To make a long story short, we put bead board up on the walls, added two windows, a ceiling, a floor, air conditioning, electricity and some paint, so it went from this (above)
to this (below):
We recently made a huge transformation to one little area in our home.
Our attic, which is accessed only via my own bedroom, was remodeled into a bedroom for Birdie.
It. Is. Awesome. And. Beautiful.
Recently, I’ve been really enjoying reading the articles on Young Ladies Christian Fellowship, two of which provoked this post.
Read “Giving Your Heart Away” here and an interview with Natalie Nyquist here.
It made me think: as young, Christian ladies, we’ve developed a bit of an awry idea of “the right way” to go about dating/courting (whatever you wish to call it) relationships. I am included in this!
In our attempts to avoid any flippancy or silliness, in our attempts to deter any impurities, in our attempts to be virtuous maidens, we have created the perfect guilt trip in our futures that we are bound to take!
Like any sensible person, we want to avoid “scars” from our relationship. Who would want to enter into a relationship knowing that it will end in a broken heart? No one. But the way I see it, there are two different kinds of scars.
There is the kind of scar that is right to avoid. The kind of scar that is a bad memory of a relationship in which you were faulty, which ended on a bad note or should have never began at all. The kind of scar that comes when you’ve given someone your heart too soon and it’s been damaged because of your recklessness. This isn’t good and it is possible to avoid.
But in our attempts to avoid this, we often expect ourselves to be capable of avoiding the other kind of “scar.” The kind that comes from a relationship ending or never beginning or when our hearts are broken and it isn’t our fault. We try a relationship and we feel that it should end. And though we weren’t wrong in trying and we weren’t wrong in deciding against continuing, we leave the scene with remnants of the past. Whether we want to call them “scars” or just “lesson learned” or “memories,” whatever is left on your heart, it is there. But now should you be guilt-stricken because something didn’t work out? Not necessarily, ladies!
On Natalie’s interview, she quoted this excerpt from C. S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves.”:
“Even if it were granted that insurances against heartbreak were our highest wisdom, does God Himself offer them? Apparently not. We draw nearer to God, then, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him. To love at all is to be vulnerable. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it”
And Natalie really put my thoughts to words here:
“Continue to love and be vulnerable in loving, safe relationships: Probably the greatest challenge for me—one which only seems encouraged by our Christian sub-culture—is to avoid shutting myself off from love to avoid further injury. Sometimes courtship is lauded as an alternative to dating because it protects the participants from heartbreak or “giving away their heart.” My generation of ladies who pioneered the new courtship method will testify that neither courtship nor dating guarantees pain-free relationships, marriage, or your own personal happily-ever-after. Relationships, no matter the term used or safeguards implemented, will bring some pain and risk. Nevertheless, love fully. And when (not if) hurt occurs, love again. Allow the pain to stretch out deeper places in your heart for love to grow and flourish. You do not love and risk solely for the other person in the relationship. Ultimately your love is an offering to God. This is why every sacrifice made on behalf of godly, selfless love is not wasted. Biblical love is never a mistake; God will use it.“
So ladies, be careful and cautious (and this is coming from someone inexperienced in every way) but don’t kill yourself when you (quite literally) get an idea and realize that it won’t work.
This is okay and normal, not always a sin. So give yourself a break and think: Was it better that you got out of that relationship even though you’ve had to pitch somethings into your past, or to just stay in that relationship so that you can feel safe in your “pure heart” without any scars? Well you know why you don’t have “scars” if you stay in a relationship which you don’t feel you should be in? Because you’ll just have wounds that won’t heal. When something doesn’t work, it can’t last whether you are the one to end it or not, but that doesn’t put anyone at fault.
To me, there are two different kinds of scars and beating yourself up over them will only make more!
Look forward to:
“To Love and Lose” Part Two: Kindred Spirits