thursday june 12, 2008
.can't get over her
I am struggling with the girl I like. I've been trying to love the Lord with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and all my strength. I've tried to do this by reading my bible and praying regularly ever since and I've learned a lot and do my best to follow what God says, but I still have these horrible feelings for this girl. It's gotten to the point where I told her she isn't my friend anymore and I can't talk to her. Basically I have to avoid my friends all the time at school cause they're friends with her so I end up leaving any situation when shes around because they'll be with her and it just hurts to see her. I've tried to be her friend multiple times but I just get angry and I can't get mad at her anymore. She is a Christian and helped me early on by showing me things, but basically its gotten to the point where I don't want to talk to her anymore, yet I will still see her so I don't know how I'll ever get over her. It's just annoying because shes never had a boyfriend before and won't even date anyone and I feel like I'd marry the girl. I've never felt that strongly towards someone before and thats why it's so hard to lose those feelings. I pray so much that if it's God's will for us to not be together that he would make these feelings for her go away, but they don't. I get depressed about it all the time because I can't get her off my mind and she lives close to me next semester. Another huge reason I want her off my mind is because I lust for her really bad sometimes and I ask for forgiveness after, but it ends up happening again. I don't want these feelings or attractions for her anymore because they've caused me to do wrong and I just want to please God without feeling like I'm blowing it every time I lust for her and give in. I just don't understand what I'm supposed to do if I pray for these terrible feelings of hurt and sin to go away. Sometimes I wonder if He's ever going to help because why would this still be going on if its causing hurt and sin. My life has just come to be boring and lonely. I wish I could just meet someone that I could love forever and not have to go through this ever again.
I'm going to try to bring some new perspectives to the battle here. Hopefully some of them will land with some impact.
- You mentioned that you wish that you could just meet someone that you could love forever. If you are a follower of Christ - if you have made him not just your functional savior (you know Him as the guy that died so you could go to Heaven), but if you have made him your leader, your life architect, your source of wisdom, your daily guide, and an ever-presence in your life....then you already have met someone that you can love forever. I think you are living where the church at Ephesus was living when Jesus called them out in Revelation 2:2-5:
"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."
They, like you, were doing cool things for Jesus. They were doing nice things for people, they were working hard at their jobs, they got upset when they saw evil and injustice, they knew how to discern truth, and they had battled through some tough personal times. But, they had forgotten that they were in love with Jesus. They had started doing life with their affections placed in other places - they may have just fallen in love with doing good, or knowing truth, or the attention that may have come from their public persecution. While these things are part of our lives as Christ followers, they should not replace our affection and connection with Jesus. And look at what Jesus says lies ahead of them if they don't re-align their affection...Jesus says that their effectiveness in their life ministries (at their jobs, with their families & friends) is about to be minimized - their lampstands are going to be removed. They are not representing the essence of the Kingdom of God with their "good deeds" - God wants our heart, and right now it sounds like your heart is turned somewhere else.
- You are frustrated because God has not released you from these feelings toward her. What makes you think that God should do that? Did God turn off the feeling that Adam and Eve were having when they wanted to eat from the wrong tree? Did God grant Jesus' request for this cup to be passed from Him in the garden before his crucifixion? I only shudder at the thought of what may have become of me, of you, of humanity, if God had released Jesus from His mission just because His humanness was having some difficulty grasping what was coming. God wants us to embrace the power He has given us to overcome our temptations and wordly drives. Paul compares salvation to a circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29 and Phil 3:3) - our core desire to sin has been cut away, but as you guys know with circumcisions, there is always a piece of skin left. So, we have a piece of our fleshly heart still in us that we have to learn to overcome through self-control and discipline that comes from hanging out with Jesus and making His Kingdom a reality in our lives.
- You will need to get a God-perspective on this girl. If God has not opened the opportunity to court her, then you have to decide who you trust: your desires and what you think you want for your life.....or God. Psalm 37:4 tells us to "delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." I perhaps can hear you saying right now, "and I desire her....so it must be from the Lord." But don't skip the "delight in the Lord" part - it is critical....in fact, it is more than critical, it is essential. "Delighting in the Lord", if I could put it another way is "falling in love with Christ" (see Rev. 2:2-5 above), which is the consistent message of Jesus all the way from Psalms to Revelation - He wants our delight, our affection and our attention. Once you focus your delight on Christ, then, and only then, will the desires of your heart come from God.
As you have felt yourself, your desire for her is bringing you to a place of unproductive anger, crippling lust, suffocating depression, and will eventually lead to vicious contempt....for her, for her friends, and perhaps for yourself. Do these qualities sound like those of a citizen of the Kingdom of God?
Focus on representing Jesus to her, protecting her purity (and her friends'), praying for her (by the way, that prayer needs to focus more on her growth closer to Jesus....not closer to you....let God do the connecting in your life). Remember, that your influence for the Kingdom hangs in the balance here, as the influence of the church at Ephesus also hung in the eternal balance. Don't let some earthly desires and plans get in the way of the magnificent eternal.
- We are called to freedom. Having to worry about not hanging out with some friends if she is around, adjusting your schedule and routes depending upon where she is, always feeling an urge to check where she is or who she is with - that is bondage man.....and a rough one at that. I have lived it and it was not fun in any way. I thank Jesus for freeing me from it....and He can free you as well.
Let me end with an illustration adapted from Dallas Willard. Let's say you wanted to go to Moe's to eat because that is what you really want. When you walk into Moe's it is affirmed that you are at Moe's with a hearty "Welcome to Moe's!" from the burrito crew (if you have not been there, you have to try it...at least walk in the door to get the welcome and then decide whether you want to stay). They don't say "Welcome to not Taco Bell!" They don't congratulate you on not going somewhere else. If you are at Moe's, by definition you are not at hundred's of other places you could be eating. The fact that you are not at these others places is thrown in for free since you at Moe's. But if your sole goal when you ventured out for some grub was to not be at Taco Bell, it is not really an effective way to get to Moe's. You could avoid Taco Bell by being at any number of locations which are not Moe's.
So, what do burritos and geography have to do with your situation?
Well you don't want to feel this desire for her anymore, right (the "not Taco Bell goal")? But, focusing on this goal is only going to make you think about her more and will bring loads of frustration...and really won't get you to your real goal of desiring God and His will (the "be at Moe's goal")? So, you need to focus on replacing your "not desire her" goal with a "desire God" goal. Then, you will get the "not desire her goal" thrown in as part of the deal - let God transform you and reshape the desires of your heart. Just like when you focus on showing up at Moe's, it is pretty difficult to be at Taco Bell at the same time. When you focus on Jesus, it is going pretty difficult to be in a place of crippling, sinful desire at the same time.
There is no boredom or loneliness in God's Kingdom. So head to His Kingdom - Jesus is waiting to show you things beyond what you can even think of or ask through His power that resides in you (Eph. 3:20). If this girl is not part of God's plan for you, then rest assured that He will have someone even better....way better...beyond what you can even think or ask for (once again, Eph 3:20). I thought my girlfriend in college was the end all for me. How limited my perspective was....and how incredibly grateful I am that God gave me my wife - she is beyond what I could even ask for or imagine. Trust God. Trust His Word. Trust Jesus with everything you have and are going through.
posted by kemper lewis