God-Sized Hole

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There’s a girl who isn’t who I want her to be, and yet I keep hoping. I don’t know. It’s probably more complicated than that. Possibly something I can’t untangle at 1am.

Maybe it would help if I laid everything out plainly. Maybe I’d see connections then.

She doesn’t text me back according to the timeline I expect her to. And I take it to mean that she just forgets about me most of the time. Because I’m not in contact with her most of the time.

I realize this is ridiculous to complain about, but I feel the way I do and I have to find a way to deal with it some way or another.

Tim Keller once said something like, “If you get the esteem of esteemable people, that’s where you find self-esteem.” Basically, if you feel loved by a person you find lovable, that’s when you love yourself and believe that you are valuable.

I guess I just believe her to be the most lovable person I currently know, and that’s why it bothers it me so much that I don’t feel loved by her: her love is where I find my self-worth.

Now, it’s not her responsibility to make me feel loved. No human is really suited for the job of bestowing self-worth, anyway. Only God can, only God does, and only from God should I expect the kind of love and lovableness that I habitually seek in the women I find myself attracted to.

Maybe I wouldn’t be so disappointed in her if I didn’t find her love so important. Maybe then, I’d finally be happy with however much I actually receive from her. Maybe then, I wouldn’t be afraid to enjoy her affection again. Because right now, I am. I don’t want to appreciate her encouragement because I’m afraid I’ll just be disappointed again when she inevitably, once again, drops off the face of the earth for a week or two, not a single text message or conversation for me to hold onto.

I wouldn’t be so disappointed if I didn’t need her attention. But I do, so now it’s hard to even enjoy her attention. Because it’s never enough for me. It’s none her fault.

I just wonder what I did to elevate the concept of her so highly in my mind. Because I know she’s only human, and she’s imperfect in ways that would make me cringe if I knew. She’s great, that’s for sure. But the friendship between me and her isn’t even all that extraordinary. I have friends that love me way more, and in way more radical ways. So it must be that I find her so lovable that her love seems special to me; not because of the love itself but because of the person dispensing it.

I think of my best friends. They’re radically loyal to me, and I strive to do the same for them. However, I’m not disillusioned about who they are. I’m close to them; I know their faults well. I have intimately experienced their imperfections, and they have intimately experienced mine. And perhaps that’s why I don’t need them the way I need her.

Don’t get confused: I’m sure I need my best friends more than I need this woman I’m currently attracted to. Let’s call her J for clarity’s sake. There’s no doubt that my best friends have changed my life in wilder ways than J has (although she has definitely been a positive influence in my life). What I mean to say, though, is that I am exponentially more distressed after going a week without hearing from J than going a week without hearing from one of my best friends. I wonder why.

I wonder why lack of contact with J distresses me more because I know deep, deep, deeeeeep down that my best friends are so much more important to me. I would not trade my relationships with them for a romantic relationship with J. At least, I hope I wouldn’t. To me, this is just a sign that J’s affection represents an intangible absolute: that I’d find happiness and self-worth in her love. Meanwhile, I already know well the fruit of the affection of my best friends: stability, growth, comfort, and hope.

My best friends are the people I esteem to be walking beside me. But apparently, J is the person I desire to walk towards. I see her love as a sort of end-goal, an end-game, a version of Heaven to pursue while on Earth. And no doubt, a marriage relationship is a glimpse into what Heaven is like. But it is not Heaven itself.

J is not Heaven. Far from it. She’s not God; she doesn’t compare. And yet, I’ve developed a need for her that will only be satisfied by God: to be fully loved by a fully lovable person. And I know that God fully loves me, and that God is fully the most beautiful, worth-while person in all of all, of it all. I just need spend more time remembering the past and imagining the future we’ll have, God and me.

I really believe that’s everything. I know I’ve spent a lot of time imagining a future with J, and remembering memories of her. And that’s what has led to my devotion towards her. But she doesn’t have the capacity to occupy that space in my heart.

Slowly, the scales fall off my eyes. The lunberjack comes to pick the logs up, out from my tear ducts. A homeless man comes and rubs spit in my face, and now I can see.

J is a good person. Maybe even a great person. But her love is not where I’ll find my life. I can’t define my self-worth by the worth I find in her and the worth she finds in me. It’s not that we’re ugly: we’re just not as beautiful as God. And it isn’t that we’re blind: we just don’t see as well as God sees the beauty that He’s hidden inside each and every one of us.

It’s not that we can’t love each other, because people definitely can. There’s just a God-sized hole in our hearts that only God can possibly fill.

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