when you have to leave them behind

when you have to leave them behind

If you know me or have been reading along with me for a while, you already know a few things: there's this really long, complicated relationship that I've been in the process of sorting through and getting over, there's something about the intersections of the sacred and secular that really speak to me, and there's something I always love about a good metaphor. You probably know a few more things too at this point, but those are the three I'm sticking with this time around.

Now, if you follow me on Twitter at all AND follow me on here, you might be a little jarred as you go back and forth, because apparently Twitter is where the sarcastically dry part of my personality resides, and around here is where the contemplative part of me lives. But something I read on Twitter the other day put me back in that reflective position, thinking about how sometimes we need to leave people behind as the absolute best choice we can make for them and for ourselves.

What got me thinking about all this was this tweet from Jonathan Martin I came across the other night.  The part that stood out to me goes like this:

Sometimes God is leading you to a place where other people who have been important in your life cannot follow.

guarding your heart isn't very christian

guarding your heart isn't very christian

You could probably blame it on a lot of things at this point, the entirety of the atmosphere of Pride Month, the release of Queer Eye season 2, actually having time to myself (a full month after finals ended), or a myriad of other things, but there's been a lot on my mind recently. And perhaps more than anything, I've been thinking about relationships again, since it finally doesn't sting too badly.

Something I've been realizing as I've been reflecting on the last six months without this boy and how everything between us ended, is that so often as Christians, we're socialized to do romantic relationships in an unhealthy manner. I'm an Enneagram type 2, and in many ways, I think that Christian culture has socialized so many of us into doing relationships like disintegrated 2s, and I think what it comes down to is this: the entire cliche notion of, "guarding your heart" that you probably heard so much about growing up, isn't very Christian at all when you boil it all down.

a relationship rather than a religion

In this post, I just want to share a random thought that I had this past week. Sound good? Okay :) Anyone who knows me decently well knows that I am completely enamored with writing and everything about it. I love the way that well-written sentences flow and the satisfaction of using an obscure word correctly. I also love the sensation of a pen or pencil gliding over paper, weaving out your intangible thoughts onto something physical. And this infatuation with writing spills over into everything else in my life.

But anyway, this is what's been on my mind the last couple of days, and I promise that everything I just said about writing is relevant, even if only vaguely. A lot of my closer friends will also know that I don't really pray a lot, or at least, not in the way that most people would think about praying. For the past year and a half, the vast majority of my prayers have been written down in a prayer journal. It just feels more natural to me that way, being able to take a pen and have everything just flow onto paper. And in some ways, it also feels like writing letters, even though that someone that you happen to be writing letters to already knows each and every word that you're writing to them. It feels like writing letters to God.

At the same time, anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm an extrovert. I love people, and I love relationships. So, in the same vein, I also tend to think about different relationships a lot. Something that struck me while I was thinking recently was this: We're supposed to have a relationship with Jesus. That's supposed to be the defining factor for Christians. And at the same time this thought: In any relationship, most people would get annoyed pretty quickly if the other person never let them talk.

How are those two things relevant? Well, for me, I thought of it this way. I think that a lot of times we might talk about praying really hard about any number of things that we might need answers about on any given day. And a lot of the time, we might need answers from God for those things. Here's the only problem: We keep talking to God, asking Him for answers, asking Him to show us what we're supposed to do, and then we don't give Him a chance to respond.

It's occurred to me lately that, sometimes, maybe the reason we're not getting answers from God is that we aren't giving Him a chance to speak. If you think about it in terms of a conversation, then prayer would be us and our turn speaking, but when is it God's turn? I think the answer to this is so simple, that a lot of us (definitely myself included) miss it. I think that a lot of the time, we give God a turn to talk when we open our Bibles. And I know that sounds so cliche and so Sunday school, but I honestly believe that it's also so true.

After all, we refer to the Bible as the Word of God, but then we don't really treat it like that's what it is. I think that regardless of whether we admit it or not, sometimes we treat the Bible like it is just a collection of ancient books that are 2,000 years old, not like a book that God continually speaks through, even today.

I've personally found that, many times, when I'm frustrated that I'm not getting an answer from God when I really need one, it's because I haven't opened my Bible and given Him a chance to speak. And that doesn't necessarily mean that every single verse that you read is going to be directly relevant to your life, but I do strongly believe that when you open your Bible and actually take the time to see what God is trying to say to you, He will speak to you in your mind and your heart through His Words that have been written down for us.

So, anyway, that concludes throwback to youth group. But seriously. God still speaks to people, even in 2015. I think the only thing that makes people think that He doesn't is the fact that sometimes we don't really let Him get a word in.

So, happy Wednesday wonderful people (and maybe my writing bit actually was irrelevant, oh well). Jesus loves you :)