What is love?

By Elizabeth Prata

I don’t like writing about myself and I never talk about my internal emotions and thoughts. I’d really rather die than talk about what’s going on inside me. But I have to this time, because it’s about Jesus.

As a woman who grew up in a difficult circumstance, I learned to rely only on myself and to be strongly independent and self-sufficient, and have been so for 50 years (since I was 8). Yet when I was given the grace of salvation 15 years ago, I learned also that the Lord wants me to share my burdens and to interlock in mutual submission with others in caring relationships. I don’t know how to do this, it’s literally beyond my life experience and my emotional capacity. But with God all things are possible.

I am learning His lessons about trusting Him in sharing burdens and loving others- as well as accepting love from others. My prayers are being answered day by day, His glory is being shown- through all of my different families- Twitter tweeps, School family, Church body in a huge and impactful way.

Life before salvation and outside of church, was a bewildering swirl of relationships between others…not knowing how to break in or even particularly wanting to:

relationships1b
I still have difficulty with socializing and developing or maintaining relationships. It’s not a matter of trying harder or willpower or shyness. It’s irritating when people try to sympathize by saying “I’m shy too” when it’s literally a matter of different brain wiring, and not behavior modification. I know they are trying to be nice, but it’s a totally wrong thing to say.

Though my brain is made differently, nothing is too difficult for God. Through the incessant work of the Holy Spirit, like water eventually wears through stone, the glory of God that is shown through my friends, after 5 decades and a loving set of families the Lord has given me, we have this:

relationships2b
I still don’t know the “how” of it. But I can feel the love. I love you back.

The important thing is to keep persevering.

persevere
Further Resources:

RC Sproul lectures: Love

19 Secrets Autistic People…(what not to say)

14 Things not to say to an Autistic Person (I’ve actually had someone say #11 to my face, except it was phrased more rudely)

Love for the Long Haul: The Autism Pastor

4 thoughts on “What is love?

  1. As I’ve gotten older & especially since my rheumatoid diagnosis, I’ve been finding it harder & harder to talk about myself. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t want to “be that guy” who only talks about the disease that sometimes overwhelms me or if I’ve just become self-conscious. Either way, in many instances I have to say something about God’s faithfulness to those who live life in chronic pain & how He so masterfully turns me away from myself & towards Him, resulting in praise. I realize I end up “boasting in Christ” & can’t stop talking about what He’s done (and is doing) in my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for sharing this, sister. I don’t have a neuro-typical brain either. It’s very encouraging to read this, and know that we’re all being sanctified by a loving, gracious God. I will pray for you, my friend! May the Lord bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.