If there’s a word to describe my personal experiences with romantic relationships, it would be counterfeit.
If you were to ask me right now if I’ve ever fallen in love, my honest response would be that I hope not. I hope I haven’t felt the real thing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
I haven’t had that. I realize that love with people isn’t perfect, but I am hopeful it’ll look closer, and that the past helped me learn. I am 27, and I can say I’ve spent at least 10 years being somebody’s significant other. That’s a LOT of time. I’ve been in a 4.5-year relationship, a 3-year relationship, and a 1-year relationship, and those are the longest ones.
It’s easy to think that there’s something wrong with me or with my exes, and of course there has been a respectable amount of dysfunction, but I think there’s a better explanation.
I used to believe that any believer could marry any believer, that love is a choice.
While I still hold to the truth that love IS a choice, my mind has been changed about that first part, that anybody could just marry anybody. I don’t believe that anymore. If I go on one more day believing that, I will go crazy. Like newspapers-on-the-wall, A Beautiful Mind crazy.
There has to be a reason for all the epic fails I’ve experienced, and the reason is him. The holy explanation as to why it never worked out with anybody else, why something was always missing, is him. The reason for the little question at the back of my head is him.
Yeah, you guessed it: the one.
The reason we constantly choose the Ishmaels of life is because they’re logical. They’re feasible. You can wrap your mind around them. They’re usually right in front of you, convenient. Like the lovely Golden Arches, they glow like answered prayers when they’re actually unhealthy. This is counterfeit.
The hunger inside is for the impossible and the illogical Isaac. The promise is wrapped up around him. We desire something so specific that it becomes unreasonable. We rebuke ourselves for being too picky, without realizing who it is that made us picky: a Picky Picky Picky God, who is GOOD and who deserves glory for miracles. He sets us up specifically for miracles, and we choose logic instead.
We think He’s done doing miracles, when we are the ones who stopped believing in them, asking for them, and accepting them. We make no room for miraculous, and then say that it isn’t ever going to happen. We think God is the one who altered His behavior.
We dismiss the reality of His extravagant character because our faith isn’t big enough to wrap around it. How quick I am to calculate the odds in my head, and choose the option with the least risk! To say “I don’t have time, so this will do” and live my life making these kinds of choices.
I dare say that I’m experiencing the pang of hunger that comes from being picky, and that’s okay. I am choosing to embrace the extravagant nature of the Father’s love for me, displayed through my husband. If He prepares good works for me ahead of time, wouldn’t He prepare a matrimony? No? Isn’t that a little bit more important than a good work?
I believe the hubs will step into my life and be flooded with the honor of my hunger and my patience. He stopped snacking a long time ago, because of the hassle and the mess. What a hot mess to date around, seriously. What a mess to say “whoa, this is gonna be really difficult” and still go forward. Stop that. Red flags are red for a reason. The pit of your stomach is tense for a reason. We need to stop trying to jam the square pegs into round holes like kids who don’t know better. It’s stupid to know better and yet play dumb to satisfy a deeper craving with a temporary fix. All you get is a reputation, a track record of being a serial dater. Trust me, it doesn’t speed up the process one bit. Go ahead and stop. Calm down. Put your phone down and hum into the silence.
Grace is wonderful, beautiful, precious, and freely given. Give yourself some grace for a change. Have empathy for yourself. Guard your heart. Say no. Stop settling for counterfeit.
Have the faith to believe in something impossible and inconvenient: that there is one person He’s had in mind for you. I’m done thinking that anyone would do. That’s a cheap estimate of my worth as a wife and a mother. Let him come into my life like he was always meant to.
It’s a lot easier to wait for him than it is to wait for just anyone.
It’s a lot easier to bless the guys I tried to give my love to with the frame of mind that the actual hangup was that they weren’t him.
I’m trusting and waiting for the real deal.
I will miraculously fall in love.
Until then, I will gladly, gladly sleep alone in my hammock.