Recently I had the opportunity to FaceTime with a dear friend. This friend is one of the most wise and God-loving/pursuing women I have ever met. Every conversation I have with her teaches me so much and leaves me feeling uplifted and challenged. She has experienced struggles with her identity and faith regarding relationships and has thus been an amazing person for me to talk to. However, the reason for our conversation this particular time was an extremely positive one, my beautiful friend had just entered a relationship.
I listened to my friend go on and on about the amazing guy in her life. She exuded excitement and love. She talked about how amazing he made her feel, how much he had helped her learn about herself, and the wonderful way that she could see Jesus in him.
In the past I have joked and said that I "live vicariously through other people's relationships" upon hearing stories like this. When I actually think about that statement though, this feeling was truly jealousy and self-centered desire. Thoughts of "When will that be me?" and "Why not me?" were actually at the heart of the situation.
This time, as I was watching my sweet friend grin from ear to ear and blush as she detailed the story of her relationship thus far, I could actually feel myself having to choose which perspective or outlook to utilize. Do I listen to her story and smile despite letting jealousy take control of my heart, or do I instead admire the way that God has worked in her and the way that his wonderful plan for her life is unfolding?
As we talked I could feel God working in my heart, and it became more and more difficult to fall into that jealous pattern of thinking. I mean, after relationship struggles and times of banging on God's chest, instead of turning away in frustration, she ran towards him passionately. How inspiring is that? And how breathtaking that she can see God in her boyfriend? I sat on my couch, with my computer on my criss-crossed legs, in AWE of God.
At one point my friend shared an enlivening idea. She suggested that perhaps we must first be fully IN HIM in order to completely appreciate him and the ways he is moving. In that moment I realized, that is what I must wholeheartedly desire. I must constantly make the change from being jealous or desiring a relationship, to desiring to be closer to God and learn more about him. I am confident that a relationship, if that is in God's plan for my life, will be immensely more fruitful and long-lasting if born out of the latter.
God's plan for my life is so intricate and well-thought-out, that my imagination only belittles it. In a sermon just last week at my home church, I was reminded of two unwavering truths about God that I must remind myself of over and over again. 1) God loves us and more specifically, he loves ME. 2) God works in unexpected ways to fulfill his promises. I think that these two truths play a part in changing my pattern of thinking. There will be times along this journey when I will be come frustrated or confused because I don't understand what God is doing. In these moments, these truths act as a comfort. Although I may not be able to see what God is doing right then and there, I know that God loves me and is just moving in ways that I can't even imagine.
Four months ago, HERE, I wrote about my experience never having been in a relationship. Looking back, I realize that while I may have said that my thinking had changed, I didn't allow that to fully permeate into my life and actually change the way I live moment to moment. Following my conversation with my friend, I have been really feeling God. I know that this is something that I want to pursue and alter. With my friend's help and the help of many others who God has blessed me with, I will. My path definitely won't be perfect or straight, but it will be so beyond worthwhile. I know it.
So I ask you, which perspective will you adopt and live out?
| Watch: Kate Spade (similar) |
I decided to include these fun photos that my sister took a while back because I felt that the intricate design of the dress reflects the idea of God's detailed and unexpected plan for my life. She managed to capture moments of true happiness and focus. As I head back to Iowa State soon, I plan to bring the happiness and focus!
As always, thank you for tuning in. Thank you for listening to me ramble! I would love to hear if this post touched you in any way. Until next time,