A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way. Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. It’s only later, when children are taught to compete, to strive to be better than others, that their natural light becomes distorted.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I won’t be dating again until my heart’s aligned with God’s heart. I received an e-mail from someone asking for an explanation. I could not answer the inquiry concisely, so I’ll respond with this post.
Relationships should be about giving. People often say that relationships are “give and take” but I disagree. We live in a society that promotes independence, self-preservation, and selfishness. People often look at romantic relationships in the context of “what can this person do for me?” and not “what can I do for this person?” But, if both parties enter a relationship with the mindset of giving, they will both receive. If one or both people are not giving, the relationship cannot work.
If you want to have something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do things you’ve never done before. If I continue jumping from relationship to relationship, I will never become the woman I know I’m capable of becoming. God is the center of my focus now because He can make my heart more selfless. Being single is not about my independence– it’s about finding unity with God. It’s asking Him to extinguish the selfishness in my heart so I can be the best possible partner for somebody in God’s perfect timing. For now, I want Him to be my completer– not another person.
Our desire for independence can be fueled by many sources– pride, unresolved issues, pain from the past, bitterness, etc. People say that time heals all wounds, but sometimes time just prolongs our pain. Jesus heals all wounds. He fixes broken hearts, relieves our minds of bitterness, and humbles us enough to get out of our own way so He can use us.
I think God’s purpose for romantic relationships, beyond supporting one another, is that we would reflect His image to a lost, dying, and self-focused world. If we love one another in a way that is truly selfless, then others will want what we have. If we pursue peace, offer forgiveness, and live in love… We might just change the world. It’s been said that people who are hurt, hurt other people. But the same works in reverse– people who are healed, heal other people.
I will never pretend to know what’s best for anyone else. I cannot judge your journey because I have not walked your path. I just know that this is the direction my heart is being pulled and I want to share my heart with you.
To the person who e-mailed me: I hope that answers your question.
To everyone else: Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing your beautiful hearts with me.
Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. After all, you can’t truly be happy if you’ve never known pain. You can’t truly feel joy if you’ve never felt heartbreak. You can’t know what it’s like to be filled unless you’ve been empty.
– Kelly Cutrone
Have you ever lost yourself in the process of loving someone else? One day you go to sleep as a complete person, and the next you wake up with a fragmented sense of who you are without your other half. You love someone so much that you forget that you are special too. With or without them.
I know how my relationships usually turn out. Meet someone. Become great friends. Like each other a lot. Spend less time with other friends. Spend less time in prayer. Fall in love. Stop sketching. Stop taking photographs. Stop noticing the way that cute older couple at Starbucks shares their coffee. Develop a warped sense of security. Start fighting over stupid things. Stop loving myself. Let my light be covered by someone else’s shadow.
I know what love should look like. Love is kindness, gratitude and sincerity. Love illuminates your life and elevates your soul to new levels. Love increases your heart’s capacity to appreciate all the beautiful things God has given you. Love serves others. Love speaks words of patience and inspires transformation.
My love always seems to crash mid-flight and I don’t know what that says about me. In some ways, I don’t know how to stop being the insecure girl who strangles me when she wants someone to like her. To love her. To tell her she’s beautiful. I don’t know how to not be that girl who falls in love and says, I’ll be whatever you want me to be for you. I don’t know how to allow myself to fall for someone without reverting back to the insecure girl I used to be.
Sometimes, I’m scared when I think about the future. I need to believe that love can last. I need to believe that I can love someone without losing parts of my heart. I need to believe that I can trust someone to not wake up one morning and change his mind about me. I need to believe that I am capable of finding love, real love, and keeping it.
I’m doing a 30-day “growing in gratitude” challenge with my lovely blog friend, V. Today we read Ephesians 5:15-21 and completed a writing prompt on being thankful for the “little things” God blesses us with.
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything…”
– Ephesians 5:19-20
I highly encourage you to try this gratitude challenge (http://www.reviveourhearts.com/pdf/30DayGratitude.pdf) and ask a friend to do it with you. It will do great things for your heart, I promise.
Reading Ephesians 5 reminded me of one of my favorite tumblr sites: http://just-littlethings.tumblr.com. This site lists the simple things in life that we should appreciate. Here are some of my favorites:
What are the simple things that make you happy?
Dear Girl I Used To Be,
I want to warn you about everything that’s fast approaching, but I can’t.
I can’t tell you that your mom has a brain tumor and you’ll have to watch her go through hell. If you knew that now, you’d spend too much time worrying and not enough time living.
I can’t tell you that your favorite person in the world will be leaving it soon. If you knew that now, you’d spend your last days with her crying instead of laughing.
I can’t tell you that you’re going to fall in love. If you knew that now, it would ruin the surprise. You’d never believe that you could fall passionately in love with a Republican anyway.
I can’t tell you that love will break. If you knew that now, you’d never let the walls guarding your heart come down.
I can’t tell you that many of your post-graduation dreams will not come true. If you knew that now, you might be too disappointed to realize that God is preparing you for something better.
I can tell you this: you are stronger than you can imagine.
People will hurt you in ways that you never expected, but others will step in to help you pick up the broken pieces. Your life will be filled with inspiration and love.
And you will find more joy than you thought possible.