for the Perpetually-Single Christ-Following Dudes in the World, Episode 3: Facing the Truth / by Michael Nichols

Most of the last year has been strange. I've been confronted with a scenario in which I've been uncertain of how things are or what to do based on the reality of things.

Think for a moment about what that means. Reality.

No, I'm not about to get [too] existential on you.

The heart is a very convincing entity... um... thing. It's like it has a mind of it's own, and it really does. The heart has a way of changing your mind. It is powerful enough to bend your behavior to suit its agenda.

In the knowledge of this fact, I've started analyzing a lot of things, especially my search for whom God wants to share my life. I spent a lot of time trying to fill a hole in my life that only He can.

Let me just be real about that for a moment. No lady, no matter how charming, no matter how perfect, can ever fulfill me the way that Christ can. That's yet another reason Jesus' message about seeking the kingdom of God first is so important. When we seek other things first, we offer those things and people more power over our hearts than they can handle. We end up making gods of the things that are not God, even if they have some of His goodness.

We're probably all guilty of simply trying to fill voids in our lives. The confusing thing about that is that it's not actually a bad thing. God created man with a place in his life wherein a companion could abide. It's actually "not good that man should be alone." So to be on the lookout for whom God wants to fill that space is a good thing.

It takes patience.

It takes vigilance.

It takes nobility.

It takes intention.

It takes attention.

We do have to be on the lookout, but not before we're on the lookout for the way God is moving in our lives. If we aren't moving with His moves, we're moving against them, and I think that's been the place I've been occupying for a while. This past year has made that particularly evident.

I have been wondering why God won't fill the void, and the more I've seen it remain, the more upset with God I've gotten. I haven't understood. Intellectually, I know He is good, but things haven't felt good. Another example of how my heart lies to me. But at the end of this period of my life, I see one thing pretty clearly.

It's hard to admit this, but I have been refusing to see my relationships as they are, but as I have wanted them to be. I have spent energy trying to fit pieces that just... don't. I've seen the good things that I now have learned that I do want in a wife, which is something I wish someone had helped me to see much sooner, so that's been a positive thing... But unfortunately, I have made that too much of a priority than actually cultivating the friendships God has blessed me with. I didn't have a lot of guidance in many aspects of my life, and I hate to imagine that this is one aspect of my life that received dangerously little attention. I was ill prepared to deal with any relationship I've been in. Now, I see that clearly.

Facing the truth of that fault in me like a crack in my ground... it hasn't been easy. But in facing the truth, I think I'm finally coming to a place of pure motives, which is something that I've been praying desperately that God would do. In being willing to see that it just can't work with some, the only option I have left is to be open to what will work. There has been a veil over my heart, and it has been panicking in there, afraid that the truth would mean its destruction, but quite the opposite. Letting the truth inside has allowed it to truly beat for the first time in a long time, unshackled by the burden of taking me where I need to go, a burden only Jesus can carry.

So here's to seeing things as they are. Here's to letting the light of life in. Here's to the knowledge that my Father is faithful to open my eyes to the one He has for me in His time.