Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Love at All is to be Vulnerable

In CS Lewis' work 'The Four Loves', he makes this great statement that "To love at all is to be vulnerable." He then goes on to explain in detail about how we could try and protect ourselves from the pain and loss that comes with loving, but then we would only be depriving ourselves of that gift which God has given us. He goes on to state,
"We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armor. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it."
When everyone asks me about what I am going to encounter in Zambia, I can honestly say I have no idea. I don't know what God has in store, where I am going to be at any given time, or what type of situations I will be put in. All I know is that I am excited for what God is going to do. But I am also terrified.

Currently I am sitting in the computer lab at Calvin College. I am no longer a student at Calvin. Nor am I an athlete. In the past few months I have also had to walk away from my involvement as a Youth Ministry intern at LaGrave CRC in Grand Rapids, being a camp counselor at Summer's Best Two Weeks, and years worth of involvement with Youth Unlimited's SERVE and Convention programs. Everything that I have ever been involved with is now done.... and yet here I am. Over the past few months I have cried more tears than can be counted because I have this gift (or curse) of being extremely passionate about those things that I am involved with, and I love the people I have been blessed to encounter daily. If you have talked to me at all in the past few months I have probably told you that it feels as if my heart is being ripped out as I say goodbye to all the people who have forever implanted themselves on my heart.

Thus, the one thing God has made clear to me over the past year is that I was a person designed for community.

So what does that mean for Zambia? What is community going to look like when none of the people who I now rely on for hugs and support are around to tell me that God is in control? Who am I going to turn to when I need to laugh or cry? And, once I start building that community in Zambia, how am I going to say goodbye?

To be perfectly honest, it almost seems easier not to go. Save myself the heartbreak. Stick with the good friends I have now, settle into life, join eHarmony and find myself a good match to start a family with. Ok, so I am kidding about the whole eHarmony thing. But really, wouldnt that be easier? And isnt that good and right for so many people? Isnt that how God has called so many others before me to serve Him?

But yet, I know that God has something else in store for me.

And therefore.... I go. Terrified, without all the answers, and knowing that the heart I wear on my sleeve will probably get thrown around like a football.... but also knowing that God has called us to that type of passionate love for all people. Not trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but accepting them and offering them to Him.

So be it.


  1. Ohh, Annika - this is exciting stuff! I can identify with a lot of what you're saying: in a lot of ways my Jubilee internship was terrifying to step into, too, but God did amazing things with that willingness to step out and love people beyond my own circle of comfort. I can't wait to see where He takes you!!


  2. Wow Annika. God bless as you dare to love in ways you never imagined God would imagine for you.