Much-Afraid looked at the thorn and shrank from it. Then she looked at the shepherd’s face and repeated his words to herself. ’When the seed of Love in your heart is ready to bloom, you will be loved in return,’ and a strange new courage entered her. She suddenly stepped forward, bared her heart, and said, ‘Please plant the seed here in my heart.’― Hannah Hurnard, Hinds' Feet on High Places
When the seed of love in your heart is ready to bloom, you will be loved in return. I believe this statement is both profound and true. Our life quest is to find that one person whose seed is ready to bloom at the same time ours is ready to bloom. If they do not bloom together, we are introduced to love with pain. This worst kind of pain comes from loving someone and they do not love you back. This is a new pain that is sharp, deep, sad, unforgettable and piercing.
I think every one of us is coded to recognize feeling real love. We inherently know if what we are experiencing from another person is love. This might even be easier to discern than our knowing if what we are feeling toward the other person is indeed love. Recognizing another's love toward us is an innate defense mechanism. We know if it is the real deal. It is the spirit's way of filtering pain. If we trust our spirit warning, we can lessen our introduction to pain. If we ignore our spirit warning and false love makes its way to our heart, pain will soon follow.
Once love settles in the heart toward another and that love is reciprocated, blooming occurs. There are several factors that affect the bloom. Here are a few questions to ask yourself, that is if they are not too painful to answer.
- Am I always picking off the wilted pieces of this relationship in search of a bit of fresh bloom beneath? Is our love growing?
- Can I take this bloom out to the middle of town square or am I constantly making excuses waiting for a fresher bloom to show up before I can show it off?
- Who is doing most of the watering in this bloom? Is it surviving on rations or is it being fertilized and properly looked after?
- Am I settling for a partial bloom just so that I don't have to meet the pain beneath it? Am I constantly trying to justify to myself why the bloom does not make me feel better about the relationship?
- Is it a bloom sprung from a seed that God planted? Or is it something I am simply titling a bloom because I see other people's bloom all around me and I would rather call it bloom than call it pain?