relationships.

First of all, yesterday was Christmas.  So, Merry Christmas.  I pray that through the details of the day, you didn’t forget about the purpose of the celebration and the gift from God that brought us hope.

Secondly.  I can’t sleep.  When I can’t sleep, I often times have too much going on in my mind, and usually am thinking too much.  Tonight, I didn’t think that was the case.  I was mainly thinking about how my sister was reading with the lights on while I was trying to sleep, and how I need my room to be pitch black, and therefore I couldn’t sleep.  She left and now I’m stuck here trying to find more reasons why I can’t sleep.  Maybe I need music.  Nope.  Maybe this is the wrong kind of music and I need more calming music.  Nope.  Maybe I need to shut the door (which is very possibly a reason why I can’t sleep, I have always needed the door shut completely).  Nope.

So now I’m writing a blog post in hopes of getting my thoughts (that I didn’t think were actually there tonight) out.  Besides trying to figure out why I can’t sleep, I have been thinking about how God has blessed us with the ability to have relationships with each other.  I started thinking about my life in general and what motivates me and gives me energy.  I’ve realized my life is energized by relationships.  But it is also drained by them just as much.

I look at what I want to do with my life, teach, help either at risk or special needs kids, and do music (somehow).  The majority of those things revolve around other people and building relationships with them.  I think about what has impacted me the most in my life, and I think of people.  I’m not sure if this is what everyone sees, so if it is I’m sorry I’m just realizing it, but I value other people and my relationship with them so much in my life, I long to know other people and understand their life better.

I have a deep yearning to connect with other people, through relationship and experience.  The relationships I have built so far in my life have made me who I am today.  God has blessed me with many people who I’ve come to trust and love; to guide me closer and closer to him.  Not only guiding me to Christ, but they have showed me who Christ is and have taught me to trust him and have pointed me back to him when life causes me to doubt and give up.  Many relationships I’ve built have been grounded in Christ and I’ve been blessed by them.  But humans cause pain and grief sometimes.  Not only have these same relationships caused emotional grief and pain, some of them have actually led me away from Christ.  They have caused me to question his goodness, sovereignty, and love for us and me.  I’ve always wondered, why God would allow us humans to enjoy the blessings of his creation through relationship even though he knows it will sometimes lead us away from him.

It’s so easy to forget about our relationship with Christ when he has blessed us with others physically around us.  I think I’ve learned this the hard way, especially in college.  My freshman year my relationship with God was significantly different than it is right now.  I am tempted to say it was stronger my freshman year, but it most definitely wasn’t.  It did look very different than it does right now, but throughout my college career, I was very easily able to look to my friends before Christ when before, I had no one but Christ to look to when I was having a hard time.

I’m not dating, and I haven’t been on a date so I have no idea how this works and I’m completely ignorant in the area.  But I always wonder how this works with a relationship with a significant other.  Because I feel as though it not only would be so easy to isolate your relationship with a significant other to an unhealthy level, but also, exclusively look to them (even directly after Christ maybe) and value them over other people.  For some reason, that just doesn’t feel right to me, but maybe that’s the way God intended it.  Where is the line of exclusivity and where does it become unhealthy?  How do I know if I’m loving Christ first before my significant other?

I don’t know.  Like I said, I can’t sleep so maybe my thoughts don’t make any sense right now.

I realized after I had thought about some of my past posts about relationships and marriage, maybe I’m completely turning any potential dates away by my thoughts on the subject.  To clarify, I do have a desire to date and be married someday.  So even though I’m completely fine not being married, and I feel as though God can use me just as much without a significant other in my life, if God is calling me to married life, I’m willing.  So with my questioning and my concerns about having a significant other, I’m wanting to know the answers.

Random tangent:  I hope I never get old.  I know it’s bound to happen, but a huge part of me hopes I die before I have to go to a nursing home.  I can’t see myself super old anyways.  Which I’m sure all the old[er] people reading this probably felt the same way when they were 23, but I very much pray that either Jesus comes before I turn 70 or he takes me home before then.  Today we had Christmas dinner at my Grandma’s nursing home.  Which was fine, but I just don’t look forward to living in a nursing home at all.  It sounds boring as heck.  On top of that, I couldn’t handle the food.  All I could think was “Good thing I don’t have to eat this everyday of my life” and I tried to force it down my throat without thinking about it.  It worked, except for now I’m not feeling so great.

Some relationships I have (and had) have been terribly draining and challenging to maintain.  Sometimes I wonder what the point is to continue relationships that are challenging, painful, unhealthy, and emotionally draining.  Relationships suck sometimes and it is very easy to just give up on them.  To never talk to a person again, or decide that hanging out with them any longer isn’t worth it because they are too much of a drain on you to continue.  Yes, I understand this, and I see the idea behind it.  But then I remember Jesus and how challenging, painful, unhealthy, and emotionally draining his dying on the cross for me and for my salvation must’ve been.  I’m reminded that Jesus’ relationship with me isn’t necessarily easy, but his love for me extends beyond the emotions and unhealthiness of me.  There are many relationships I’ve been tempted to cut off completely because of the pain and how they’ve drained me emotionally.  But I know that God’s hand is in each of them.  And I’m so thankful for his strength to maintain them, even if I truly see no blessing in them.

Maybe this is wrong for me to think this way because I’m not Jesus, and maybe we shouldn’t strive to build relationships similar to Christ’s relationship with the Church, but I want to live my life to be more like Jesus.  If that means I need to give up my own emotions sometimes for the sake of showing someone else who Jesus is, then I will do it.  I didn’t even care about Jesus before, and Jesus still died on a cross to save me and give me life; I can sacrifice some of me and my emotional stability for the sake of showing someone who Jesus is.

It is now 3am.  And I’m convinced I apparently had more on my mind than I thought.  Being at home has been strange, and oddly comforting and freeing.  I’m thankful for my family.  I do miss living in my attic though (strangely enough).  I pray God would continue to show me how to be more like him.  And I pray he would guide me to where he wants me and use me to show others his love for them.

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