Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


10.20.2008  

Relationally Speaking: A Story

I don't know where to start this. That's as good a start as any, I suppose. I'm writing this to men primarily, but I think it's safe to say that this isn't just being written for men. I think it'll be the first of two parts, but I'm not sure if it'll end up being more than that. Wait, I need to back up some, because I know I'm not making much sense just yet.

I almost never publicly and explicitly write about the personal relationships with girls that I've pursued -- the last time writing and publishing of that sort happened was late 2004. Sure, there have been vague references, veiled hints and coded phrases, but nothing made publicly-available that recounts or reflects upon specific instances or girls in a manner that will reveal anything. In this one post, however, I'm going to change that. My reasons may be my own, but they've been borne out of what I've seen and heard in those around me: interactions and conversations with those people, their frustrations and joys, and circumstances that seem beyond the capability of the human heart to deal with.

The time was the Summer of 2007. I'd been pursuing a girl that had been a good friend of mine for a couple of years up until that point. I had made my intentions clear, and while she herself was undecided, she also made that clear as well. Let me be brutally up front lest anyone jump to any ill-formed conclusions: I hold any indecisiveness on her part to have been perfectly acceptable, as she did not in any way try to string me along; in fact, while she was often quite apologetic -- sometimes overly so -- for not being able to decide one way or another, she always strove to communicate clearly to me exactly where she stood on "us."

I'll be honest. That was a strange, difficult, and confusing time of life: I would wake up early without an alarm clock; I couldn't speak to her without sounding like an idiot; I lost my appetite. I ended up pondering what I was doing in that entire situation quite a bit. My stomach would do twists and turns at the thought of her telling me, "Sorry, John, but I think I'm going to have to ask you to stop calling." On the other hand, I remember telling Scott numerous times that we talked for "only" three hours the night before. Life felt like it was turned upside-down with no upside-up in sight. Incidentally, I'm certain that my bible reading took a turn for the better during that time, but I've no doubt that that was often because I wanted to have something to share with her.

The point of all of this preamble is to make clear this one thing: if I went by emotions alone, if my conduct toward her was based upon how I felt about her or by how she was responding to me, then I have no doubt that I would have done her heart some serious harm.

What, then, could I do? How could I stay sane? How could I remain joyful?

During one of our long conversations, I shared with her how ceaselessly turbulent and uncertain my heart felt. Before she could really reply, I told her why that didn't matter to me, why I could keep pursuing her with the utmost joy no matter what would happen. I told her that I imagined her on her wedding day, walking down the aisle. She's there, beautiful, flawless and glorious, a living and breathing picture of what the Father is preparing for His Son, our own Bridegroom. I told her that I could see myself standing there on that day, joyful and exuberant, watching her walk down the aisle, watching her walk toward...her bridegroom...another man. I told her that I could honestly see myself there, at her wedding, being wedded to another man, and that I found great joy in that thought.

I told her the obvious: I had no way of knowing whom she would marry. I also told her that that could not and would not change the one thing I wanted most for her, which was and would continually be to seek to see Christ formed in her. Whatever I was to her, whatever she was to me, the one thing I knew with absolute certainty that was in God's will for our lives was that I would seek to make her more like Jesus, and she me; that's it! I told her that the joy I had in continuing to pursue her was founded upon the promises of the gospel. God does not promise a spouse, but He does promise a Bridegroom. He does not promise a life free from sorrows, but He does promise that He Himself will wipe away every tear. While He promises us no more than His Son, He promises us no less than all that being His Son's entails.

I told her that I could think of no greater grace than to think that I had been an instrument, however small and broken and failure-prone, to make her more like our Father's Son, to prepare her for her bridegroom on their wedding day. I meant that when I said it, and I mean it still.

We chatted last night, she and I. I asked her permission to post this, and she granted permission gladly. We spoke about her wedding, which is being planned, and I assured her that I fully intended to be there, just as I said I would: grateful and joyful in celebrating God's gracious depiction of the gospel together with them.

posted by Bolo | 9:39 PM
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