Monday, May 26, 2008

Love, Romance, Pace, A Girl from Minnesota

I recently became a committed person into a significant relationship :). I've had three previous ones. This one feels different. We just fit. In the past, I've felt like I had doubts though I would deny them on the surface. This one I have doubts (as anyone does in the beginning and usually for me they are the result of overthinking), but I am confident that they are not going to bring this down. God seems to keep in my mind, "Stay with this one. You won't do better." She is my dream girl and she came in a way I was not at all expecting. God has been working in her heart for me and mine for her. She is adorable and amazing. I feel really attached to this one :). I actually cried when I dropped her off. When I could not kiss her any more and I saw her cry as I wave, I broke down. When I returned to the house and went to my room where she had slept (I was on the couch during the week), I broke down and cried harder. I miss her TERRIBLY. And I think it partly because of the sizeable distance between the two and our current financial status. But, I think it also has to do with the fact that we care SO much for each other that this distance hurts so much. We knew that the day would be difficult, but I had no idea it would be this hard.
I am confused, overthinking, crazy, and possibly in love. But, I do not want to say those last two words just yet. We've talked a lot and have gotten to know each other over the phone and during the last week: extensively talking to each other. Maybe it is love. I would like to think it is. But, I also have to be somewhat sober. Maybe I am riding on some heavy euphoria and emotion. Though I have felt during the week that I have been a combination of level-headedness as well as emotional. It scares me actually that I feel that this girl is going to be something special to me for a long time. The euphoria part at the very beginning is easy. Commitment I think scares me. It makes me have to think hard about important questions--questions that require not only the consideration of my own happiness but also that of another. Expectations resulting from my thinking things HAVE to be a certain way. Movies, media, and other people's experiences have poisoned my brain. Part of me tugs me back. It's my own overprotectedness of my heart and my ability to think things to death. I will not let that ruin this one. She is very special to me. I want her to be a greater part of my life. Plus, if I focus on God and what He wills, nothing can change whether or not she and I are meant to be. I have to trust in Him. And everytime I've prayed about this, I've come out in the positive. And not just because I want it, but an overwhelming positive. And as I said before, I have that back-of-mind assurance and confidence that this is the girl for me. This is someone God wants me to spend significant time with. And also, if anything I should expect from this relationship--surprises and unexpectedness. I didn't see her coming quite honestly. I didn't expect to feel this comfortable with her nor have two 8+ hour conversations with her (plus an average conversation time of 3-4 hours). And when I say conversations, I do not mean idle spaces in conversation lasting a long time. I mean REAL conversation. We won't shut up!
Also part of my inability to say the featured words of a significant relationship is that I have said them too quickly in the past. I may feel it this time, but I want to make sure. I think I do. But, I've gotten ahead of myself in the past. However, I must also look at the reasonings in previous relationships. With my first, she was...well...my first. I rode the wave of euphoria into the realm of infatuatedness that was mistaken for the realness of devoted love. My second girlfriend I did like and I did ask her whether or not she loved me. She said she couldn't know that yet. That was actually fairly wise at that point. However, she also was notorious for wanting to take things at a very certain pace. Finally, the last ex I told her that not because I think I actually believed it to be so. I remember saying to myself that I didn't actually believe what I said. I just wanted a relationship in the end and wanted to make things solidified. I did have feelings for her, but I spoke prematurely. I had gone on three dates with her when I said this (we had talked on the phone quite a bit after I moved to Dubuque though). It really was too soon to tell and I'm not sure I ever felt sure that she was right for me and was more afraid of losing the relationship and the feelings it brought as a matter of self-confidence. She and I tried to change each other constantly and argued bitterly without ever really resolving anything. I will say this: she did help me on my way to recovery from an addiction for which I am grateful she did. God used her in that way. I don't believe she nor I really ever loved each other.
With my special someone now, M'lady, I feel differently. I'm more tempered. I have spent significant time both on the phone and spent almost every hour with her during last week (excepting brief periods of sleep). We even went through a moment of difficulty in which we had to face something within our relationship. And we are fine. I have that quiet confidence that she is someone who's going to be around for a while and so I'd better get used to it. She wants me for me. She likes me for me. And I reciprocate. We desire change in ourselves because of what the other inspires. She forgives me my faults, my past. I do hers. She has made sacrifices for me (for instance, she went to a church service with me). She's artistic, faithful, pationate, patient, caring, endearing, sweet, lovely--adding up to her being all-around beautiful. Most of all, she loves Jesus more than me. I want that dearly in someone. And she truly personifies it. It's evident in how she lives. She's not perfect, no, but I find attraction in her imperfections as well. Do we have a long way to go? Yes. Do we still both need to grow together spiritually and in faith? Yes. Will we have arguments? Yes. Are we off to a terrific start? Yes. As Hawk Nelson states in "Every Little Thing": "She has every little thing I wanted and it still feels like the day just started..." and "The girl I once rejected has now become the girl of my dreams." As I stated at the beginning: we just fit. And I feel as though everyday, I want to talk to her. Even if it is for but a moment.
So, M'lady, if I do not say the words "I love you" it is not because I do not feel them perhaps. Someday, I will express these words to you. For now, my actions will have to speak and time will tell when I will be able to verbalize with confidence that you, my darling, are the focus of the words. I know you will be around for a while. I know you are patient. And I know that God will give me the strength when the time is right. And why would you want to hear it the first time over the phone anyway? :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sickness

I'm sick. I had a three- or four-day reprieve this week, but now I'm back to feeling physically miserable. It is easy when you are absolutely miserable and unable to sleep because of a difficult sore throat to blame God for a bit of discomfort. I admit that it came to mind, but this time around I perished the thought. Why should we when we experience the least amount of pain or a day or three of physical discomfort and inconvenience an attitude of resistance to God? Will He not cure you? I mean the common illnesses. In some cases, as it proclaims the glory of God, we are not allowed to be cured. This is the most difficult one to understand. But, I provide an instance where it does do just that.

C. S. Lewis married a divorcee from America. It seems as though from the evidences of things that they had truly loved each other. However, his wife and lover died tragically of cancer. Lewis wrote some quick jottings that were probably therapeutic for him, but they ended up being compiled together for a book titled A Grief Observed. In it he writes that this experience made him question who God really is. It was never a question of whether or not He exists? Lewis in the end comes to realize through this all that this wound was meant to lead to a cure, one that would improve the quality of his spiritual life. He understood God in a new light and I believe this helped him to understand why the crucifixion was really much more significant. God had to wound His Son to heal humanity.

So, when you are going through a bout of illness that is particularly painful but also knowledgealby curable, consider yourself to be going through a minor testing period of patience and endurance. God uses these as well in wounding us to make us better. I think I myself realized the above in a new way from this particular bout. Wounded to heal...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Forgiveness

I am learning lately a little about forgiveness. Usually I am very hard on myself after making a mistake I feel I should not have made. It mostly involves mistakes I make against other people, but even ones that I know only God knows about I still kick myself a lot over. This morning I made that mistake a couple of times over. And yet I know I am forgiven. However, do I forgive myself? Strangely enough, like it is work sometimes for someone to forgive another (forgiveness is a process and an action), I am working on forgiving myself. And I believe I have. It is strange to think of myself in nearly a third person sense, as if I am detatched from myself in order to forgive myself, but when you make a mistake of the kind I have, it is a sin against God, who God made you to be and against the dignity that God bestowed upon others. So, yes, I do have ask God for forgiveness. Yes, I do have to forgive myself. And to my friend, I ask you to forgive me my transgression against you. This is not to make you want to forgive me more, but you have shown me God's love through forgiveness. In this, I think I am growing because of that. Part of it was a process before I met you, but it is being reinforced and added to because of you. It is likely one of the reasons God has brought you into my life. Thank you.