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Three Simple Truths

Heather Cook

I hate being tagged “Alone.” I’ve always felt that I needed someone’s class ring to make me feel important. However, in the last year, I endured three difficult relationships before the Lord brought me into a dry place (slang for “without a boyfriend”). Traversing this desert  without a camel, I might add  I have discovered three truths about relationships.

1. Relationships Are Hard.

devozine Forgive? TS 119151704In my heart, I wanted a closer relationship with God; and I was beginning to walk in faith. I thought I would fall in love with the first boy I dated, and we would be together until “death us do part.”

Enter Boyfriend #1.

I urged #1 to go to church with me. He pulled me away. Had my heart not been so committed to Christ  and had my sister, Michele, not been so relentlessly in my business (she’s an undercover relationship spy!)  I would have fallen away completely.

I hung on to #1 for seven months  an eternity in teen dating years  and then I ended it. Again, I was alone.

2. Relationships Are Tricky and Confusing.

What does a girl do when she hates solitaire? She falls headlong into a new relationship. Welcome Boyfriend #2, a member of my church and a lifelong friend. I couldn’t help being a little smug, thinking I had it right this time.

Wrong!

The tricky thing? When our relationship ended, I stopped going to church. (Of course, at this point, my sister reminded me that church was about God and not about my ex or me.)

Still, I had to be in a relationship or suffer the dreaded aloneness. I battled the suffocating depression of seeing other couples dripping with happy fever. Then my wise though pushy sister reminded me that God has a plan for my life. I should stop trying to make things happen on my own, and give God control.

Good advice is hard to follow.

3. Relationships Are Emotional Rollercoasters.

devozine Roller Coaster TS 78374921I still wanted someone special in my life. When I became involved with Boyfriend #3, I had high expectations, which were immediately dashed.

“Church is not my thing” — his words, not mine.

My sister’s theory: “Wouldn’t it be better to be alone than to argue all the time?”

“Uh, not necessarily.” But hey, I wanted a boyfriend. Maybe I could change him. Maybe he would find Christ, and we would be blissfully happy. Maybe pigs can fly around the moon.

My sister’s advice: “You are unequally yoked.” I had heard this before; but until now, I thought we were talking about eggs.

The demise of my relationship was sad, but it is better to be sad for a while than to waste years in a bad relationship.

Truths Learned

I’ve learned that having a boyfriend doesn’t make me a better person. What’s important is having Christ in my life. Everything else is just part of the journey.

And by the way, we are never alone. Belonging to Christ means that we are involved and fulfilled in a loving relationship. When we trust him, we discover that his “yoke is easy” and his “burden is light” (Matthew 11:30, NRSV).

 

“Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction.”
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

DIG DEEPER

Think about your relationships. Are you gazing at each other or are you both keeping your eyes focused on Christ?

 

Heather Cook is from Heflin, Alabama.

—from Devo’Zine (November/December 2006). Copyright © 2006 by Upper Room Ministries. All rights reserved.

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