Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fairy Tales Fading

One of my best friends from college is getting married in August. I still remember that day I met Paul in the lobby of Read dorm - the beginning of an incredible gift of him serving me with his brotherhood for the next 6+ years. I'm honored by the opportunity to sing in his wedding and the song that he and his lovely bride-to-be have chosen is "Love" by Sara Groves. The lyrics:

love I made it mine
I made it small I made it blind
I followed hard only to find
it wasn't love
it wasn't love

love of songs and pen
oh love of movie endings
takes out the break
leaves out the bend
misses love

love not of you
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

love's reality
is not a passing bravery
it holds out hope beyond what's seen
the hope of love

love not of you
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

I post these because the truth in this short song is one that God has been graciously teaching and bringing to fruition in my life over the past 12 months. I left Indiana feeling as if I had somehow missed a proverbial boat- not finding "the one" to walk with me in life. I didn't find him in college and I didn't find him in graduate school. But after some time of being in Los Angeles, I began to realize that the eagerness or urgency I felt while in school began to fade. And it is frankly because of the first two blocks of lyrics in the song. This is obviously nothing new or profound, but the actual discovery of this truth for me has been both.

I used to roll my eyes when my mom encouraged me to move out on my own, get a job and be able to take care of myself first. I found it to be a bit "dream squashing". But, as I've gotten just slightly older, I realized that she wasn't speaking generally as much as she was speaking to me. I've got this impatient and driven personality that needed (and still needs!) to be honed and refined. What better way to do that than to throw myself into a church community, a job, and a life of discovery and curiosity? Because it is through doing those things that I discover that this image of what I've called "love" isn't complete - and frankly, at times, has been just plain incorrect.

I was talking to a friend last night and said that I am happy- single, working, in community, and happy. She questioned the truth of that statement. I chuckled as I refined my statement. I said, "Shannon, don't get me wrong, I very much look forward to the day where it makes sense- when there's a man who comes into my life and we can walk together. I do want that. But, today, on June 25th, that isn't my reality. And today, I woke up happy - not BECAUSE I'm single- but happy in my singleness, in the reality that is my life."

What I'm trying to encourage here is for all of us- regardless of whether we're single, married, divorced, widowed - whatever - there's an opportunity to see this day as one that we can serve others and be excited about it. Happiness and contentment are not sourced in others, but in Christ - His blessings in relationship, finances, and experiences are meant to be attributed back to Him.

I guess I'm grateful that God is such a protector that He doesn't let my excitement dictate His will and plan for the world or for my life - or others' lives.

So my prayer for that man who, Lord willing, will come soon - and the one over my day and life today:

"Love not of you, love not of me, come hold us up, come set us free. Not as we know it, but as it can be."

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