"Jesus welcomes doubts, questions, confusion, frustration, venting, and disbelief. He welcomes those who draw near and say, ‘I feel so far.’ If you haven’t talked to him in a while, he will not bite your head off. His arms are always open. Jesus can handle your clenching of the teeth and shaking of the fist. What he does not want is for you to stay there."
I do this several times a day
The actions of 19 Islamic extremists on 9/11 left an indelible mark on America. Today, millions pause to commemorate the attacks’ 13th anniversary, to honor the victims and to remember that all life is special and sacred. But there’s an untold story amid the many speeches and moments of silence — one filled with a different kind of pain, grief and strong sense of loss.
"Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions."
- Woman 1: Do you think he's "the one," Lauren?
- Me: How would I to know that?
- Woman 2: Well, do you want him to be "the one?"
- Me: Of course I do. I'd be wasting our time if I didn't, right?
- Woman 1: Just remember that if he's going to be the one, you have to consider more than how you currently feel.
- Woman 2: Exactly. You have to consider what it will be like when marriage is less exciting after the initial newly-wed high has faded.
- Me: Okay, like what?
- Woman 1: Even when you find yourself less attracted to him, at the end of the day, do you still think he is overall a good man--because that matters.
- Woman 2: It all comes down to the simple things that you would think are obvious. But they're not. They're important. In the long run, it's these little things that are even more important than feeling "in love." For instance, is he a man of integrity? What do his friends think about him? Does he take care of you? Is he going to be faithful? Is he reliable? You don't know everything--you can't, of course, but what do you see him making patterns of in his behavior?
- Woman 1: She's right. It's the basics that carry you through hard times, lonely weeks, and stale months. It's trusting each other to be steadfast despite the fluctuation of your emotions. It's the basics that make you able to choose marriage on the days you wish you could walk away quietly.
- Me: What made you stay during those times you wanted to leave or the times you wished you weren't married?
- Woman 2: Realizing that marriage is not the pursuit of happiness. It is a covenant that daily chooses to love through self-denial. And some days are easier than other. But you have to make that choice. That is one decision that will always pay off--I've never regretted choosing to love or choosing to stay because making that choice is the very thing that makes my husband "The One."
- Woman 1: You've both got to live covenant minded--not emotion driven, but God enabled.
- Me: That's all good advice, but is there a way for me to really know?
- Woman 2: Of course not. God is the only one who is constant and things could change tomorrow, but it matters to know whether you can move towards him being the one. You should at least know that it's probable.
- Woman 1: If you can look at each other and say, "No matter how I feel today, I choose to love and I choose to stay," that is enough for you to be confident to say, "Yes, he's the one."
"I don’t have a fear of commitment. I have a fear of abandonment. We all screw things up. I screw things up, especially with people I love. I get needy, I get moody, I get distant, I want to be close, I get confused. I don’t understand all of it, but I keep pushing because I hope this thing, this universe, there’s no way that I’m the only person out there who wants something this bad, if I want it, someone else out there must too."