14 February 2010

Love Never Fails

I had a very interesting conversation with my best friend a couple days ago. He was worried that I was too dependent upon him. I almost instantly turned around and shot back at him for something he didn't even do wrong. Truth is... I was ashamed to really listen to what he was saying and face up to this idea that I sometimes seem like I'm not my own person.

I've always joked that I'm a serial monogamist because I've been in three consecutive long-term relationships since I was 14. Each time, I've created this identity of who I am as being that significant other's girlfriend. I feel like I take on this identity because I feel so lost as to who I am. I know that I'm smart and fun and a good friend... that I'm caring and energetic and loving and giving and all these wonderful things that God has made me but beyond that I dont really know what I'm striving for. My best friend and I talked about our separate goals and what we are aiming for at this point in our lives. As someone who pretty much plans for a living, it may surprise you to know I really havent thought much about my own short term goals. Long term is easy. I so wholeheartedly want to be a mom and a wife and to raise a healthy, loving, God focused family. But beyond graduating college and getting some type of job, there isn't much else. So until I'm in a position to be a wife and a mom.. I make it my day-to-day orientation to focus my priorities on my significant other (or significant otter :)(shout out to Jackie and Phil)).

Let me go on by saying that I am so blessed to be dating such a Godly man who I can share this part of my life with. He is so smart and really tunes into these opportunities to help support my walk with Christ. The conversation progressed into a realization that I need no other focus than to be a child of God. If I relinquish control of where I want my life to go and who I think I should be, God will shape me into the person He wants me to be and direct my life to where He wants it to go. Rather than waking up and wondering how I can show my boyfriend how much he means to me and how much I love him, I should think instead how can I honor God and show Him that I love Him.

It was very difficult being so honest and transparent in that conversation. Not because I was hesitant to be open with this man I love and trust, but because I was afraid to realize these truths about myself. I am so thankful that I do not need to have control of my life or make any attempt as to answer the question who I want to be in this world, but who I want to be in Christ.

In an unrelated conversation, my best friend and I decided fairly recently that we were going to give our relationship to God. Just try to fathom for yourselves saying that I have no control over the course of this relationship because I'm letting God take it where it needs to go. I am scared and uncertain but hopeful and at a strange peace in giving that control to God. I know and pray that God will use us to help each other grow. I have faith that if we keep focus on Him, as best as we can, that He will bless this relationship over its course. I know that God will break us up if it's His will and direct us each on to greater relationships and He will send us confirmation if it's His desire for us to stay together and build a healthy and Godly marriage. Please pray for God to work in our lives and for us to keep our focus on Him.

I am honored to add "girlfriend" to my identity as a child of God but I know that this is just a part of His greater plan for my life. More importantly, no love can replace that of our Savior and the more we try to fill our lives with the love and affection and acceptance of others without God, the emptier we become. The Bible teaches us that we need to use the example of His unconditional love for us and reflect it in our love for others. Not just love for our families, lovers, friends,.. but love for all of His little ones.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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