Life Lessons Madea Has Taught Me About Love, Trust and Letting Go

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[embed]https://youtu.be/OsB7SCUMkY0[/embed] In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of learning when to let go and how to let go.  I don't know about you, but this is an area of my life that requires constant attention and improvement.  I don't always do letting go well.  The thing is I love people hard.  I want to keep people.  But I have found that in order to truly love people, you have to give them freedom.  Freedom to think for themselves, freedom to make their own choices, freedom to figure things out and the freedom to walk out of your life, if they so choose to.

In the video posted above, Madea provides some words of wisdom.  She talks about the importance of allowing people to choose to walk away.  As counterintuitive as it seems, it requires more love to allow someone to leave you behind and to do their own thing than it does to control and manipulate a situation to keep a person around as long as possible.

Madea categorizes people using a tree analogy.  Some are like leaves.  They blow in and out of your life.  They are here today and gone tomorrow.  Some are like branches.  They stick around for a while, but eventually when life gets hard or circumstances change the relationship bends until it breaks.  But some people are like roots.  These are the people you can go deep with.  They are there in the sunshine and the storm.  They provide a sense of stability and belonging.  Only the test of time will tell us which people belong in which category.

In my own life, I strive to be a root in my relationship with others.  I want to be there through thick and through thin.  I want my relationships with people to stand the test of time.  This mindset can be a blessing and a curse.  This mindset carries with it the expectation that others desire for you to be a root in their lives and to be a root in yours, but the truth is not everyone does.  As much as it sucks to admit, I am learning that this is okay.  Some relationships are only meant to last for a season.  You learn to cherish those people while you have them, to learn what you can through the process and when it comes time to let go, you look back with fond memories on all the times you shared.

I used to identify with Peyton from One Tree Hill.  For those not familiar with the show, her slogan in life was "People always leave."  I've experienced a bit of that.  It's hard.  It hurts.  The temptation would be for me to change my approach to relationships.  To keep myself closed off and to only allow people to get so close.  After all, wouldn't that make the leaving process much easier?  By the grace of God, I can say that even through all the pain I've experienced and the all the times I've seen relationships fade out, my desire is still to be a root for others.  My desire is to be able to trust God and His love enough that I can give others the freedom to walk away if they want to without becoming hardened or jaded.

I recognize that this is easier said than done.  However, with all this talk of trees and roots, I can't help but to be reminded of the fact that who I am rooted in, Jesus Christ, enables me to love people to this degree.  In John 15:5, Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  See in our relationship with Jesus, He is the root and we are the branches.  When we are detached from the vine, we wither up and die, physically and spiritually, as a result of being separated from our life source.  However, when we choose to remain connected to Jesus, we receive the life and love that we need, enabling us to thrive.  Not only do we receive this life and love, but our connection to the root allows us to share true life and love with others.  We can handle the rejection of someone walking away, because we know that we are rooted in one who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Col. 2:6-7)