Yes, I know that sounds like a quote out of a Disney movie or something, but just bear with me.
A lot of things have happened in the past week and a half or so that have made me think about romantic relationships and my future in that area. I never thought it'd be "easy" for me to find a boyfriend, but I also never thought I'd be almost 23 and never have had that experience yet. And things that have happened recently have made me dwell, I guess, on how I feel about still being single, probably too much.
But then tonight, Clayton took some time out of writing an exegesis for us to FaceTime because, as it turns out, we both needed some time together, and he said something that has really hit me.
"Sometimes we find love in non-romantic relationships. I've definitely found that love to be amazing."
I think that at least part of my problem is the fact that I often think I'm missing something by not having a boyfriend or knowing what it's like to have a boyfriend. (As D told me last week, it's not all it's cracked up to be!) But if I take a second to quit feeling sorry for myself and think about it, I'm not really missing anything.
No, this isn't some blog post about all the reasons it's awesome to be single. I'm just feeling tonight that it's unfair to the people in my life who love me so well, who pour out love to me every day with everything they have, to diminish all that their love does for me by saying it's not enough.
Like the friend who woke up from a dead sleep just because I needed to hear someone say they loved me, and he did it and wasn't annoyed.
Or the one who took out time from a Bible Study to see what I needed and pray for me.
Or the whole group who showed up in the midst of their busy schedules to walk me out of class one night at the end of last year just so I felt safe.
Or how D and L sat with me at the ER last week long past when they should have been in bed and refused to leave until they were sure I was okay with it.
Or the church friends who listened to me pour out my story and, instead of backing off, chose to earnestly and passionately pray over me.
Those things? They are amazing to me. The fact that I have friends like these in my life is amazing to me.
And sweet Clayton? Don't even get me started. I can't even put into words all the times that God has used him to save me from myself. Amazing doesn't even begin to describe the way he shows me love and the awe I feel at his loyalty to me and our friendship. This is what I mean when I said I didn't know people like him existed before I met my Reformation brothers; the joy and love and commitment in our friendship baffles me every day.
I need to learn how to focus on what I do have instead of what I don't. When I start feeling sorry for what I'm "lacking," I need to train myself to thank the Lord for all the people and all the love He has given me and trust that He'll bring me these other desires when He knows I'm ready for it and can handle it. Because I know dating relationships and romantic love involve tests I can't even picture right now. And because if nothing else, I know that God is good and He wants to bless His kids.
And you know, as I was writing this, one of my favorite worship songs popped into my head.
Amazing love, how can it be that You my King would die for me? Amazing love, I know it's true, and it's my joy to honor You. In all I do, I honor You.
That's really what I have to remember. I already know the most amazing love of all: the love of a Father who comes with no conditions. I don't have to try to make Him love me. I don't have to prepare for it. I don't have to put up a facade like I spent so many years of my life doing. God loves me. He loves ME. HE LOVES ME. This is the love that pulled me through when the world expected me to crumble up and wither away. This is the love that broke me after I spent 12 years of my life running. This is the love that puts breath in my weary lungs every single day and sends me people like the ones I've mentioned above to support me when I honestly just want to throw in the towel and give up.
God is amazing. His love is the most amazing thing of all. THAT is the key to finding my happiness in this season while I wait for what comes next. I had several new experiences in this past week and a half alone; it's not like I'm stuck stagnant here in this city. God's just asking me to wait and trust and not be afraid of doing either of those things.
Because I have all I really need. Everything else that may come along, it's just a gift from the Lord. While some worldly things can be awesome, I have to keep them in perspective to what amazing really looks like.
And amazing is a God who took on skin, lived among us, and died bloody and naked on a tree to save me from the mistakes I'd make 2000 years in the future. Who did all of that because He wanted better for me. Who chased me down in a church hundreds of miles from my home when I didn't know He was coming because He knew I was exhausted of running but didn't know how to change.
So yeah, Clayton was right. Love doesn't have to be romantic to be amazing. I've got proof of that all over the tapestry of my life.