Warning: this might be somewhat rambling, as I am still recovering from my fever induced delirium (at one point had auditory hallucinations (if that’s even a thing) that the guy at Jewel was talking to me in “bleep blop bips”).
Tonight… Okay, fine, let’s just get the nasty out of the way first. Yes, I’ve been wicked sick. Disgustingly sick even. Perhaps I played the sick card a little bit much to not have to participate tonight? Yes. For the record – I am weak and shaky, definitely heard bleep blop bips, still hadn’t had solid food (just now trying Kix cereal without milk), and nursing a vitamin water all day as to avoid any… unpleasantries for the evening. Genuinely, I am sick and still feel slightly feverish. However, I perhaps was not at death’s door as I portrayed. The irony of that just dawned on me as one of the things mentioned tonight was manipulation.
Moving on. (I’m so losing concentration as all the fortified vitamins are popping to life inside my malnourished brain). So tonight was a really powerful (sounding) time of worship (that I didn’t enter in to at all). As I sat there (looking deathly sick as opposed to ghastly ill) I started to think about the “whats”. For the first time, I decided to stop asking God “why” questions and ask something that I could grasp the answer to better. Let’s face it, it’s easier to be shown an eraser than see an equation with a bunch of mistakes. So here’s the “what” I started asking. “What is it that I’m longing for, that I need, that I’m trying to find in [another person] that You want to fill in me instead?” How’s that for a good question huh?
The evening goes on (and I’m hazy on the timeline – really, I am sick) but at some point that very question pops up… as in from the leader. She essentially asks the same question. Holy moly. At this point I got a little… freaked out about the question – meaning I’d ask it to God about 4 different ways on repeat without a mental breath so He couldn’t answer me if He tried. Then we transitioned into small groups. The thing that we were doing, I had pretty much done before… so I curled up on the floor while everyone else was all intensely working on their stuff, and I decided to keep up with my praying. It feels like it’s such an important question, that… I don’t want to let it go. So I’m laying there praying still lacking in any patience so I’m not getting an answer. But then all these weird memories popped into my head. Things that I’d pretty much forgotten – or at least not remembered (there is a slight difference I assure you).
The first thing was when I was 18ish and I met this chick, Amanda, online. We’d chatted, talked, emailed, sent real mail and cards for a couple of months and decided it was time to meet (we lived an hour apart which seems like nothing now). So the time came and I hopped on the train to Boston and we met up at a coffee shop. My heart still has these really warm fuzzy feelings of how the beginning of that night was. She held my hand as we walked around and she showed me “her” Boston. We had such a good time that well, time got away from us and I missed the last train back to where I lived. So she got a friend of hers, Beth, to drive me home. So, I’m in the back seat, Amanda’s in the passenger seat, and Beth’s driving (this by the way is where the warm fuzzies end). A song comes on the radio – “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant. Amanda looks back at me says “Riss, it’s your song” and then kisses Beth as she pulls into my driveway.
The next one that popped in my head was Tommy Cooper. Interesting, just remembering his name brought a half-smile to my face. Anyway, so I met this guy because his room-mate was dating my friend. This one also started out without meeting in person first. We talked on the phone frequently and really got to know each other. When we eventually met, he showed me all 27 tattoos he’d told me about and then gave me my first tattoo. Yup. My first tattoo was done in Tommy Cooper’s living room while watching Donnie Brasco. I definitely fell for him… but he was still involved with this other chick, Sara. Long story short (too late) he said he loved me, wanted to be with me, had my name tattooed on his leg, but felt stuck with her… and so he stayed with her.
And the last one that popped in my head wasn’t a romantic type of relationship at all. It was a friend from middle school. I remembered a walk we took together and how complete I felt in that friendship (that I trashed a month later because I am a terrible human being).
So, my question is – are these 3 “scenes” the answer to my “what”? If so, what’s the common thread? The only thing I can think of now is rejection – two rejected me, I rejected one. That doesn’t seem like the right answer. That I’m looking for rejection? No. Not the case here. Let’s try something else. How about… the opposite of rejection. I could go for some acceptance, love, to be desired, wanted. Yeah. That. That sounds pretty close. Then to bring it back to that question, I’m looking for acceptance, love, to be desired, and wanted from someone else rather than from God who alone has the power to love unconditionally, to allow me to come as I am (broken, messed up, delirious from fever, etc), and who wants me all to Himself. It looks good on paper. It almost feels right… but there’s something lacking. Something that just doesn’t fit.
Okay, maybe it was when she called me “honey”. “Hon” wouldn’t have really gotten to me, everyone calls everyone hon. No big deal. But the addition of that last syllable… it just. Gosh. I’ve tried to give this idolatry/friendship/ what the frig do I label it as up to God dozens of times that past 2 weeks. Each time at least moderately successful. This “honey” thing though, man… it sent my soul into what I can only describe as acrobatics. But, I talked myself down and regrouped. Since she’s the “who”, I figure this might pertain to the “what” so I can eventually get my “why” to get myself fixed. So, what was it? Was it the friendly pet name? No, “honey” is too generic to get stoked over. I think it was the context – the concern she had for me – it made me feel… seen and cared for.
Now, if only I could just release all of my crap and let God truly love me as He desires.