Adventures in Dating Land

Thoughts on Love

Posted on: August 20, 2008

I was thinking about relationships this morning. It’s interesting how we spend so much time of our single lives wishing we could find someone. We mope, we pine, we try not to act like it bothers us…but it does. We see our friends with people they’re dating and we wish gruesome tortures upon them. Valentine’s Day passes, and we make excuses about how it’s a commercial holiday of stupidity, when we really want that dozen roses and candlelit dinner. We want someone to call, to surprise, to see, to kiss. We want to love and be loved in return.

I was talking to a friend the other day who was going through some relationship issues. Being in a new one myself, I’m still riding high on the joy train of life. Everything’s good for me right now; permanent smile plastered on my face, always in a good mood, everyday is a new adventure. It’s weird how just a few months ago I was in the single boat along with the rest of my single friends. We would complain about how stupid men are, how if they could just stop listening to themselves talk for two seconds they might be able to understand us better. There were days I was bitter and sad, and then other days that I was so happy I was single. Because a lot of the people I knew in relationships were miserable too…so what was the point? But mostly I was an emotional wreck.

And then I went to another college conference hosted by my church. It’s nothing I hadn’t heard before. Great speakers, great worship, a lot of one on one time with my best friend where we got into a lot of deep talks. And one night, I’m lying in my bed and I’m praying. I’m upset because I don’t want to leave the conference and go back to a half-hearted worship lifestyle, or fall back into old transgressions and habits. So I’m wrestling with God about how to stop this, and how to strengthen my relationship with Him. And then, I get a voice in my head.

A voice that asks me if I would give up the one thing I’d want most in the world, which is more or less what every girl (and many guys) want: true love. Would I be willing to sacrifice a potential husband, the future love of my life for my love for God? I, of course, went off the deep end. Crying like I never had before. This was not something God could ask of me. I mean…what the eff, dude? How could someone want to take away someone else’s soulmate? Make someone else miserable forever? Needless to say, I couldn’t accept this challenge at the time.

The next night, Kondo Simfukwe spoke, and I think he presented the gospel in the most amazing and poetic and beautiful way I have ever heard it delivered. I want to take that speech and spread it throughout the world, and I can almost guarantee that people would hear it and be like “Holy crap, I want that! I want Jesus! Sign me up!” It wasn’t just a “Jesus died for you so you could go to heaven” thing. I mean, it was in its basest form. But Kondo delivered it like this incredible epic fairytale, greater than Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, even the Twilight series. This incredible story of a creator who is and was and always will be, who creates the universe out of nothing and forms it into this exquisite and ravishing world for us to live, and creates a people for whom to love and cherish and care for…and this bride, his church tears themselves away from him and plunges themselves into darkness and evil. And God’s plan to rescue them, to bring them back to Him so they can live together in love and peace is the most heroic and gallant act ever conceived by any mind: the total sacrifice of oneself to save the entire world. The world as it was, is, and will be. One act to pull us all out of evil. The perfect, flawless love story.

Of course, he said it better than I could. But the point was that God is our true love. God was the perfection that we long for, that one person who will never disappoint or hurt us. Who will challenge us, help us grow and find peace and joy with Him. He is our one true soulmate.

So after that night…and many more tears…I finally consented. What else could I really do? I mean, the many ways that guys had hurt me in the past, and the God that I longed to have a true relationship with…I couldn’t be half-hearted about this anymore. I can’t fully give my heart to one thing and another. My heart has to belong with what is true and real. And even if I’ve been angry with him or upset, it has always always been God.

So. Relationships. I don’t think God was planning on me being a nun…because I’m now in a relationship with an awesome guy that is thus far going brilliantly. I think it was more that my priorities can’t rest with the guy love first. God has to come first in everything. And once I figured that out, God can work out the rest of the stuff in my life in the way that has a purpose.

And I think that’s kind of what’s been messing up my single friends’ attitudes (and my own for a really long time.) Because before all that happened, I was bitter and depressed that I was alone. Going back to this one friend who was sad…they actually admitted to me that they could not be around other couples. It pissed them off and made them upset to see other people happy and together. I wanted to be offended by this, especially because it was a bit of a rain on my parade…but I couldn’t. Because I used to feel the same. And then I was…fulfilled. Complete. And I looked at things differently. I saw my being single as a chance for God to change me in a different way that maybe I didn’t exactly see. My singleness was a blessing; it gave me a chance to meet people and be independent for a while…to be completely alone in my relationship with God. And that was awesome. What’s more is that I wasn’t really looking at other people in relationships as being revolting and upsetting. They were happy. And that was cool. True, I’d still get a few pangs of sadness every now and then. But it wasn’t this constant state of depression. I had something better to fill me up, something that would never run out on me or disappoint. And honestly, that seems way better than pining for a relationship.

I guess one thing that is really important though, in linking singleness and relationships together, is that you can’t forget all the things you learned while you were on your own. I used to tell myself that when it happened, it was going to be amazing and completely worthwhile and will be so amazing that I’ll be so glad I didn’t settle. But…we know how we are. When we DO find someone amazing, it seems that sometimes after a while we forget how lucky we are. We take them for granted. We lose sight of the incredible person that we fell for in the beginning and start to just see them as a “whatever” kind of person. But if we’re lucky enough to know that we didn’t settle, to look at the other person and think “dear God, how could you have brought THIS person to me? I don’t deserve anything this good…” then we really need to remember how worthwhile holding on to that is. Because then you might end up waiting for seven years, almost marrying someone else before you see their picture in the paper for building your dream house and then you go see them and they take you on a boat with lots of ducks. And you get back together.

Or that could have just been that one time.

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