“Obsessive or not, though, our 18-month love taught me some very valuable lessons. Being an “us” taught me never to compromise on my principles or ambition, not even for capital-L-love. Our relationship – “we” – taught me to always return my friends’ messages, no matter how “busy” I am. No matter which boy I’m with.”
Relationships are odd. Some work and some don’t. The success (but more usually failure) we lay on something. Usually the other person but sometimes ourselves. I have never found a relationship that lasted in which I have become what the other person wanted. I think that is also true of my partners past and present. My experience is that such a relationship will continue out of convenience (except the reasons are never “convenient”). A convenience wherein separating is harder work than staying put. Where separating leaves me alone … leaves me financially stretched … leaves me isolated from others I love … has a cost.
A cost that is greater apart than the cost of staying together.
I read a BBC article this morning: “A letter to my first love: “I wanted to live inside you like a parasite””
And something resonated. The “first love” bit. The dropping my “pre-relationship” life. The deeply embedding passion. The life changing impact of “first love”. But one thing rang true even after all the years since my first love:
“Being an “us” taught me never to compromise on my principles or ambition, not even for capital-L-love.”
The bible bit.
Love is love. Whether secular or religious, whether saved or unsaved. Love is love. Love is unconditional. I was loved even before I was born by my mum and dad, my older brothers, my extended family. And “biblical God” may be involved but “biblical God” is not a necessity – or else the unsaved and unchurched would not know love. Unconditional love.
As for unconditional love … “religious love” comes with a condition (just like a lot of “secular love”). The condition is that I must fit in.
And I have had many a conversation in which “fitting in” was deemed my perception rather than the reality. That all I needed was the right church (or failing that – to start my own church). Church was always the solution. A building church with a fitting in that would suit my needs. Being saved and going to church is one and the same – one must because one is.
How do I live my whole “saved life” in relationship with a “biblical God” whilst “fitting in” with an earthly-religious (“secular-similar”?) church life?
I have not yet found the answer.
But I have been invited by this “biblical God” to dispense with all of that church-taught sacrifice and burden … all the duty and obligation … I have been invited to never separate secular from spiritual.
This “biblical God” only and always invites me to become more “me” than I ever knew possible. To become “me” with a confidence and surety. To become “me” with no need to be right. To become me because I am all I need and He is all He needs. We are both all we need already.
My invitation is to discover AND become that “me” – and THAT is (biblical) unconditional love in action – that is deeds and faith in action! Not all these “biblically perceived traditional conditions” – simply (and only) my perceived “conditions” born of my insecurity.
And as for finding the right church?
This online community draws me in time after time. A place where I meet others who fit and those who don’t – those who have been saved and those who have not – those who are confident and those who are not. I see no difference between saved and unsaved. The same “good and bad” exists in each. The same “kind or unkind” is on display. And the same “fitting in” exists in all. We all seek community.
And slap bang in the middle of my living is this “biblical God”. Except – for me – a bible increasingly without the trappings of
secular religious church membership. A bible whose teaching is that we are all community – we are all loved unconditionally – that there is no membership … there is just one invitation:
Become so “me” that kindness “is” and “being right” is not.