The Heart of the matter

I’ve been a little quiet lately. Its been an odd place of trusting in God’s promises for the future, but also guarding against the frustrations of reality seeming so very, vastly far from where we want to be… a strange tension builds into a sort of vacuum. This week has probably been the worst, resulting in lots of comfort eating yesterday and much vulnerability.

My struggle has been a heart issue and having to face that truth has been tough.  Its never comfortable facing the ugliness inside of oneself or realising just how imperfect you really are, beyond the social facades of pleasantries I’ve become so good at.  To be very vulnerable: I felt like a fraud – that I had had the audacity to begin a blog that testified of pursuing a godly relationship… and yet, in the depths of my heart was an icky mess.  What do I know of godliness or living up to the standards I speak so casually about?  More days than not, I do not get it right.  There.  I said it. I am a selfish, pride-filled mess of a person and left to my own devices, would destroy the absolute gift of a relationship that God has given me with G.  I have no righteousness, no sense of holiness or purity in my own being.

It sometimes feels like we live in a society that tolerates everything with reckless abandon, terrified we offend anyone.  And sometimes in the church, it feels the opposite; judgement comes quickly and easily.  I realise both statements are far extremes and equally unhealthy and incorrect.  But that’s the two extremes that have fought it out in my head over the past few days: the extreme liberal tolerance of all things waging war against the pharisee-like religious spirit of condemnation. Its exhausting.

Having said all of that, Today is a New Day.

I live by God’s Grace alone. At my weakest and my worst, His Grace and Redemption is most apparent. Does this mean I continue in my bad attitudes, mindsets and behaviours? Not at all… the revelation of His Grace only draws me closer to His Heart; wanting more than ever to change my ickiness for His goodness. If I really do want a relationship that not only testifies of God’s Goodness, but also extends His Kingdom, I need to be prepared to do things differently.  Having acknowledged my failings and brokenness, I choose to leave those past habits (even the ones only a few hours old) behind me – dead in the past – and step into a New Day.  I love that as I write this, the rain is pounding on the roof above my head, reminding me that God’s Grace washes away everything I release into His Redemption. My faith says I get a fresh start; I get to try again. This time, I choose to do it with God’s help. Beyond all the external behaviours and attitudes, God looks at our hearts – He examines the core of our being and draws out the broken pieces, healing those areas and replacing them with His Love.

Relationships are hard.  They have the potential to bring out the best in you, but also an incredible ability to draw out the worst, with the purpose of removing the filth for the benefit of healing… much like a drawing ointment pulls out a splinter in your finger.  Its both sore and liberating at the same time.  I guess that’s where I am at the moment: having thorns (there seem like so many of them this week) pulled out and its a little eina… but I am trusting that its a good thing. That as G and I prepare for pre-marital courses and me moving across to his church to begin growing together under the same spiritual teachings and authority, I know God is busy refining us – testing our foundations and the way we have begun to build this relationship.  We both desperately desire a relationship that has Him as our foundation, but we’re also human – and so, as the foundations are shaken, we can only hope that what remains will be strengthened in the next few weeks as big changes loom.

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Facing the Past

This is probably not the easiest post to write – and one I kinda hope G doesn’t read because I know it will probably upset him a little… but its something we have had to face as a couple and I felt it needs to be shared.

From the start, both G and I were upfront with eachother about our pasts – the path we’ve walked, the mistakes we’ve made… his openness initially helped me to be equally as vulnerable and the shared transparency in turn built an almost immediate Trust. This blog in itself has also opened us up for several conversations… so at this point, there is little we don’t know about the other in terms of ‘mistakes’ and previous relationships.

I’ve been asked several times whether G is as squeaky clean as I profess to be – and without airing his dirty laundry, the simple answer is no. Make your own assumptions with that… last night after church we were once again talking about our pasts and G shared details from his previous relationships. I am not going to lie: it was tough listening to him speak about girls who he had had such strong feelings for… the selfish part of me was… well, jealous for want of a better word. Suddenly I was faced with the reality that although he is pretty much the only man I have ever really loved (the few infatuations and temporary crushes seem so insignificant in comparison), I am not the only woman to have had his heart.  And that’s a really tough thought to face. A vague concept of ‘past relationships’ is very different to hearing how much someone was loved or the future he had considered with them… and yet, the other less selfish part of my heart was left astonished that these girls didn’t recognise the absolute gem of a man they had had – that they had rejected him so easily and consequently missed out on what could have been theirs for the taking. And then the fierce protective part of me rises up, getting indignant at the hurt that he went through and the scars that I’ve been left to love. Despite all of it, I’m the lucky one. I’ve been able to know and love the man made stronger from his past hurts; I’ve been given the privilege to walk beside him as he steps out in faith (not only in learning to lead our relationship, but in starting his new business too) and I know I get to share not only his present, but his future too.

And yet. Isn’t that the very picture of Grace? That no matter how messed up our pasts, Jesus somehow takes all that hurt and bad choices and loves us beyond that – that despite the past, we find redemption in His death and resurrection. And then its Done; the past is behind us and we move forward into the Hope and Future that we find in Him… much like G and I: our pasts are behind us and right now we celebrate the Present Moment together (3 months today whoop whoop), looking towards  the Adventure that Jesus is leading us on, together.