the cabbage rose

December 26, 2010

I now have a head that looks like a sheep’s flank from the 1920’s. There was much shouting and grumpiness involved in the process, and a minor panic attack- and also some steak and some kumara and potatoes- but I now have headful of riotous curls. I’m hoping they’ll be much more tame by the time I get to the point where people can actually see me.


So after I left to write my head out last night, I- worked out what was bugging me. Other than, y’know, hormones. I sat in bed, and wrapped myself up in a duvet and talked. To the God who listens.

When I say talked, I mean wrote. I wrote this.

“I’ve spent so long fighting my desire to be a romantic. I am a romantic. I’m thoroughly emotional, even though my head works just fine. I’ve fought my desire for this with denial while secretly indulging in my underlife, my fantasies, my reading and my thinking, and then being brazen about it and my sexuality while claiming loudly to be single. To enjoy being single. And I do, I do, but I think a lot of what motivates the single talk is fear- and a dislike of waiting, of vacillating. And so I make my decision, God- I make your decision for you. I say, since I don’t know if I’ll ever be married, I’ll pretend I’m not ever going to be.

So I don’t get hurt, so I don’t get hurt. Trusting, letting yourself be vulnerable- is to let yourself get hurt.

No-one likes getting hurt.

Marriage is- is huge. But being with someone is- so much smaller, so much less complicated, and yet- more. I don’t know. It’s hard to be both idealistic and realistic about these things. And- and pessimistic, the realism born of fear. God, I don’t like the word marriage, I don’t like the connotations of it, and I don’t like weddings. But I- would love, to know someone intimately, and to be with someone, day in and day out, that I loved. To spend my life with someone, all the details and small intimacies of it. To keep no secrets, to be everyday and casual, to- to, just be. Jeans and a t-shirt and a smile, and curling up on a couch and reading, or talking, or doing different things. Quiet, in the same house. Cooking. I- would love to be- with someone, like that. The easy intimacy of a long friendship, a long relationship, one in which you have forever to know someone. To belong.”


If I’m honest with myself, and- with all of you, I guess, you faceless ones, I’ll admit this. I don’t want to be single forever, even though I prepared myself for that eventuality, battened myself down, thought it through until I was alright with it. If it is what God wants for me, then I will be happy, because it is God who is my fulfillment and my joy- I realised that a while ago, and it is as true now as it was then. But just because I’d be happy being single doesn’t mean I can tell myself that I will be single, and that I want to be. Because I don’t. Some days, I really don’t.

So. It’s hard to live in stasis, wanting this but not knowing- not knowing. Whether it’ll ever happen. Not knowing whether to hope or not. It’s not something I can hope for- because- the only thing I can hope for is God, is the restoration, is the lame walking and the blind seeing and the broken being made whole. Listen. This is what I hope for, what I steer my life towards. It’s- imagine we’re all in a really dark field, and it’s mud and ditches and deep dark ponds where the light is sucked down, and the moon is trapped behind clouds and all the trees are hands you can’t see. But far away, just at the edge of vision, there’s a tiny light at the far end of the field and it means home. It means home, and there family waiting for you, and laughter, and friends, and a feast, and everything there is joy and gladness. See, there’s the hope we travel towards. Home.

I’m usually more fluent when I express myself eschatologically. It’s- my passion, my drive, my reason for living. That one day these things will not be broken, that there will be no pain, that all that is bad will be gone and all that is wrong will be set right. Justice. It is the end of the world, when we will be who we were made to be- beautiful, radiant, without blemish, without pain, without suffering or hatred or the small twists and awful everyday miseries that cheapen and batter the soul into something- broken. This will not be. It is the best wash of all time, like stepping out of the best bath ever after the hardest day of work in your life.


This, though. This is entirely different. I can’t set myself at this like something I can hope for because I don’t know if it ever will happen. If I hope and it never happens, then it’s useless, it’s silly, and- my heart will break. We’ve already gone over the part where I say I don’t like being hurt. But the thing is, if I say it’ll never happen, I’m- being untrue, to both myself and to God, because how do I know? So what can I do? Shut myself off entirely? Stop myself wanting? It’s easy enough to stuff it all under the carpet and pretend I don’t feel a thing, but God, it bulges up under the pattern of the cabbage rose. We were never meant to hide, any of this, any of us.

I figured, in the end, that it all came down to trust. Trusting that God- would be faithful, and would be good. Will be. I don’t know the future, I don’t know what will happen, I barely know what I’ll be doing next year, but what I do know, what I can hope for, is God. He is my hope, my strength, my song. I can trust him to lead me the right way, I can trust him to make me who I was always meant to be. I am single now because that is what I am now, and I will serve him and love him with it. And- and not use it as a shield to cut myself off, or to make excuses in my own head with, because I’m afraid of the unknown. I’ve never been here before and it frightens me, as the unknown always has.

So. I’m going to have to find real reasons for why I say no. And I’m going to have to think about why I’d say yes. And what I know for sure is- Jesus, I’m going to have to trust you. Because these are the things that scare me most.


(but you have given me courage for a reason.)

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