How NOT to Love: The Ache of Waiting

This weekend I had the overwhelming desire to love someone. I’m not talking all the warm and fuzzy feelings or the roses and candlelight; I’m talking about the nitty-gritty and the routine. The commitment. I wanted to brush away tears and hug the pain away, or cuddle on the couch while watching TV simply because we like being close to one another. There are a lot of “if”s, “then”s, “but”s, and “how”s that I’m sure you could come up with, but just hear me out.

I handled this desire the stupid way: I let it all build up. And finally, somewhere between studying solvency ratios and decreasing trends of fertility (bleh, I have a Consumer Economics test tomorrow), I broke. I overflowed with all the hopes, desires, facts, probabilities… it was a lot. But my “brother” D.J. mentioned something that stopped me in my tracks:

“Sometimes, it’s better to not love someone.”

Woah, woah, woah, what?! You must be totally taken aback right now, seeing as how everything about Christ supports love as the greatest commandment (I Corinthians 13:13). But that’s not what DJ was talking about.

At times, I am tempted to pour all of my emotions and hopes into a relationship without the other person’s commitment. And then, when reality slaps me across my face with a crisp “Good morning, sunshine,” I am thrown off guard. I am stunned. I am confused.

So I guess the moral of my story  is to learn when to have self-control over my feelings and desires. I fully believe that loving someone as a friend and bearing their burdens is fully acceptable and even required of us as siblings in Christ. Just look at Galatians 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” However, when attraction and a possible romantic relationship are introduced into the equation, it’s probably best to keep a safe distance.

Our emotions, our desire to commit ourselves to another person, and our willingness to glorify Christ within a lifetime marriage are all gifts. I don’t think they should be taken lightly, and I don’t want to give my heart away a thousand times before I offer it to my husband.

Personally, I won’t allow myself to seriously consider entering a like-minded relationship with someone unless he pursues me first.  (Want to know more of what “pursuing” looks like? Click here). I’d like him to value me enough to consider the fragility of my heart and not expect me to take the leadership role in a relationship.

Granted, not every “Will you…?” will be answered with a “Yes.” But I’d like to think that God has an eye on those things. He has His eye on all of my other needs (Matthew 6:26), and He knows how to give good gifts (Matthew 7:11), so I trust Him. This is a fact. He is God, He knows all, and so there is no better place for my hopes to rest.

In Psalm 139: 17-18, the king and psalmist David wrote,

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them,
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I am awake, I am still with you.

If my Abba (Hebrew for “Father”) can have  beautiful, innumerable thoughts about me, I have no doubt that He can give my earthly spiritual partner, my husband, the same thoughts. He can show this man what He sees in me and, likewise, put a special vision in my soul to see and call out the beautiful qualities in my husband.

So, romantically speaking, I’m going to try to have the courage not to love right now. I will wait until the timing is right, and until Abba gives me those “sandy thoughts” for the right guy. And though I may feel ready to work at love, all of the pieces of the puzzle haven’t fallen into place yet…

But even the amazing-ness of that yearned-for picture will not compare to the constant glory of Christ. And He is with me, now.

So I lack nothing.

Check Out These Other Posts on Relationships!!

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How to Be a Good Girlfriend

Lie Detector #3: Girls

Loving and straight-forward guidance on how women of God can present themselves as both available and valuable – from the perspective of a man of God. This article is an excerpt from a series written by my fellow Wesley-brother and blogger-friend, Andrew Huang. You can find more of his insight, compositions (he is a musician!), and photography (hire him!) at:

instepintime.com

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Ok, a little off the beaten path of a blog post. I have been identifying a lot of lies out there in my recent writing and this is something I can’t really stop thinking about. So I’m gonna write it. If you haven’t read the previous two, you should! Just scroll down… Anyway: This is not a single lie identification, but a presentation of a great truth that will combat a lot of lies that you believe. And you guessed it: I’m talking to girls. But everyone, including guys, should know and think about this kind of thing. Because I am a guy writing on a “girl” thing, I need to write a healthy preface to make clear exactly what I’m doing here and why I’m doing it.

Before I begin: know this. When it comes to girls I have made many many many mistakes. And though those mistakes created hardship for me in terms of believing in my worth as a son of God and also my worthiness to be made pure, they have given me a platform to share this kind of thing and also a deep hunger to understand what I am about to write about. Also, I understand in Christian culture that it’s super hip for a guy to stand up on a stage (or platform like this) and just say how amazing and beautiful girls are and how they are all worthy and beloved by God. Which is true, but my intention is not at all to paint myself to be some kind of OneDirection SuperChristian who sees girls perfectly just as God does. I’m not gonna sit here and be like “guys get it together and girls sit tight, you are so beautiful and perfect.” I am working on all of this, I’m still a child learning to be like his dad. Make sense?  this whole thing is a really fun topic for me to write about, and I am having a good time sharing it with you. It’s light-hearted and a little off the dome, so let’s have fun with it and talk.  Lastly, I want to speak to you in the spirit of fatherhood. I’m 20, I’m nowhere near that level of maturity – but I hope we can look at this as if a father were saying it to you. So, without further adieu, sisters in Christ : This is how you be a good girlfriend, prepare yourself to be a good girlfriend, and have a meaningful relationship in general. 

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Why Love Is Still the Greatest

Dear friends,

Today was a hard day. I wrote about this day in my personal journal months ago: “I am afraid of what will happen when he starts dating again. Lord, please protect my heart” (paraphrased).

I’ve said a lot of things over the past few hours. They were mostly along the lines of “I will never let a guy know my heart ever again,” and “I think I’m going to be like Paul” (which, if you don’t catch the reference, is indicative of a life of singleness). Or, my favorite was when my dad called to check up on me, saying the usual “other fish in the sea” stuff. My response: “I don’t like fish anymore.”

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From the heart of your future “Heart”

As sons and daughters of the Most High King, we are already betrothed to the most honorable and worthy Spouse of all eternity. We are protected, pulled closer, and comforted.  We are loved to the depths of our soul; there is no fear, no intimidation. He proposes an eternity before we’ve even begun our mortality. And with a love like that, we can’t imagine living for any other reason but to be in intimate relationship with Him. He wants to be with us, and we find ourselves filled and whole in His purpose and His ways. Somehow, the devotion between the King and His bride is permitted and promised.

And because we are already filled, we find the desire to pour our instantly-replenished love into another soul on this earth. Onto many souls, actually. But sometimes we find one in particular that we find exceptionally worthy of an all-inclusive devotion. We lay down our lives, our plans, and our selfishness for the sake of pursuing Christ with them.

The women fit snugly into the chest cavity from which they were extracted, and the men receive them into themselves, promising to care for and protect them with an intensity that mirrors the Bridegroom’s example. My words are only a crudely-sketched picture of the holy marriage designed for us – two sinners, prone to mistaking the world for our treasure – to enjoy. And for those who desire to taste this gift, why wouldn’t you seek to protect the part of the equation that you have to bring?

I am single now, but I am not without responsibilities. I am to focus my heart on loving God, growing in Him, becoming more like Him. We all sin and bear scars, but I don’t want to further deepen the gash that sin has already left on my earthly soul. He guards my purity – not for the benefit of another man, but for the joy of receiving His love and sovereignty. In the struggling, in the questioning, in the loneliness, I gain self-control. I learn wisdom. The Spirit works in me, and His Fruit is produced in my life.

And one day, my ability to present myself pure to my husband will be a beautiful thing: a celebration involving two souls with the same First Love. I want to be pure emotionally, giving this wonderful man the confidence to know that no one else has known my heart the way he will. Physically, he will know that we will experience many, many firsts together. Spiritually, he will be my rock. No, I’m not replacing God. I am saying that my husband will be my leader, and God will be his head (I Corinthians 11:3). He will be an extension of myself. Our bodies will be one, our spirits will be intertwined (Mark 10:7). He will know me so intimately that he will, in a sense, be “my heart.” This is not a pet name or an ear-tickler, but a reflection of a truth that will reside within me and radiate between us.

So to My Heart, I say this: I pray that, when we are one flesh, my gift to you will be the confidence in knowing that I am fully, truly yours in every way that a woman can be to a man. And I hope that you will be fully, truly mine. In the meantime, I’ll be saving myself for the King… and one day I hope to be able to present myself to you, too.

“Under Construction”

Here’s a little story for you.

One night last semester, I found myself overwhelmed with stress. Feeling figuratively suffocated, I took a stroll  out onto the quad in front of my dorm. It was a little past midnight, so I knew I could count on some peace, quiet, and solitude. I sat on a bench – didn’t really care that it was freezing and I wasn’t wearing a jacket – and proceeded to cry. Release. 

In the middle of my tears, I looked up to see a dorm across the quad that was being rebuilt. The frame and structure were established, and a few bare lights peered through uncovered windows. Still, the building had a long way to go.

Then I thought, “What if this was the answer to my prayer?” I was really concerned about the future, but I was forgetting one thing: my perspective was wrong. Sometimes we focus so much on our internal emotions that we forget about God’s sovereignty. He already knows His plans and how our lives will play out. He knows how He will protect us. And while He is the contractor and builder of our existence, we can only see the work in progress. We are like that building. Funny…now that I think about it, I was looking into a metaphorical mirror as I stared across the empty quad that night.

But it helped. It helped to see something that made me think, “I’m almost there. Just a little while longer.” He knows the date when His project will be completed. And while His plans for us are never finished – they go into eternity, where we will soon dwell with Him – it is encouraging to know that the struggles and confusion in this season of life will soon resolve, just as that dorm had a set date of completion.

You are a work in progress, love. Stay strong.

When a Heart Breaks…

Psst! Do you wanna know something secret? This time, I’m going to talk about breaking up.

Eek. Such a harsh word… two words… to even type. But some of you may be there – or might be there someday (sorry!) – so I want to share this with you.

One of the reasons it took so long to heal after my first break-up was because I tied my identity to the relationship.


There is a difference between investing in something and defining yourself by your actions. For example, if I spend years studying to be a doctor, I shouldn’t be completely distraught if I am  turned down for a job. I shouldn’t say, “I applied and wasn’t a match. Soooo I guess I throw in the towel now.” No! I could still open my own practice or apply for another job because that rejection wouldn’t define my ability. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand that this same concept applied to relationships. To this day, it is sometimes difficult to separate the very simple fact that “It just didn’t work out”  from “I wasn’t worth loving in that way.”

Sad, sad, story. I kinda chuckled inside right now, though, because it looks so much more heartbreaking when I see those thoughts written out in black and white. But it was heartbreaking at the time. For a long while afterwards, my mind turned over and over with questions of why? Why, God? I tried to do things in a way that would please You. Why?

I don’t have all the answers, friends. I promise you I don’t. But I do know now (or at least I’m beginning to understand) that being “good enough” has nothing to do with it. Whether that person is amazing (as he was!) or totally mistreated you….whether you ended the relationship or your loved one did… you don’t have to feel stuck on the end of that chapter. The next page is yours; the rest of the book is waiting for you to dive into it!

Things are becoming clearer. What someone else sees in me – whether it be platonically, professionally, or romantically – does not at all determine my identity. Because who I am is found in Christ. I live to follow Him, to be with Him. I don’t live for the chance to be valued by a special guy or gazed at with complete adoration. While that kind of relationship is a beautiful thing, I am not in complete disarray because I was “turned down for the job.”

I’m still Sade. I still love to write, and I am still working on the sequel to my first novel, “my baby,” ShakenI am still able to grow in a deeper relationship with the Lord without the aid of a boyfriend who seeks to protect my heart. I still adore palm trees and staring aimlessly at the ocean for hours. I still lose myself in playing the piano.

My dreams of being cherished and pursued in a way that directly mirrors Christ’s affections for me have not changed. I will always be adamant about being set apart. I will always want to pour love on others in the form of letters written in cursive on brightly-colored paper… or random gifts relevant to a previous conversation… or simply a hug and an “I love you!”

But I am not desperate, I am not damaged, and should I be rejected again, my identity is not flawed.

Neither is yours, friend. I don’t know what your life story is, but even if you’ve experienced rejection that isn’t romantic – perhaps something at the hand of a friend or relative – I want you to DANCE in the freedom that you are still His! You are still 100% treasured! And the CROSS was still endured for you. Personally, intimately, unconditionally. You are known to the depths of your soul – every act you committed and everything you will soon do – and His love is not revoked.

So, yeah. Slightly personal, but I’m also glad to share it. I just hope it will encourage you!

Wholly Satisfied

Today was what Paul was talking about when he mentioned the beauty in singleness 🙂

I’ve been able to give myself wholly and fully to the well-being of others – namely, the incoming freshmen on my hall – while being filled and satisfied in the joy of Christ every day. I attend a large university, so on Monday, I moved onto campus early so that I could volunteer for miscellaneous tasks. I took it upon myself to personally meet and offer my assistance to each girl on the hall – not as a fleeting thing, but as a dedication. A commitment. This is where my love and my time will go; at least, part of it.

This weekend, I will attend a retreat for the college women in my church. Next week, my duties as a leader for the Wesley Foundation’s freshman ministry will begin. This is where the other portion of my heart is invested. I’m so beyond excited for all of this! And while yes, sometimes I wonder what it’d be like to pour special affections on a special guy, I just want to say with full confidence that there is NOTHING wrong or lacking in the single life. I’ve enjoyed beautiful, beautiful friendships with both sisters and brothers in Christ, and have met people who care genuinely about protecting my heart and sharing the simple moments of life with me.

Being “wholly satisfied” does not imply that hardships will not come my way. I am not so naive as to believe that I won’t feel lonely at some point. But feelings are temporary, and it is important to not make life-altering decisions – such as engaging in an emotional affair when you know as strongly as I do that you don’t truly want one – on a whim. .

So here’s to health, wealth, and a spirit that bounces with joy!

Love, Sade

(Which, for those of you who don’t know, is pronounced Shah-day) 🙂

Random Musings!!

So the cool thing about you all following my blog is that you get to see the evolution of my mindset. Almost two years ago, I thought that my most significant role as a Christian woman was to be a Proverbs 31 wife. That was supposed to be my “occupation.” But now, I’m understanding that my “occupation”should always be Being Fully Occupied By and Satisfied In Christ. So no, I’m not going to talk about wanting a man or anything like that in this post. Desiring relationship isn’t even the purpose of this blog. Gifts should never be the sole appreciation of the recipient. We focus on the Giver, and not just because He is a Father who gives good gifts.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!  -Matthew 7:11

We focus on God because of the love, mercy, and grace behind the undeserved gifts that He gives. When all is said and done, He is more of a gift than anything we could imagine. The other stuff is just more icing on the cake!

So here we go:

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