Saturday, February 7, 2009


I don't typically write blogs that are deeply personal since this is a somewhat semi-public blog and I tend to be a private person, especially when it comes to my dating/relationship life. But God has been bringing some clarity to me recently through "Walking With God" and I think it's worthwhile to write some things down.

A part of the book talks about agreements that we have made in our lives concerning love. Examples include, "I'll never truly be loved" or "Unconditional love is unrealistic" or "Love doesn't last". The second one struck me although it isn't the main point of this entry. I believe my parents have done as good of a job as any two parents can do in showing me what unconditional love looks like. I have never doubted that they loved me. There have been times where I may have felt that I wasn't measuring up to their expectations but I knew at the end of the day that what mattered most was that I was their son. That is a deeply important feeling and one that I don't take for granted. I have received brief notes from both in recent days offering praise and encouragement and I am very cognizant of how blessed I am to be 36 with two parents who are still happily married, healthy and spiritually alive. All that being said, I realize that I don't truly grasp God's unconditional love for me. I have trouble praying immediately after I have sinned and the idea of asking God for anything after I have let him down is extremely uncomfortable. That is me not completely buying into grace and forgiveness and I need to pray about having a better understanding of His love for me.

So, speaking of being 36...and single. I doubt there are any of us out there who haven't made some agreements about love by this point in time. Although I hadn't spent much time thinking about that until I read this book. But I do know one that I have had for quite some time now. It is along the lines of "Love doesn't last". It is also a bit of "No matter what I do it will ultimately never be enough". The latter really got drilled into me again last year when I was doing everything I could possibly do in a relationship (or at least that's the way I felt) only to be told that I wasn't doing enough. Talk about reinforcing an old agreement.

I think the "Love doesn't last" idea came from my high school relationship. I may have been young but I knew it was good...very good. I was definitely in love but it ultimately didn't last. It wasn't even anyone's fault. It just fell apart for one reason or another. Maybe with a bit more life experience and better communication skills we could have made it through but that wasn't the case at that point in time. That left me with a badly damaged heart and the idea that love, even when it feels like it will never go away, can't really be trusted to stay.

I'm a pretty sensitive guy when it comes to matters of the heart. I couldn't just brush that off and move on like nothing happened. It haunted me for a long time...and probably still does on some level as I wrestle with whether or not that feeling I had so long ago can ever truly be recaptured. So, I think what may have happened is that I have held part of my heart back from every relationship since then. Instead, I have focused on being the "perfect" boyfriend because that is something I can control. There is still meaning behind it...I never just fake it. I don't say words I don't mean. But my whole heart isn't there. If you aren't willing to get hurt completely then you aren't going to be able to love completely. I guess I just haven't been willing to risk everything, afraid of being utterly decimated once again.

But that is a big conclusion...almost a breakthrough for me. That does offer me some real clarity and a better understanding of my personal history. I understand my emotional baggage better and should now be in a position to be more aware of it before it really gets in the way. The problem, of course, is that the other person I am dating will bring her own baggage as well. The prayer will be that she is also finding clarity and healing and that we have enough grace and patience to help each other through the rough spots. Definitely too much baggage and not enough grace in my last relationship. I am hoping to change that in the future.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh Nancy

I don't usually spend time focusing on unintentional misstatements as they don't really provide value or add depth to the public discourse. However, this one was worth posting.

500 million Americans losing their jobs every month??? WOW. Quite a number given that the US population is around 306 million. I'm sure we can't go fast enough to stop that Nancy. God help us all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009