Thursday, December 18, 2014

I didn't fall in love with you - I fell into infatuation - A Short Story

Original Picture From Pinterest

** A Short Story - Work of Fiction **

     They always ask me, “How did you fall in love?”

     That seems like a silly question... I've lived enough to realize I didn't fall in love. Maybe some people do, but we certainly didn't. No, I didn't fall in love with you.

     I fell into infatuation.

     It was born of admiration and idealistic notions, wrapped in the way you laughed and how, when you smiled, I wanted that smile to be at me. It was born of watching you speak, with confidence and compassion, and tangled with the way you calmly fixed problems. It was born of my longing for companionship, and yet peppered with my insecurities that said, “You're only maybe good enough for him.”

    Infatuation is a crazy creature. It knows it may not have a shot, but it's insanely curious. It reads into every teasing smile, every quick hug, every chance encounter. It hopes for lofty dreams of being totally loved and accepted, but doesn't much dwell on any hard work involved. Infatuation just.... imagines the best, with all the warm fuzzies. Infatuation, ah, it was full of colors and daydreams of tomorrows, even though I hardly knew you. All I knew was that I wanted to, no matter what it took.

    So I tried for your attention. You didn't at first take much notice... but I watched from a distance and tried a little harder. Finally you got the hint – it still makes me laugh as I remember the moment you finally understood I was interested. We talked awhile and then a little while more... for days, and then weeks. You made me laugh – I made you think. We talked about the world, God, and all our funny little wonderings. We opened up our hearts and began to be real...

    Then I fell out of infatuation... And grew into love.

    Loving you was harder... That first time we fought, I thought I'd mangled things beyond repair. I sobbed so hard I could hardly breathe. Part of me wanted to hide - that would be the easy way out. Part of me wanted to run away to a time before you... But I couldn't. It scared me... imagining life without you. And I realized, no matter how much it hurt, I was willing to fight for our friendship... There were difficult times, but I truly loved you in-spite of it... and I could see you loved me too.

     I apologized. You apologized... It really was a stupid little thing, knotted with misunderstandings. Hours of sorting out later, and we were once again friends. Just a little smarter.

     But that wasn't the only time we had a misunderstanding... And that wasn't the only time that loving you was painfully hard... I battled jealousy. I battled my fear of you leaving. I battled my fear of hurting you.... You had your own insecurities you brought.... Still, by God's grace we grew closer together. Loving you was hard, but it was so much better than infatuation.

     Love was born of knowing you – trusting you...

     It was born of sharing my deepest longings – then being shown what you were passionate about. It was born of tested promises, and wrapped with the long talks we had about life. Love was born of a dozen and a half times we apologized, and interwoven with the trust that grew. Love was born of being willing to sacrifice my time and my plans, and seeing you do the same for me. Love was born of aching under your sadness, and asking God to be your strength. Love was born of both joys and pains – growing stronger with every act of trust.

     I fell into infatuation, but I grew into love. That's what I tell people when they ask about falling in love.

~Ophelia - Marie 

*Author's note - Admittedly, I've never been in a relationship - but I do know what it's like to be infatuated. And, in a friendship sense, I know what it's like to love - to struggle through the painful bits, and the misunderstandings, and yet only grow closer through it all... So, though this isn't a story I've experienced, I still feel qualified enough to write it. ;) I hope you enjoyed it... Maybe it made you think....

See - infatuation doesn't ask anything of you. Love does. Love takes work and self sacrifice. When you love someone, you are opening yourself up to the potential of getting hurt - they see you clear enough to know how to hurt you... When you love, you are agreeing, in a sense, to give up some of what you want, for their best, and to be there for them, no matter how you feel... But you do so because it's worth it... to know and and be known, to love and be loved... To love, in a pale reflection of the way God does. 

 Infatuation takes a moment's fancy - Love takes time and experience to grow.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Don't Want To Grow Up - Beyond Wonder

               This is the fifth (and last) post in my 'I Don't Want To Grow Up' series. The other posts are on the topics of not growing up beyond Dreaming, Caring, Playing and Hoping.

I don't want to be so "grown up" that I no longer wonder.

I don't want to stop living with wonder
Because I let it be drained away
And life is now only routine.

            It's easy to start going through the motions in life, especially when things get in busy routine. Get up, do this or that, go to work, do what needs to be done, come home, go to sleep, and do it all over again the next day. We often see generally the same people, have generally the same interactions, and just... do it again and again. Time marches on, and  we can get in the mindset of, "just another day."

       Let me tell ya though, just because life has routine, doesn't mean we have to become complacent. What if today, starting right now, you told yourself you were going to try to do your very best in everything for the next twenty-four hours? Everything.

        What if you tried to have a good attitude, even when you didn't feel like it? What if you answered everyone kindly, and tried to get along? What if you looked at whatever tasks you have to do today and tried to do your utmost best? ... What if you looked at the world with wonder at the fact that God is holding it all together and let that reminder spring you forward into facing your day?

       Know a good way to keep from getting complacent? Every day seek to pray for someone you never have before, no matter how well you know them -  Also pray for your friends, family, and leaders. Pray blessing into their life, and ask God to send them His overabundant joy. Look for ways to encourage others. Find something specific to thank God for giving you today. It's harder to become complacent when you're placing your focus on God and others. It's an intentional choice. (I'm not always good at remembering this, but I find the days I go into with prayer, are days that I more easily see God's hands at work.)

I don't want to release these bits of life
In favor of being mature
And unknowingly become cynical.

         It's all around us, ya know. There seems to be this notion that to be mature means to be stiff... or more... formal... To lose the sense of fun, and to become someone who only day to day does what is required of them. We become used to the wonders around us, and stop finding the same joy in them. But I don't believe that's how it should be. *Came across this beautiful post* :

I don't want to grow out of looking in wonder-
Dancing, knowing, touching the gloriousness of being alive-

           I want to look at life and have moments where the joy of being alive can't be contained. Do you know that feeling? *Grins* It's kinda hard to put into words. That joy when I've seen God answer a prayer, and I can see so clearly how He worked it out. That joy when I've had a hard day, but God sends someone to encourage me. That joy when I feel an overwhelming sense of love from my Heavenly Father, and I'm reminded all over again how much He cares for me. 

           Or things like this - simple little things - like listening through music and suddenly realizing how perfectly this song fits with what I'm trying to say. "You are the song, You are the song I'm singing. You are the air, You are the air I'm breathin'. You are the hope, You are the hope I'm needing - You are." I want to have the type of wonder that I know God is the song of my heart, the life I need like the air, and that He is the hope driving me to live with abandon. (Aaand, there goes another song that fits this post. *Adds it to the end*)

The type of wonderment that makes me treasure moments,
Holding fast to the knowledge,
That life is beautiful in Christ.

          There's a quote by Doctor Seuss that says, "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

          That's why when something makes you happy, treasure it. Don't hesitate to tell people you love what they mean to you. Don't assume things will stay the same - but don't let that make you afraid. Let that knowledge fill you with passion to care... If your moments are to become memories, make them worth remembering. If you are to become a memory to someone, may that memory point to Jesus and the wonderful difference He has made in your life.

         Each moment is precious. Some are hard, some are long, some seem more than we can bear... but I know that life is held by God. Life is beautiful because Christ is in it, and He holds us every step of the way. He is the reason I can live with joyous wonder. Remember that. Marvel in that truth.

Ah, may we never cease to find wonder in the world around us. To live with abandon. 
To shine the light of Christ.
To dream and care and play and hope...
To live life in awe of God's unchangeable grace.

That life is beautiful in Christ.

Now my final question for you is: How will you continue to live with wonder?

~Ophelia - Marie