As I grow older, more and more I see the challenge in remaining single. Most people my age have already gotten married and have a small community(family)of their own which they are continually around. Yet, here I am stuck in an awkward middle place. Stuck because what my heart aches for is something that is probably the most valuable thing to each one of us…time.
[This post isn’t about time but indulge my brief rabbit trail…A leader once said, “Wasted time is wasted destiny.” How are we spending our time? I suppose that it’s important to evaluate time in lieu of the greatest commandments in scripture concerning loving God and loving others. But it is very easy to get instead on a self-focused, self-promoting track with our time. We all do it. But it is something to think about and fight for concerning how we spend our time.]
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be chosen. To be honest, this comes from a painful place. A place that questions why I have a history of experiencing difficulty in being chosen by other men to be known by, to be understood by, or to be given time by? As I look around at other males around me, it seems to be so easy for them to connect and go do whatever it is that guys do for fun. But yet, there I am wondering where are those guys that I can feel chosen by(included) in friendship? And there lies a wrestle to not believe that there’s something wrong with me for that. Rosaria Butterfield says that “hospitality is an opportunity not necessarily for counseling or deep conversations, but doing life together and doing it in the rhythm of life, and not by appointment only. It’s where folks know your house is open that night and the doors open.” And that is what I want, to do life together in a consistent rhythm with others.
But I must consider this funny thing about friendship, it’s voluntary. You can’t force it or predict when it’s going to work or not. Plus, for many, friendship isn’t high in priority, carrying a real long-lasting commitment in comparison to marriage. But there is also a real ebb and flow, seasons, to friendship. At times, it’s like trying to hold a handful of fine sand, but it all just slips through my fingers in a short amount of time.
But God is always good to deal with the heart of matters and to break in where needed. Something the Lord has been revealing to me is how much fear I actually operate out of when it comes to friendship. Because I have a strong need for community (with men especially)I’ll jump on almost(except when Risk or Settlers of Catan are involved!) any opportunity to get time with another. But this isn’t always coming from a place of wanting to enjoy time with another, love them, and build them up. No, mostly it comes from an unsaid fear of being alone or living the rest of my life apart from meaningful, heart connected friendships. It’s a fear of never being picked or desired for true friendship. So to compensate and try to prevent that, I give to others. It’s selfish I know and serves myself rather than the other. It becomes a manipulating love for the sake of return and feeling wanted.
Praise God that there is deliverance! I praise Him, the One who frees my heart, the One who CHOSE me before I chose Him, loving me FIRST. This is what transforms my perspective and fills me. And I agree with this truth and promise: “Blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You to dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.” Psalm 65:4 So my hope is in the power of being chosen by God and by His Son, a man. And I choose to return to this first love again and again because this is the truth that is lasting. I know that this reality is breaking every fear and lie, transforming my heart to love like Him…the One who chose us: enemies, orphans, thieves, liars, prostitutes, gossips, the great and small, sex offenders, religious and unlearned, the powerful, and the poor. He chose us ALL.