love I had experienced, it had proved bad. So I built walls around me…I barricaded myself from the world. I hid myself in novels and ran away from anyone who tried coming close to me. I thought I was safe that way…but I wasn’t. I was still sad, unhappy and hurting inside. I had to face the truth and grow up…I realized, I was selfish and all I wanted was things to be done for me…to be loved and not love. That was wrong.
There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell~ C.S Lewis
I rededicated my life to Christ a few years ago. I was old enough to understand what Christianity is about. God loved me and I didn’t have to prove myself to Him in anyway to gain His favour. It was clear that I wasn’t going to experience a good relationship with anyone anywhere if I didn’t have Jesus living in me. I needed approval. I got it from my Father above, I accepted it. I started seeing life differently and I was ready to love, not just the men but everybody. Regardless. I knew some of them were going to hurt me, some of them I will hurt but I had to love people, like Christ does.
But I still doubted my ability to do that.
I met Elly at a children’s home I used to visit. We connected and I loved him completely. I knew he loved me unconditionally and if he was going to leave me( when he got adopted) I knew it wasn’t going to be because he had stopped loving me. When he told me he loved me, I was elated because I knew in my heart it was the first genuine ‘I love you’ that I heard told me by a human being- I say genuine because it was the first I believed. From my relationship with him, God taught me that it was possible to love people. I have the ability…and He reminded me that any time I run low on love, I should always run to Him for a refill. He is Love.