"The trouble with love is," sang Kelly Clarkson in her first hit, "it can tear you up inside."
If you've had trouble with love, you know what she means. Something you do or say gets misunderstood. A boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you. Or dating doesn't happen at all.
Are some people wired for great relationships, while others can't seem to find or sustain them? Is there such a thing as a perfect match? One with equal commitment and strong mutual feelings? One that doesn't end?
Love is a sure thing. But for one young woman, it took prayer to figure that out – and to turn around a history of broken relationships and long stretches of zero dating.
First came several years of hunting. Two or three boyfriends were real keepers, she thought. But each time, things came to an end – usually with heartache on her part. Then there were the guys who were way more interested in a relationship than she was. Frustrating for her, sad for them.
This woman was more than ready for a breakthrough. In fact, she was hungering for an understanding of love, not just a new boyfriend. And this hunger took her on what turned out to be a spiritual journey.
A Christian pioneer who knew a lot about relationships, Mary Baker Eddy, called Love a synonym for God, giving it a spiritual basis. The woman who wanted to understand love better read some things written by Mrs. Eddy that really helped her. "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals," for example ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 13). Wow. Love doesn't play favorites? Love is for everyone? That sure hadn't been the woman's experience. But she was open to thinking about it.
Thinking spiritually is a great way to pray. For instance, pondering the statement about Love being impartial and universal helped her understand in a very real way what it means to think of Love as God Himself. The link between Love and love – the divine, unending, all-encompassing Love filling the hearts of His creation with affection, compassion, tenderness, patience, and kindness – became clear. She got it.
Here's what happened. First, the hungering for spiritual reality. Next, the pondering of spiritual truth. And then the breakthrough: for the first time in ages, a deep feeling of contentment – without a single date. This woman felt the love of Love pervading her consciousness and experience, so much so that she actually ended some dating relationships that had been going nowhere.
Another insight from Science and Health brought more light: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (p. 494). The woman could see that happy, lasting relationships come from Love itself. Love could be trusted to meet her need for companionship – and everyone else's, too. Love's very purpose is to bless its children. And Love's children – including every man and woman – are designed to recognize and accept those blessings.
This dramatic turnaround in the woman's thinking prepared her to meet her last boyfriend. Once she had dropped hunting for "the right guy," prayer gently placed her with a young man whose spiritual qualities matched hers in amazing ways. The relationship was natural, effortless, and fun – a real friendship. And it lasted, not only blossoming into marriage but leading to lots of other friendships over the years.
Whether you're matched with someone right now or not, God is filling your consciousness and experience with deep and satisfying companionship. Because Love is impartial, it showers love on every one of its children. And because it's universal, it operates everywhere, all the time, in every circumstance.
No history of breakups, no challenges making friends, no competition, no statistics, no distance, no chance – nothing – can halt the love of Love. With divine Love, there's never any trouble.