In an attempt to get through my identity crisis, a friend suggested I think through the things that I KNOW are true about myself.
I’ve been making that list and I’ve got to say, a) it’s a short list b) it’s pretty depressing. Turns out I’m all the things I never wanted to be. Exhibit A: pretty high on the list is the embarrassing (nay – humiliating) reality that my parents attempts to make my a cynical realist didn’t work.
Sure, I learned how to play the role of cyncial realist REALLY well. But deep in my heart I can’t hide it: I’m addicted to angsty romance. Sigh. Sorry ‘rents.
I feel more alive when I’m listening to my ‘Dawson’s Creek’ genre of music on my playlist. That’s right. I have a ‘Dawson’s Creek’ genre category. I love the rain. I’m more comfortable with negative emotions than positive ones. I’m more sure of myself when I’m sad. I’m in love with the idea of tension and drama in a relationship that leads to the point of romance.
I know what all you cynical realists are thinking, cause I think it all the time: that isn’t love. That isn’t romance. True love is not filled with angst. It’s filled with peace.
But hang with me here for a second , because I can’t help but think maybe, deep down, I love angsty romance because I’m an image bearer of God.
Maybe you and God have a different deal going on than me and him, but my history with Him is anything but angst free.
Open the Bible to any page in the Old Testament and you’ll see a picture of angst. Read the book of Hosea and you’ve got angst that puts Gone with the Wind to shame. There is no shortage of tension in the relationship between God and His people. There’s a relentless pursuit and a constant rejection and a conquering hero who takes a stoney heart and makes it soft.
Sure, I let my desire for angsty romance lead me to sin. But, at the very bottom, the reason I love angsty romance isn’t because I’m a fallen messed up girl obsessed with the world. (Although, I am all those things.) The reason I love angsty romance is because my God made me for the story He’s writing.
Knitted into my soul is a deep desire for angst that resolves into a happy ending, because that’s the story I was made for; it’s the story of God and His people.
It goes terribly wrong, (obvi). With my blurred vision, I see God’s story as an echo to point me to understand earthly relationships. That’s backwards. The story of God does not exist to help me understand marriage. Marriage exists to help me understand the glory of God.
I want to fight my sinful tendencies in relationships. I really do. And not so I can have a healthy earthly relationship. (okay, if I was Pinocchio, my nose would just have grown about 20 feet, but assume for a minute I mean what I say).
Here’s the deal: if I don’t work all my weird issues out this side of heaven and never get to be a part of a healthy earthly romantic relationship, all I lose is a breath – a moment – of something temporal. But if I don’t fight to receive the love of a Father – if I don’t fight my tendency to sabotage and run when love is given freely and without cost, than I might miss out on the eternal joy I was made for with Him.
I want to fight my weird issues because that’s how God perseveres those are His. He calls them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling because He’s giving us that power each minute of every day.
If I get to be married, it won’t be a prize for having arrived, it will be another way to work out my issues so that I can be ready for the day when I get to meet my real prize: Jesus.
Phew. Enjoy the angst while it lasts folks because the happily ever after is coming.