nothing i could say could convince you not to sever the ties

so i’ve been reading a lot lately. last week i knocked out velvet elvis by rob bell and this week i’m reading sex god by him. the thing i like most about rob bell is that he gets me thinking. i don’t agree with everything he says but he mentions something, sometimes even in passing, that gets my mind going and gets me thinking about stuff that i’ve never thought of before or gets me thinking about something in a different way than i have before.

in one chapter (which was awesomely titled “leather, whips, and fruit”) he was talking about lust. he wasn’t talking about it in the sexual form necessarily although that was part of it. he was talking about addictions and wanting to have something so bad that you needed it. he wrote:

“what started out as freedom can quickly become slavery. often freedom is seen as being able to do whatever you want. but freedom isn’t the ability to have whatever we crave. freedom is being able to go without what we want and being fine with it.”

being a year out of college, and especially a year out of liberty, one of the questions i get asked more than i ever thought i would is, “so you got anyone you’re gonna settle down with?” or “so when are you getting married.” i just laugh it off and respond with “not anytime soon” and a smile and move on. it’s no big deal to me. i know a lot of people in my shoes that it’s a huge deal to.

me and caitlin broke up at the beginning of may in 2004. once i got over her a few months later, i started looking for someone new to date. being in a relationship is a great feeling. knowing someone likes you as much as you like them is something that isn’t matched by much else. anytime that i would meet a girl, i’d wonder if there was a possibility of me dating her. this went on for the next three and a half years.

then i met a girl that i actually started dating.

then that feeling of someone liking me as much as i liked them came back.

then i got to experience what falling in love felt like.

then i got to experience what being in love felt like.

then we broke up.

after that, i had a lot that went through my head. i thought that maybe to get over her i needed to find someone else, to get that feeling back. then i thought i didn’t want anything from anyone. then i thought a bunch of stuff that i don’t know what it was.

then christmas came along and then my breakdown where i just gave up and gave everything to god.

“whatever it is that hooks in you, you will never be free from it until you find something that you want more. it’s not about getting rid of desire. it’s about giving ourselves to bigger and better and more powerful desires.”

i gave up and gave everything to god and started focusing on that. i’m still at that point where i want nothing more than to grow in god, learn what he wants me to do, and get to the point where i can do whatever that is.

since i’ve done that, i’ve been able to get over heart break, i’ve made better grades than i have at any other point in my life, i’ve been genuinely happy, and things have been completely 100% better than they have ever been.

don’t get me wrong, i would absolutely love to meet a girl, fall in love with her (and her with me this time), get married, make little jonathans, and live happily ever after. the thing is, that desire doesn’t control me anymore. i’ve got something else to focus on.

being in love is an addiction. having someone want you is an addiction. having someone that can make you smile no matter what the circumstances is an addiction. and they’re all good addictions. there is nothing wrong with any of those three things. i got to the point where i was so depressed and so unhappy and so alone that i couldn’t get my fix for those addictions that it was probably unhealthy. i was a slave to those addictions. they controlled my life completely.

i’m not a slave anymore.

i have desires that are bigger and better and more powerful than the ones i used to have. when people ask me, “why aren’t you married yet?” it doesn’t bother me anymore. i can answer it with a smile and laugh it off.

being free feels amazing.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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