hey love, why you gotta be so hard?

Sooner or later, twitterpated wears off. Maybe some dating couples sneak into marital bliss before this happens, but I've heard few of those true tales. I'm still asking around. But when the twitterpated wears off, by some miracle, I'm supposed to remain satisfied in my first love while trying to love someone else well. Truly, this love dance must involve miracles.

Because all of a sudden, it's not just about moving across the country to see Patrick more than once every couple months. All of a sudden, it's about weekly routines and juggling independence and fighting demons well hidden in my singleness. Turns out, I'm not as flexible or as humble or as generous as I had made myself believe.

Turns out, being supremely content and fulfilled in the Lord is not a milestone you run past toward a far off finish.

Of course, I knew those things when I was flying solo. I knew where joy came from and that it never runs out and that I need new doses every day, all day. But somehow in the mix of a cross country move and getting to know an amazing man, I forgot.

I forgot that God has called me beloved and I am His. I forgot that His promises are trustworthy, but His trustworthiness only feels abundant if I believe it. I forgot there are pleasures forevermore in His presence. I forgot that depending on anything or anyone else for life and breath is foolishness.

I'm living through that lesson - the lesson that love is hard. Unattached, involved, or committed forever - love is hard. The vantage point does not matter, because the object of our highest affections is most important. If I really believe that His love is best, my heart is full before I go on a date with Patrick and before I miss him when he is away. My heart is full because I am called beloved by someone who has the power to grant true contentment - the kind you can sigh into on a snow day in your favorite flannel shirt.

Being satisfied in Jesus is a miracle, but it is not an event.

It is not a part of my chronological love story, the part where I say, "...and then I just felt so content to be single..." God's provision is too good and His love is too precious to be a tick mark on a timeline. I'm learning a lot, about being vulnerable and honest and bold as I let someone else see my messes. But what I'm learning most is that I will only love well if I love Christ first.

When I want to be selfish or sassy or secretive, the answer is not to love Patrick better but instead to love Christ first. When I feel insecure or scared or anxious, the answer is not to expect Patrick to hold me up but instead to believe God already has and promises to remain steadfast. I'm learning I am just not strong enough to reform myself. It never works out in the end.

The crazy thing about this whole humility lesson is that it frees me to really enjoy the gifts in front of my face - like his laughter and our spontaneous adventures and the way he says, "Hey" when he opens his apartment door. 

Being satisfied in Jesus is a miracle and I hope my heart is always ready to receive it - unattached, involved, or committed forever.

So I kind of get it, I guess. Love has to be hard because we would miss out if it was easy. We would not see how brilliant or sovereign the Lord is when He orchestrates the miracles that make love happen. If love was easy, my heart would forget completely how much I need a perfect Savior.