I have always had a big heart. When I was about two, I had just gone to the doctor and gotten a lot of shots. As a treat, my mom told me I could pick out a toy. What did my big-hearted, two-year-old self do? I went and found a toy for my older brother instead.
I love others easily and deeply, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. It’s who I am. My parents taught me at a young age what sacrificial love really means, and our world is starved of love—so why not love?
That’s what I used to think, anyway.
In high school and college, my view of love was shattered by some challenging relationships, and I found myself deep in despair. My whole world was shaken. “What is wrong with me?” I thought. “Am I lovable?” I was aghast that the human heart was capable of hurting another so deeply.
For the first time in my life, giving and receiving love became a challenge for me. It was hard for me to trust, hard for me to not believe all the lies about my identity that were swirling around like a hurricane in my heart. I had a choice—should I let my heart become hardened, or should I keep on loving? I didn’t care, I just wanted to be healed.
Somewhere in the deepest depths of my soul, I knew that love would be the thing to get me through. So I began to fight for love. I would get outside of myself and focus on serving others, helping them know they mattered. I would tell myself over and over again that I was lovable until I finally started believing it. I was blessed to be around beautiful friends that treated me with such gentle and genuine love.
Peace started to settle into my soul. I was starting to glimpse the true joy that can only come after a long and difficult struggle. I found myself healing. I found myself set free by this true, deep, giving love.
Fear doesn’t deserve any breathing room in our hearts; we should love courageously. Love is not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. We were all created out of love and made for love. Without it, we are nothing, and with it, everything can be transformed. Love saved my life. I believe in love because love is worth the fight.
Though she loves the city, her Midwestern roots will always hold a special place in her heart.
Lauren believes in love because love is worth the fight.