I thought perhaps I had heard it wrong, but when I heard the advertisement a 2nd time, I realized they really were talking about falling in love with a certain maker’s vacuum cleaner. Hmmmm.
We “fall in love,” “fall asleep,” “fall short,” “fall to pieces,” “fall in place,” and “fall apart.” Usually, “fall” is something which happens by accident or unexpectedly. Now, in terms of “falling in love,” most of us can understand exactly what that is without really being able to define it. Perhaps it happens unexpectedly, but most often it is a sought after commodity. Matters of the heart are often understood without putting words to the meaning. But, I’m not quite sure what to say about “falling in love with a vacuum cleaner,” other than saying it takes a term which is fraught with tender, sensitive meaning and demotes it into a meaningless phrase.
“Love” is a word which is also used in a variety of ways. We love color, food, spring, and favorite clothes. We elevate it when we love our pets. It becomes even more precious when we love our family and friends. It is even more cherished when we love God with the realization that He loved us first and draws us to Himself. And then, we “fall in love” with someone who really meshes with our souls. The depth varies according to the number of shared interests or level of attractiveness.
So – there it is. When I reread “we fall in love with someone who really meshes with our souls,” I realize that is a sort of given in our hearts from childhood on up. At least for girls. Can’t say just when guys begin thinking about having a family. It continues to inhabit our hearts through college years and early 20s+. For most, a significant other walks into our lives. But, for some, it just doesn’t happen quite like we expect. And then, if years stretch out into decades, our expectations may wither.
One of the biggest challenges for me was the decision to buy a house. I was living in yet another apartment near a college campus, the first floor of a small house this time. Then, one night I was awakened by loud bangs next door and my first instinct was to look out the window. Not the smartest choice, because reality was that there was a real, live gang fight going on within yards of my apartment. Time to find another place to live! I called a realtor from my church and told her I wanted to look at houses mainly for my own education. I did not think buying was anywhere near possible. To my great surprise, I discovered that it was quite probable that monthly house payments would be less than rent would be in a less gang populated area.
And so, I took the big step thanks to an FHA loan for first-time home owners – and actually made a lower down payment than would have been necessary to buy a car! It was not an easy step. Buyer’s remorse set in big time at taking on the biggest debt of my lifetime. And, buying a home in my ideal daydreams always included walking hand in hand with a husband. Doing it on my own just didn’t seem right. It truly felt like the close of a life chapter.
I’ve discovered, though, that through the process of dealing with things like new roofs and water in the basement – just two of the joys of home ownership – God is utterly faithful. Somehow, funds have been available for needed repairs on a house which is almost 100 years old. That is definitely a God-thing!.
Still, the biggest challenge I face is having to make every decision alone!
There have even been times when I have said to God, “You are sufficient, but it just doesn’t feel like You are enough.” I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful. It just seems that living life alone is not the ideal situation, especially when the deepest heart’s desire is to grow older with a spouse – a companion – a best friend – a lover. Christian onesomes live with the tension of unfulfilled desires AND knowledge that God knows every nuance of our lives. His responses just are not what we always expect, are they?
I believe that everything in our lives is meant to draw us closer to God, whether unmarried or married. We make a choice to follow Him – or not – in every circumstance. We “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” New Living Translation says it this way: “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Hmmmm. Perhaps the “sufficient but not enough” idea is the seed which will blossom into another post. What do you think?