The Blessing of Unrequited (shadows)

As you may have expected, people have been asking me how I’m doing since that little “in love with someone who wants someone else.” fiasco. (which you can see more about here, here, and here.)

And honestly: I’m OKAY.

See? Cute outfit. I must be okay. ;)

I mean, i’m probably better than okay. I don’t feel any differently about him, but I am trying every day to be faithful with whatever is in front of me. And you know what’s NOT in front of me? That man.

But what is still in front of me is my God and His goodness. And one of my favorite things about God is that since His glory is the point of everything, I can count on everything to teach me something about His glory. Circular references can be the bomb sometimes.

And I am so grateful that my feelings are what they are.

I am grateful that I have no control over this strong, abiding, i-know-will-go-away-when-God-sees-fit, beyond-all-sense love.

Not because it shows me how I should love God,

but because it shows me how God loves me.

And that man not loving me* shows me a lot about how I love God.

I hope this can make sense.

I didn’t choose to want this man. In fact, I fought it like CRAZY. Until I just knew. KNEW  that I couldn’t fight it anymore. There wasn’t anything I could do to change it. And like he told me again and again, the man didn’t change in any way to make me want him. He didn’t measure up (not that he had some failing to cover) or win my affection with his goodness. He didn’t suddenly warrant my love in some way that changed for those feelings to resurge SO STRONGLY. It just happened and I knew it wouldn’t un-happen.

But he didn’t want me.

It reminds me of the love of God. Except he CAN and DOES choose to love us. To love ME in a way that isn’t EVER going to un-happen. He loves me not because I measured up or won his attention with my worthiness. He loves me no matter what I do.

And so often, I just don’t want him. I choose other things (and here the analogy breaks down because I choose far less worthy things. Q didn’t choose anything less worthy, just different).

See I love the way I feel about that man, and even the way he feels about me, because it points me again and again to the greatest love story, told on Calvary with an empty cross and an empty grave. It reminds me that the strongest love I’ll ever understand (which no, i don’t think i’ve experienced yet) on this earth

Will still only be a vain shadow of the love God has for me.

It points me back to how grateful I am for this unmerited gift. This thing I could never earn. This thing beyond words and understanding.

The blessing of an unrequited love all wrapped up in the love I could never hope to match. The love of the Father and King and Lover of my soul.

How have past loves taught you about His great love?

*not romantically, anyway. He’s still a kind, sweet creature. Just one exercising his privilege to prefer another. I can malign no one this choice. Please no, “he’s so {anything}.” comments about him not wanting me. ;)

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heartsick -reader response requested

::a jumbly mess and gratefulness for that jumbly mess::

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling awful.

I’d foolishly eaten some cake thinking it wouldn’t be that bad (I get sick when I eat Gluten) and…

i’m heartsick.

Is that a term people use? Sometimes I say things that seem so normal to me and people look at me, blinky-eyed, unsure if it’s rude to laugh in response. Like the other day when I told Kristen I didn’t want to poop on her party. Apparently ppl say “i don’t want to be a party pooper.” not “i don’t want to poop on your party.” Whatever. Poop is poop, rules is rules, and heartaches hurt.

FTR, no one hurt me. No one did anything wrong. I’m just upset about the outcome of a situation in which no one is wrong but just isn’t what i want. So y’all put down the pitchforks and torches. But thx. :)

Anyway, I was on my knees (never one to forgo a taste of the histrionic ) and opened up my journal to find a note Lovey had snuck in some time last week.

“Be vulnerable,” she said. “There is so much of you that is a gift. Let us see the part that hurts, the part that wonders. Those are gifts too.”

Admittedly, I tell you a good portion of my hurts/doubts. You know. After the fact. With lots of gospel. Lest ye think God isn’t good enough when I write a post thats just a jumbly mess of hurtfusion.

So…may I please have permission from y’all to sometimes say just what I’m thinking/feeling? I mean, if you read this, and if you’ve ever met me, you probably know that I love Jesus. That I believe He is enough. That I enjoy him and life and that the Gospel is the truth to which I cling. Would it be okay with y’all if, sometimes, I just work that out on here?

I’m serious about this, y’all. I’m really asking the question: If you are a regular reader (and you can leave an anonymous comment!) is that something you’d like to read? Would that encourage you? For today, at least, for Lovey, who asked me, I’m going to be jumbly, hurt, confused, and heartsick. out loud.

You know even committing to that helps me feel a little better? And oh my stars, have I been feeling blah. Tears I didn’t know I had for an emotion I didn’t know still existed have been flooding over me and onto others this week. Not too many others. I mean, even though the only thing I can compare this hurt to is that which I felt last year, the first time I experienced an in-love heartbreak, I think only Supermama and The Social Worker know it’s going on. Hah. So much for authenticity.

Anyway. Hurt. Pain. Sickness. Confusion. Frustration. And a desperate wish that someone could hold me long and tight enough that I could shake this chill that goes all the way to the inside, deep into places that don’t physically exist. Ya’ll, my space heater is 5 inches from my body and it’s the latter half of May. In Texas.

And THEN, in the midst of all this weirdness that isn’t but feels comparable to being in the middle of an emotional blizzard (I’ve never been in a blizzard. I’d take one look at a blizzard and die.) I got asked to teach the younglings (I work in a children’s ministry at my church) the lesson this past week. Sure, I can do that. I can teach. Even though all I really want to do is not exist. Cause… well I don’t know why I said yes other than usually, that’s what I do. ;)

So let’s go back to 8:30 am yesterday. When I need to leave the apt to get to service to spend some time surrounded by Jesus and held tightly by him before I go teach les littles. (yes. im making these names up as i go) I just sorta fall over, and I see my journal. I flip through it and find Lovey’s surprising note.  And I get up, wearing JEANS, no make up, hair undone, and go to work/church. Where I’ll see/be seen by a few THOUSAND people (most of whom don’t care in the sense that they are offended, I know, but still). Even though I want to cover up so no one is burdened by my hurt look, I’ll be vulnerable by not covering up the outside markings that I’m a mess. Cause I don’t really have the energy to do so anyway.

And right up until I get in front of los disciple-itos (the kids) I have no idea what I’ll do. So I open my mouth.

“Good morning,” i smile at them, sincerely but with little energy,”I’m going to tell you a not-very-secret secret. I don’t feel very well. Do you think you can do me a favor and pay extra special good attention to me today?” “Yes ma’am,” they replied, with the sweetest little concerned faces. And they did. They stuck through a 20 minute oral rendering of the story of David and Bathsheba. And when we were done, they raised hands and asked such sweet, confused questions.

“How could God do that? The baby died? He didn’t do anything.”
“Did Bathsheba know? Did she know that David killed her husband on purpose?”

For one of the first times I’ve ever seen, the kids were noticeably getting that the characters from their story were real people, with real hurts, with real hearts, that their stories were real stories.

And maybe-just-maybe, that’s partly out of the fact that I showed them a little more this morning about how I am a real person. With real hurts, and a real heart. And just so you know, my stories are real stories. So are yours, for that matter.

Xo  -r

the Perspective of a Giraffe

 

Studying at  a book store recently, I hopped down the stairs in search of the ladies room. On my way, I locked eyes with a friendly, handsome man whose smile I happily returned. Then I got down a few more steps, was able to see his face clearly (didn’t have contacts in) and realized it was the Giraffe! (The Giraffe is a good friend from UT.)

He was on his lunch break and ended up joining me at my table to eat. I wish I could chronolog his cute little quirks (including eating with one hand while pristinely reading a book from the store with the other, in such a fashion that I was sure he’d done this many times previous) but that’s not today’s story.

See, we were catching up, and I told him how I’d seen/talked to both of my last two exes this week. He asked me how I felt about it (what a counselor!) and I said,

“I mean, I dated a man for whom there was no end to passion, but who didn’t understand a thing I said. Then I dated my best friend who understands everything about me, but for whom I felt nothing more than a strong sibling’s affection. I guess it’s nice…I never really thought either of those things existed.”

“Aren’t you excited about finding the one who’s both?”

“…..I don’t really believe that’s possible.”

The twinkle in his eyes and his half-way smile said, “C’mon, sister, we’ve got a strong, mighty, sovereign God for our Daddy.” but his mouth only said,

“Yeah. It’s possible.”

Large Orange Juice. No Ice.

I’m drinking a large orange juice (no ice) from Sonic. Did you know Sonic had orange juice? I didn’t. And I don’t know how much it cost, cause bubs(my brother. like, my real, the way you would call it brother, (okay we have different dads so he is my half brother but) moving on…) bought it for me.

I’m sucking down orange juice because of two reasons.

First, because I’m having a bit of a reaction (no big deal) to the Yellow Fever Vaccine I got last week. I had to get the vaccine to take the surprise-gift-trip to Uganda that I leave for next week. And because I got the vaccine, I probably won’t get Yellow Fever.  So all in all, this is a good reason to have to suck down O.J.

The other, funnier, much more ironic and ridiculous reason, is because yesterday

for Christmas

I was with la familia. And having said that, I’m just going to need you to know that if you haven’t been reading for the last few months, the rest of this post just isn’t going to make sense.

Do you know who else was with la familia for Christmas? Q. Because it’s his dang familia! And where was Hoyt (who I am dating) while I was with the family of Q (who I used to date)? In Ohio. With his family. Who doesn’t get a nickname yet. ;)

And everyone was fine with it and it was just one of those things that I could explain but it woudln’t make sense but it DOES make sense or it did and either way…

Q and I ended up going for a walk. To have our talk. That talk we promised we were going to have back in August (the promise that was the culmination of the great Aprilgust debacle) and can i just say that when we got back, we realized we’d been walking/talking for two hours? And that it was, then, TWENTY SEVEN DEGREES OUTSIDE.

This is one of those times that I just look at my actions, realize how silly they look, and still say, “worth it.”

But probably only because I didn’t have to buy my own orange juice.

Something, Anything

This is another real time blog. To hopefully make up for the wretched timing of the one that posted earlier. Funny blog, just not for Christmas morning.

 

Last night was Christmas Eve. I’m doing my absolute best to think just about this year, and not what was going on last year at this time (Ahem, i was being called “a princess to save” by Q when he came over with 5 male family members in tow to save me from a legitimate crisis/nightmare that I will NOT recount).  I was doing my best to comfort and communicate with GWN, another thing I call Hoyt (who’s name, you may recall, is actually Ben) who is spending his holidays up in Ohio. (my best is not super great) Moving on…

 

Last night was Christmas Eve Service time at the Stone, where I work and where I worship.  I’d had a good day, but a long one, and somewhere around hour 12 (only 6pm and we weren’t leaving till 10:30) i CRASHED! Headache, so I ate. Gluten. Mistake. So I drank coffee. Mistake? Then I went to worship. NEVER A MISTAKE.

 

SAW Q FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS. Not mistake… but I hadn’t planned for this. I knew it might happen, but I’d not rehearsed any words, not made any back up plans, anything. I can’t even remember if I made eye contact.

 

Rev-Most-High, a friend and elder at the church (who I call that just be sassy cause he told me not to call him “Elder”) says it’s better that way, that I hadn’t thought too much about it.

But then I also didn’t know what to do. And there were 12 people waiting on what I was going to do. Possibly mistake.

 

Anyway, it sorta worked itself awkwardly out and I eventually got to my mom’s house to sleep. But I was all sorts of wonky, and it was Christmas Eve, and I REALLY wanted to celebrate the joy of my king! (I know, I know, you all would have had me over. It just was a time when I needed to go to bed but… just, understand that I get that you would have had me). Moving on.

 

I parked in my car on the street and I SERIOUSLY considered sleeping in it just to avoid having to wake my mom up. I was that not-up-for-dealing-with-anything (again, this was mostly just i’d been up a long time and had consumed stupid foods).  So I laid my seat back and prayed “Daddy, please. give me something, ANYthing, just to let me know you love me, to let me know you’re here.”

 

With my eyes still closed, I heard a car pull up. My brother, with a key to the front door and a cheerful heart.

 

It was INSTANT. A reminder of how much He loves me. And He doesn’t have to remind me, but I’m so grateful that he does.

 

Wishing all of you little Christmas miracles and praying for the miracle of a changed heart for many on this day that we recognize the glory of the coming of the King.

Finishing the Six Months Later Series

I just can’t leave it hanging like that.

 

I only wrote four posts. What started and I thought would continue forever fizzled out as I got distracted by other, more valuable things.

 

There is only so much reflection on a thing gone and passed that can be helpful.

 

I stopped writing about missing him in a toturous, painful fashion because we learned, we learned how to not be together.

 

I stopped mourning his loss as God gave me a full time internship and grad school – things I love and things at which I’ve excelled this semester – to concentrate on.

 

I even went to Dallas once and did not think about how I was only four hours from him. Mostly. :)

 

And in all that, I did not hate him, did not even stop enjoying him, I still love him. I love him for the man he is and do not resent him for not being the man I wanted him to be.

 

And so I’m so grateful that I let myself write those sappy little posts six months ago (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the first four of my last five posts) so I can look back and see where God has taken me.

 

If you have a second, please feel free to take a moment and pray for him. Q, one of my heroes, a great man who God will use in great ways. One of which I still hope will be as my friend.

 

(my eight-hours-away-and-maybe-we-dont-talk-that-much friend ;)

Looking Back and Not Turning into Salt

You know, like Lot’s wife. It wasn’t good for her to look back.

 

But it is good for  me, today.

 

It’s so good for me to look back and see ‘WOW,’ God has fulfilled the promises he made and is making new ones.

 

It’s encouraging to see that even back then, God had a good enough grasp on my heart that I was okay letting go of any grasp I might have on Q.

 

Oh and by the way, here is Ritzland, we are crazy. And ‘Q’ is the same person as ‘C’ i just used to call him ‘C’ when I referred to everyone by their name’s first letter. I don’t do that anymore because there are too many people and I don’t want you to confuse ‘C’ the ex with ‘C’ his brother or ‘C’ the mama friend who LOVES me or ‘C’ the revolutionary from Nashville. See? ‘C’ would be confusing. ;)

 

So the ‘C’ mentioned in the six months later series is always the same man, the man in Oklahoma who I love with, now, a much purer love. Who I appreciate and about whom I smile.

So it’s good to look back because it calms my heart and reminds me of how much healing God has done, and how he’s molded even my mind, my thoughts, to be more in line with His.

 

I never expect to look back on my life and see that I reacted well, that I did what God would have had me do, or that I will tell a story I’m glad to tell. But looking at today’s earlier blog, I see how much GROWING God has done in my life and my heart in the past year, and I am filled with hope anew as to where he’s going to take me this next year.

Clingy can be Good

I said in my last post, written six months ago, that I had to cling to God’s promises because that’s all I had.

 

I’m glad I did. It was tough. I really hurt but in all of it I knew God was with me and hurting isn’t always a bad thing. It caused me to see how much I love God and more importantly how much (and just HOW) he loves me.

 

Andplusalsotoo,  guess where I’m going tonight (yes actually tonight, this post is, atypically, in “real time”)?

 

I’m going to go spend time with la familia, those people I told you about in the last post.

 

And I’m going to spend the night.

 

Why?

 

BECAUSE I HAVE A STINKING AMAZING RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.

 

Now hear me out on this. God will not always give you exactly what you want, because sometimes what you want is NOT what’s best for you. (And sometimes he will give you what you want and it IS best for you in the sense that you learn but it is NOT fun and part of what you learn is that you should try to go for what God wants. Ex: Israel wanted a king.)

But sometimes he will give you the sweetest wildest desires of your heart! And my hope then was that God would heal me of that insane pain. Just make it not hurt so much, be so traumatic.  Instead what happened is that he healed me AND he gave me a season of huge growth in my relationships with them.

It’s complicated. It’s ESPECIALLY complicated because…ahem… other, very complicated stuff is going on right now….and if you KNOW me, like you’ve talked to me, this probably seems confusing (you’ve got to remember, I wrote that last one SIX MONTHS ago and six months is Ritz land is like an eon of activity) but if there was one take away I wanted you to have it would be this:

 

GOD IS GOOD. He was good when it hurt and had he never ever revealed to me why these things were for my good (and holy moley, has he ever revealed!!) HE WOULD STILL BE GOOD.  AND SOME THINGS MAY NEVER GET HEALED HERE ON THIS EARTH.

 

And it is NOT my restored relationship with La Familia that made things better. It was just God’s mercy and kindness. He just so happened to execute said traits through seester snuggles and stories and slumber parties and guitar playing in the kitchen.

 

Cling to God. Not circumstances. And know that he’s the God of circumstances too.

I’ll Call it Caring

What’s silly is, before Hoyt said anything about having feelings for me, i was SO SOLID on not having feelings for him. And had he not said anything (and I’m not saying he shouldn’t have) I am quite confident that I would have had a jolly old go of the SMOS, nary a concern of distraction….

this is my 'not distracted' face. also my "free silly straw from target" face

other than Q.  Which if nothing else (but, oh, there is so much else) this whole six-months-of-singleness-and-your-neighbrother-likes-you thing has been GREAT because it’s really shed some light on my heart about Q.

The night (Halloween night, causing me to miss Zombie Prom!) that Hoyt and I talked about how we should continue our friendship in the SMOS I was still confused about my feelings for Q.  I knew I was over him while he was gone in OK, but there was this doubt, this uncertainty….what would happen to my heart if he (Q) was right in front of me? Would I still be over him?  Or would I always need to stay away from him because I’d always be lost with him?

not MY lost face, but A lost face, for sure

But in the days and now weeks since that night, I’ve come to realize, to see, without bitterness (finally) that the lack of resolution or action that so typified my relationship with Q is not something that just happens- is not…wait…let me speak in positives.

I’ve come to see that some caring is caring that results in ACTION and RESOLUTION, it makes tough decisions and STICKS BY THEM.  It keeps making them, every day, in each new circumstance, because it, this caring, is important, it colors every day and many thoughts in that day. It is constant and it is overwhelming.

I’m not used to it. I push, at times, against it (see the post from Thanksgiving).

I’m not sure what to do with a caring that so reflects Christ. How can one person expend so much energy and concern…on me? And why?

I don’t understand this caring. And I say caring (and i do not say love because seriously (wisely) the man made SO clear SO many times that he had feelings for me and didn’t love me. clarity. hoyt uses it.) because I don’t know what else to call it. But it’s intense and it makes a lot of other things look a lot less appealing.

wordswordswords? (word swords words ;)

if he knows, the cat's not tellin'. Q's cat likes to cuddle when i'm at his parent's house.