Have you ever had a person you care about fail to meet what you expected/anticipated them as eventually being? This week, I feel like I’ve been fielding a lot of processing of major changes in my own heart and updating how I view others, for better or worse. The most fascinating part has been not knowing how much once was true and now isn’t, or how much more was conveniently hidden in reality, for later.
During this time of transition, it is hard not to feel somewhat disappointed when friendships or other relationships come to an end. Overwhelmingly, God has placed in my path friends and conversations that touch on relational changes recently, and it has been a blessing to be honest about how changing priorities can influence your worldview with the people I care about. In the most random places, friends and I have spoken about how much has changed in my life and theirs, and a lot of conclusions just settle down to how life choices and beliefs can become sifted out like flour.
When we lose the hope that our expectations will be fulfilled, sometimes those moments can be good reflection periods to why we wanted something so bad in the first place. Was it for us? Was it for others? Was it for God? I don’t know the answers to all of those questions, at least for me. I feel like this transitioning stage is the first time where I’ve actually contemplated what I want, for me only. I think about that, sure. But if I didn’t have to adjust for ANYTHING, and still trust that God would find me in it? Now that’s a lofty question.
Yesterday, my friend Maddie voiced a truth that really stuck. We were talking about dating, and she brought up the point that, “If it was just you Christ was going to die for, would you believe that he still would?” Is your salvation dependent on whether tons of other people are saved with you? Would you believe that Christ would die for just you, and do it gladly?
We need to be asking ourselves that question when we think about romantic relationships. I don’t know about you, but if I have a relationship with someone I care about, I want him to want me, not to want a similar type of person category that I just happen to fall under. I don’t want to be someone’s good enough. Thinking about how Christ loves each and every one of us individually more than we can imagine is a powerful thing.
I used to think spending time or happiness thinking about yourself was an automatic indicator of arrogance, and I’m happy to say that I was wrong about that. Arrogance is the inability to think beyond yourself, not taking your feelings and opinions into consideration, and allowing yourself to call them valid. If your life has been redeemed, do you still put yourself under chains?
Thinking about yourself isn’t necessarily indicative of arrogance, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be arrogance. It’s one of those things that is more about stewardship than a direct diagnosis of positive or negative. It just is.
If we can’t be honest about us and what we actually want, is it fair to ask so much of others, in what we expect? I feel like shutting out what you want will make you progressively more blind to your flaws as well as positive traits, because you will be so focused on just denying your own existence. Self-denial just means not confronting things and allowing them to fester. If you can’t be honest, can you receive healing and mercy over what still might scare you?
There are just so many layers on transition that complicate what should and should not be. I think that if we limit how we feel or what we need, we incline ourselves to imbalanced priorities and paying more attention to what would make us sick anyways.