The Things We Do For Love

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I had almost everything I wanted, yet I felt empty and confused.

I couldn’t figure out why all the relationships and accomplishments I had worked so hard to gain weren’t enough to fill me or fulfill me.

Tears streamed down my face as I thought about the guy I dated through high school and college. Our plans of a future together had crumbled under the pressure of me expecting him to be all I needed. I had been crazy about him—a little too crazy.

When I think about the crazy things I did for his love, I want to crawl under a rock. Like the day a friend mentioned that my ex-boyfriend was heading to our hometown for the weekend. We worked near each other, so I parked by his office and waited for him to leave on Friday.

We both “happened” to be at Wendy’s at the same time and bumped into each other. When I finished my order, I got in my car and followed behind him, hoping that if he saw my car he’d realize he couldn’t live without me and signal for me to pull over so we could talk. Seriously, what was I thinking? As you can probably guess, he never stopped.

I was hopeless and humiliated. Without his love I felt incomplete.

A few weeks later, while walking around my campus one afternoon, my eyes drifted to the buildings, dorms, and other landmarks of memories. Suddenly my mind filled with a collage of faces, reminding me of my efforts to win the approval of advisors, friends, and professors—hoping their affirmation could fill my emptiness.

Although I was graduating with honors, had a few job offers, and had achieved success in many ways, it wasn’t enough. I stopped walking and just stood there, taking it all in. I couldn’t help but wonder: 

Why is all that I have never enough to fill me and fulfill me?

A thought rushed through my soul, stringing together two words I had never put next to each other, and I sensed God was answering me.

Renee, all you have ever wanted is unconditional love.

Unconditional love? I didn’t know there was such a thing. Then I heard another whisper in my soul. You will never find the love you long for in anyone or anything but Me. I AM the unconditional love you are looking for.

The thought of God loving me without any conditions was inconceivable, yet something deep in my soul told me it was true.

I had been looking for love that didn’t have to be earned. Love I didn’t have to fear I could lose.  In John 4:11, we meet a woman who was looking for the same. A woman who questioned Jesus when He offered to completely satisfy her needs.

Like me, her desires were endless; the well of her soul was deep. But that day, as they talked, Jesus showed her what she was looking for and where she could find it, just like He had done with me—and just like He wants to do with you.

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In Proverbs 19:22 we read, “What a [woman] desires is unfailing love.”  That word “desire” comes from the Hebrew word ta’avah, which means to greatly long for, to deeply desire or crave. Interestingly, unfailing love is mentioned thirty-two times in the Bible, and not once is it attributed to a person. It is only attributed to God.

God gave us a need for unfailing love because He knew it would lead us back to Him. All He needs is His Spirit that draws us to Him. And as far as the depth of the well goes, it is our heart He is looking into, and we’re the only one who can stop Him from reaching the deep and hidden parts that need Him most.

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About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.