Single and Sacred

Alone but not Lonely

A Wicked way to get fulfillment

 

Yes I fully concede that the title is clickbait and I don’t care: it was too good of an opportunity 😉

While I don’t sense a burning desire to get married, I have always had a desire (need?) to emotionally connect with females.  My method of meeting this desire/need is the same as everything else in life: I seek the Lord and follow his leading as I best comprehend it.  Sometimes this results in being led in directions that bless Him more than they bless me, and sometimes it can be downright confusing.  Recently, I think he wanted me to reread (something I NEVER do) a book that I had read about 5 years ago: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.  {Warning: this post contains spoilers.}  At the time, I really liked it and it gave me more empathy for atheists, as the book’s titular character, Elphaba, struggles with religious beliefs her whole life and the reader gets to see her struggle with confusion, anger, and feeling like a failure.

The characters and world of Oz are quite well developed and nuanced.  [If you have seen/heard the musical version with Idina Menzel, it is great in its own right, but it widely differs from the book.]  The book chronicles her life from birth to death, about 38 years, and when she was 25 had a short-lived affair that greatly colored her life outlook for her next 13 years.  The affair lasted a few months and its the only relationship she ever has.  She and her lover have a brief exchange at one point in which he asks if she is married, and she responds “I am married…just not to a man.”  To which the reader learns that she considers herself married to her work (of fighting injustice in Oz).

I felt particularly bad for her because she and other characters had a scandalously large number of unanswered questions at the end, and neither she nor the reader gets them answered.  Questions about her identity, the afterlife, if she really has free will or if she is under another spell, and whether or not she actually as a soul.  The whole thing was quite tragic.  All the same, parts of her journey mirror paths the Lord has brought me through.  In my walk with the Lord, I’m gradually trying to get comfy with the fact that some questions we just aren’t going to have the answers to until we no longer see through a dim glass (1 Corinth 13).

So I’m thankful to God for giving me this gift of being able to identify with someone who, while fictitious, is still similar to me in many ways: very earnest, very single, and sometimes misunderstood by her family.   Reading the book only took a few days, but it was comforting to feel connected with her character.

I am no longer in a relationship

 

Yep.  Its true.  I am no longer in a relationship.

There is no way one blog post can cover everything, so I’ll list some of the highlights:

The decision to end it was not made by me.  In other words, I got dumped.  🙁

The past 4 months have been some of the best of my life.  I have no regrets.

I have learned about how the Lord pursues His Bride.  Conversely, I have experience some of the pain that He feels when someone He is pursuing rejects Him.

Ironically, my love for others has increased.

I have learned more about how He created me: the desire to connect emotionally with others is WAY stronger in my heart that I realized.  The severe pain of the relationship ending played a big part in teaching me that.  To give you an idea of how this has affected me, by my nature, I am not a super-emotional person.  In a given calendar year, I’ll cry maybe once or twice.  In the month after it ended, I have cried maybe 12 times.

It was fun!  The joy I had in beholding her, the peace that became more palpable when she was near, the fascination with seeing God through her eyes as we spoke.  All of these things were immensely pleasurable.

Sacrificing for her was a priveledge: financially, time-wise, and having less time for other relationships to focus on her.  I considered these sacrifices a joy in that they were tangible ways I could demonstrate my affections for her.

But alas, it was not meant to end in marriage.  So be it.  While it was quite painful, I understand where she is coming from.

In the coming weeks and months I’ll probably elaborate on some of what I’ve learned.  Till then, I encourage you with a scripture a dear sister sent to me to encourage me: “So let us know…let us press on to know the Lord. For He has torn us to pieces, but He will heal us. He has injured us, but He will bind up our wounds.” Hosea 6

An Unexpected Journey

I’m in a relationship.

Yep.  You read that right.

I can promise you, NO ONE was more surprised by this than I was.

Last November, I spent a weekend seeing some old friends in Florida.   At the time I was living in Nashville and I was driving down on Friday and coming back Monday.  During that time, I saw her and had a reaction that I can’t quite explain.  All that I can saw for sure is that at times it was difficult to breathe, the reaction was so intense.  This has never happened to me and I prayed for the Lord to provide wisdom in my reaction to it.  This was on a Saturday and lasted most of the day.  I was to spend some one on one time with her Sunday night, and during the day on Sunday I meditated and spoke with some close mutual friends of ours, a married couple.  My conversation with them only confirmed was I was thinking: that Jesus wanted me to talk to her about possibly becoming more than friends.  That evening when the time came, I told her that I had never meant to mislead her in the past (with telling her that were would only ever be friends), but that I couldn’t deny that I thought I was at least to put the offer on the table that we might be meant to be more.

We agreed that we would take a month to seek the Lord about it as I would be back in Florida in late December for the holidays.

The following weeks were unquestionably the most paradigm-shifting times of my life.  I had multiple paradigms shattered all at the same time.  I assumed that if I were ever to get hitched, that there would be a personality connection with said female such that it was obvious we were meant to be together.  She and I don’t have that.  I also assumed that I would always be single.  There aren’t that many contentedly single males who are devoted to the lord that also don’t really struggle with loneliness and/or sexual temptation.  So it made sense that I would be single forever, seeing as how there are so many adult singles that need ministry…right???  Also, I have this blog: why would He lead me to do this blog if it wasn’t to move in the direction of ministering to single adults?  I dunno…

A few years ago, I was led to quit my professional well-paying job to go live in a crappy RV in California with no job.  That was quite a paradigm shift, but that was a cake walk compared to this.

She is my closest female friend and Jesus has used both of us in the other’s life numerous times.  I can honestly say that I love her has a sister in the Lord.  However, for a few very concrete reasons, I always assumed that a relationship between us would never work.  In fact, a few years ago I actually told her that we would “never” be anything more than friends.

She and I are both brutally honest with each other in our feelings (or lack thereof) and our thoughts about whether or not this season will end in marriage.  Both of us agree that we do not know how this will end, but we also know that we are meant to walk this journey together to discover aspects of how the Lord interacts/courts his Bride.

I get to play Final Fantasy again!!!

black-mage

I found out recently that Nintendo plans to re-release the original NES 8-bit system.  It will resemble the original console but will be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.  I will be preloaded with 30 of the most popular games, and has an HDMI port so that you simply plug it into your TV and its installed. It comes out in November and will cost $60.

I’m almost embarrassed at how excited I am for this.

When I was a child I got an NES and kept it for years, playing what have now become classics. One of those was Final Fantasy, the first true RPG I ever played. The play went as such: you had to spend a lot of time fighting “regular” enemies to build up your characters so that you could fight the bosses. After I left home for college, video games got put on the shelf for years, but occasionally I have played a few RPGs since then (Final Fantasy 7 for PS2 and one other I can’t remember) but it was too easy: the enemies were scripted into the story so that everything happened pretty linearly; ugh. Anyway, crappy graphics notwithstanding, the tedium of this game is something I’m looking forward to.

It took me a while to actually believe that it was okay for a christian to have fun. We project our ideas of how Father is based upon our childhood experiences with our own biological father (or lack thereof). I love my dad dearly, but “fun-loving” is not something he’ll ever be accused of. 🙂  The man enjoys business, investing, and politics, and to a child, these things don’t really scream merriment and laughter. Once I understood that God desires an interactional dynamic with us, one of the many things he taught me was how I had erected a false idea of Him based upon assumptions I had made about my dad growing up. I had unwittingly come to believe that He was always super-serious and generally frowns upon trivialities and silliness. Thankfully, after many years of Holy Spirits counsel, I’ve learned that He is extremely fun loving, and now I can now look forward to something like a video game without any guilt or shame at potentially wasting His time/money.

[This is not to say that entertainment of any form can be idolatrous, of course it can, but you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater either.]

Worship in Spirit and Truth

6278956076_06974dd07b_z

When Jesus speaks with the woman at the well in John 4, he says that there will come a time when people will “worship in spirit and in truth”.  I never really understood what this meant (and I guess I still don’t completely), but I think Holy Spirit gave me something on it a while back and I’m reposting it here.  Interestingly, what I was studying at the time had nothing to do with worship at all; I remember I was preparing a talk on something unrelated when I felt led to stop and write this down.  I did and was surprised at how good it was and so I assumed it was genuinely of the lord.

Here it is:

When I think of worship I think of two parallel themes: war and sex.

War: War is messy, as is worship.  It involves killing an enemy through any means necessary (there are no rules in war: do whatever it takes to kill the enemy and thereby ensure your survival).  Worship, is this way in that worship is the practical realization and working out of the destruction of your flesh nature that has already occurred on the cross with Jesus.  You are dead, your flesh is dead, and worship is the practical outworking, the painful, gruesome, and sometimes miserable experience of giving up our lives for the war for the King/Kingdom.  This is the ‘Spirit’ aspect of what Jesus meant when he spoke of the Father looking for those who will worship him in Spirit and Truth (john 4).  There is refuge in this and a good secular example to give is in the WW2 movie “Fury”  with Brad Pitt.  They are in a tank (war) and he refers to the tank as “home.”
Sex: Sex is messy, as is worship.  In sex you are completely exposed; no pretense, no hiding.  There is a giving of oneself completely to another for their benefit (and in doing so there is a benefit to self, but that is the outflow of the experience and not the goal; the goal should be the benefit of the other).  There is a completeness, and wholeness to it: all five senses are involved: sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell.  Nothing is left untouched in the experience.  This is the “truth” aspect of what Jesus said when he said that the father is looking to those who will worship in Spirit and Truth (john 4).
The secular Hozier’s song “take me to church” is a sort of good expression of this.
Hopefully I don’t need to cover the idiocy that some people think of as worship meaning singing songs in the congregation.  This is only one small part of worship, and actually the easiest…
[That was the end of it.  Let me know what you think 🙂 ]
« Older posts

© 2017 Single and Sacred

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑