17 March 2009

time for an update

I write what I know. Lately I have had this itching desire to write, write, write. I haven't let this desire out of its cage until now, so if it comes at you like a wild animal, I'm sorry. It probably won't though.

Let's get down to business
I've been going through a time of testing. I've confronted several temptations. Do I let this temptation linger and sizzle? Do I outright say no? Thousands of questions such as these started to pass through my mind a few weeks ago, and they lasted until a couple days ago. My heart would race, then it would sink. My hopes would go sky high, then come crashing down. I didn't want to share with the whole world what exactly had been going on, but I don't want to be vague, so I might as well spill the beans. I met a guy here in Spain. 
He's Galician (Galicia is the region where I am in Spain), great, nice, fun, humorous, knows the city well, speaks Spanish and Gallego (obviously), and wants to learn English. Sounds like a great friend, right? Yes. As I started to get to know him, feelings for him emerged, and I decided that I developed a crush on this gentleman. As sappy as it sounds, the scenario was perfect, okay; we had similar interests, I would be here for the next few months, he'd be coming to the U.S. next fall (not because of me), yadda yadda yadda. The more time we spent together, the more I could see this really happening. It was like a dream come true; oh how romantic, just like a movie. I'm off in Europe to study abroad, I meet a boy, we fall in love, and the rest is history. Then reality hit.

Compromise, oh compromise
Like an annoying valley girl, I heard over and over again in my head, "Um, like he is not a Christian." All right, maybe it wasn't a valley girl voice. It was more like the Holy Spirit, but either way, it was annoying, and the truth was that he, spiritually, was dead while I was alive. Everything else was perfect except this one tiny (but major) detail. My heart and my mind were thinking, "But, but, but... he's a great guy! We have a wonderful time together. We have so much in common!" I'm sure everyone has seen on TV the person on the brink of making a decision. On one shoulder, there's an angel, telling the person the right thing to do. On the other shoulder is a devil with horns and a pitch fork telling the person to rebel. They both list the options and consequences, and the person is forced to make a choice- right or wrong. There's no in between. Those were the exact shoes I was in. I felt this tug-of-war going on:
-He's so nice!
-No, he's not a Christian!!
Oh, how I wanted so much to find middle ground and pass through it. For a while, I tried to create that middle ground myself. Once I had established the fact that he was trustworthy, I started to spend time with him, just us, one on one. His strength called out a beauty within me. He challenged me like no other guy I had ever known. I loved the attention, the excitement, the mystery. It was all so fun, but I knew that this middle ground I had tried to make was possibly a trap. I started to consult various people- my roommates here in Spain, my family, and my friends back home. I got various responses:
"Yeah, go for it!"
"He's so funny, and you guys are so cute together!"
"I don't know what to say."
"Umm, maybe you should be careful."
"I'm getting red flags."

As much as I wanted to throw off the "cautionary" opinions, I couldn't ignore them. Instead, I started insult them, "That's so legalistic. All the Christians in the U.S. live by a list of rules. They don't know what fun really is. I'm so glad I'm in Europe, I get to see what life is really like." I started to compromise, and rebellion was looking really tasty. Every time I texted this guy, every time we hung out, I took another step in that direction. Greed crept in; I was like a dog ready to dig into a turkey left on the dinner table. I wanted to do whatever I felt like. My flesh was talking a lot more loudly than my spirit.

A breakthrough
I don't know what it was.. I don't think there was an exact point in time where something clicked, and I was able to see things in retrospect. It was probably a build up over time. After a while I started to see that this maybe wouldn't be able to happen. What I had wanted was really rubbish and would lead to destruction. I saw that my heart wasn't really in this. My flesh certainly was, and if I were to live according to the flesh, I would live a worthless life. I think it all started when my spirit softly called out my Savior's name. I knew I needed Him. I didn't know where else to turn. I was reluctant to call on His opinion before; He wasn't part of my consulting committee. But He is my First Love, the One who saves and loves me no matter what I do. 

{Breaking of grammatical rule: using first and second person}. I don't know if you've noticed, but this entire time I've been writing in past tense until that last sentence, when I switched to present tense, which would be breaking another grammatical rule, but I do that to prove a point. Although I am just coming out of this situation and still warring against thoughts and temptations to compromise and rebel, it is now in the past. I knew I needed Jesus' help, I know I need it now, and I know I'll need it in the future. He has always been, is right now, and will always be the One I call on. If I've learned anything, it's that I need to call on His opinion first and foremost, and that I really need to fall in love with Him. I know I don't always feel like loving Him, but fortunately He is kind, gracious, patient, and always unconditionally loving towards me. I am so thankful that the Lord heard my plea for help when I called on Him. I was about to make some big, life-changing mistakes. I endured this time of testing, but I couldn't have made it through without Him. I pulled a dead stop in the middle of this path of life and observed other routes I could go down. The entire time He was there, my hand in His. I didn't look towards Him to see what He thought, what He was saying, but He was watching me so intently the whole time. 

Song of Songs 8:3-5a, "His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?" 
Verses 6-7a, "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away."
Love is a strong thing. We were made to love the One who loves us first, and if we waste on it other things, other people that we are not called to, we are putting ourselves in a very dangerous situation. 

{Again, 2nd person}. If you are facing a time of trial and you don't think you can pull out of this situation, I encourage you to read Proverbs and call on the name of the Lord with as much strength as you have in you. It doesn't matter how deep into sin you think you are. I promise you, He hears your cry, and He will help you.

1 comment:

heavy ink said...

i like to think that the Holy Spirit does have the voice of a valley girl.