2017 When Somebody Loves You Back
Teddy Pendergrass once sang a song called “When Somebody Loves You Back.” One of the verses says:
“It’s so good lovin’ somebody
And that somebody loves you back
To be loved and be loved in return
It’s the only thing that my heart desires”
I had no idea how much I desired to be loved in return. I love hard. I commit. I give it my all. In the past, my opinion was that I was the only one fighting for “love.” I thought “love” was a lot of work to go along with a lot of heartache. But what I’ve since discovered was that it wasn’t love that was hard, it was loving without being loved in return.
Having this 2nd time around with Terry has been me experiencing love in a whole new way. A way that I had never seen up close and personal. A way that I never even knew existed. 2017 was a year of newness for me. I saw love take many different forms. I saw it play the background and be my silent strength. I saw love be nurturing and kind. I saw love be protective and responsible. I saw love deny itself. So new, so refreshing, and so very well worth the wait.
2017 has taught me some things about myself as well. I can’t just mask my feelings and retreat to my own space as a married woman. I am forced to deal with things because I can’t hide them from a man who loves me, nor do I want to. I am learning to lean on my partnership and allow myself to be healed instead of suppressing the way I feel.
2017 has been a year of kept promises for me. On so many occasions, I found myself in awe of something I was experiencing as it was the manifestation of a prayer I had made at some point in my life. 2017 has reminded me God is faithful! He really does hear our prayers and even if we give up on the possibility, all we need is the right yes to the right situation to make all things possible. 2017 has assured me that God’s promises don’t expire. 2017 has inspired me to shoot for the stars and not be afraid to reach them.
2017 has taught me that love is a powerful thing. God’s love for us is far greater than we could ever imagine or think! But just as Teddy Pendergrass’s song eludes, love is so much more powerful when it’s reciprocated by both parties. I believe God loves us and longs to be loved in return. What happens as a byproduct is greater than we could ever imagine or think.
2017 was not without challenges, but love conquered them all. The theme of our wedding was 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: (NIV):
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
I had this verse printed out and on display in my work area to remind me. I also prayed those verses over Terry daily. I prayed. “Lord, help me be patient with Terry and kind to him. I pray I am not envious and not boastful or proud” and so on. I prayed every verse. These verses lined the aisle at our wedding ceremony and they are hidden in my heart. This second time around, I want to constantly check my motives and govern my actions around love. As I work to better myself in 2018 and become the woman who God has called me to be, I keep in mind that my current self and better self are both wife to a wonderful man who loves me. I pray that my actions always reflect how I love him back.
Wow, what a year! What a Mighty God we serve!
Terry’s Thoughts (T2):
Wow, what a year! 2017 has been one of the most exciting and challenging years that I have had in a long time. From promotion on the job to getting married and blending a family to all the experiences that have gone one throughout the year, this has been one for the ages. The year started with us planning a “small” wedding. Faith didn’t have a wedding and we decided that it would be nice to have a “small” wedding to display our love and devotion to each other. Throughout everything that we went through to pull it together, it was a success and off we go into the future as husband and wife.
Prior to getting married, I was promoted on my job. I had interviewed several times earlier the year before for promotions, but I was finally successful on the first one of 2017. Three weeks after receiving the promotion, I took my vacation and got married. When I returned, I came back refreshed and a married man with 3 children. Was it a shock for my co-workers and superiors? But of course! Did they understand my decision to keep my personal life to myself? Yes, they did, but did say that they fully supported my decision and understood why.
Many of the changes that have occurred this year have been life affirming. From my desire to marry the woman that God placed into my life, to the new experiences of having a different set of in-laws, children and nephews. Many times, people wonder why things happen the way that they do, but when they look back on all the things that have occurred, most of the time things work out for the better.
From hurricanes to internal storms to external pressure, one must trust that the Master Chess Master is making moves further ahead than we could ever understand and depend on Him to position us to receive the things that He has in store for us. After 2016, I knew that He had great and wonderful things in store for me, but did not expect them to materialize they way that they have in the fashion that they have. Sometimes, what appears to be a tragic situation becomes an opportunity for God to be God and move in ways that we thought would never occur. I have a new view and understanding of my relationship with my Father and understand even better what He will do for me and my household as we continue to do His will.
2017 has been an exciting adventure for the two of us, but it has been a learning experience for me in understanding how blessed I am to have Faith, Momma Liz, the kids and everyone else who became part of our clan. Bryant means “strong in the Lord.” For so long, I have had to trust and depend on that strength to make it through. It is a beautiful thing to begin to see the fruits of my faith and devotion to the things that He deemed important, manifest themselves in my life. If there is anything that I can leave as advice for 2018 from what I learned from 2017 would be this: Don’t lose faith and continue to focus on the things that He has placed in your life to complete. The moves that have been made in the past are beginning to manifest themselves. Just as a seed takes time to break through the ground, grow and develop before being able to be harvested, it takes time for the moves to manifest themselves for you to receive the harvest from your faith. A mature tree does not grow overnight.
In closing, continue to be strong and of a very good courage. As you choose each day whom you will serve, the Bryant clan will continue to serve the Lord and be vessels for His purpose.