Love Doesn't Hurt
I was raised to believe that love is supposed to hurt. That if it didn't yell, didn't discipline, didn't punish or correct, then it wasn't really love. If it didn't manipulate or mock or verbally abuse then it wasn't real. I was taught to see love as only just this sacrificial aspect of life that could only give me lessons and not anything else.
The examples in my life concerning love were sporadic and quite traumatizing. In foster care, love was getting up the nerve to connect and settle and let my guard down to receive, but instead being abused and shown that I wasn't wanted. I wasn't cared for or desired for who I am. Not being chosen was the love that I was given. For me, love was without much hope. It didn't heal. It didn't grow anything. It was a duty. It was a responsibility that kept failing, kept falling. I didn't belong in this world. I didn't belong to anyone.
Love was most certainly revealing, but it was definitely not present.
It took me becoming an adult and healing from what I was raised on in order for me to come to the conclusion that love wasn't supposed to hurt. It wasn't supposed to be painful and wounding and abusive. It took me understanding who God is to know what He isn't. To understanding how He feels about about me to knowing what He'd do in the name of love for me.
Eventually, I found a way to see love as gentle, and soft, and understanding. I believe that God had to put the warmth back into love in order for me to receive it. He had to show me that there can be people who give love so genuinely that I didn't have to expect them to hold out their hands, too. Love wasn't a transaction like hearing the clatter of coins on a counter after a purchase was made. It wasn't a cookie jar that once empty it needed refilling. They showed me that love can just be all on its own. It is, after-all, not just a part of God but who He is entirely and everything that makes us US stems directly from that never-dry fountain of love that He gives freely.
God is love and it took me understanding that He'd never hurt me in order for me to reach out and grasp the concept like a loose feather...Love doesn't hurt.
patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
( 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)