“Oh my goodness, I really want to spend time with you, but alas I have this goldfish that if I left for longer than an hour, it might die and then where would I be? As you can see my hands are tied! ”
Above is a ridiculous dramatization of something that happened recently. I’ve actually changed the facts so much, the intent is barely there. Nevertheless, the truth remains: this person with a goldfish left me reeling. For days.
Love languages are hard, especially when you’re trying to follow Jesus. I can only speak for myself, but I feel almost certain that if you follow Jesus, you strive to put Him first, He will 100% put you in positions where you will not feel loved by anyone. It’s like He’s TRYING to get us to stop putting others above Him or something. (tongue is definitely in my cheek).
My top love language (in case you want to love me in the future). Quality time. You wanna hang out with me? I will love you forever, I will love you for always.
That said, it’s like Jesus has worked OVERTIME in my life to make sure quality time with the people I most desire time with is nearly impossible.
Husband: Military life, deployments, long separation. Through it all, I fought and strove and cried and whined.
Family and Friends: It’s cool, I’ll just move Abigail to countries very far away and see if any of them can actually afford/make the time to come and visit. New Zealand, Washington State, various southern states I don’t like to mention, Texas ( a giant state where even if you all lived there doesn’t mean you’ll actually be close at all) and now Germany. With each one, I begged, hinted, bribed and kiddingnotkidding demanded my friends and family to come visit.
I hope I’m learning about this form of fake rejection. It’s not even real, right? I mean, the person with the goldfish has a life, a life where they love and find a lot of identity in said goldfish (ok, this is getting ridiculous…)while it might not seem like it, this person really does love me. Turns out this Goldfish owner has a very low quality-time-o-meter, anyway. But through this perceived rejection, the Lord is showing me that I’m striving for something the Lord has not called me to…
I hear His whispered reminder:
Abigail, come back to me. I’ve called you out. I’ve called you forward. Your life is weird and different.
For whatever crazy reason my relationship with the goldfish owners of the world is not meant to look like how I want it to look.
We were discussing idols in my Bible study recently and I had asked the ladies to describe parts of their identity that they had laid down (see my previous post on rejection). After some discussion, one lady piped up with: “It’s funny, I think my biggest idol is something I have never even achieved! It’s like my DREAM identity is what I’ve had to give up!”
And there it is.
Lord, help me not to be Lot’s wife. Looking back, wishing for something I used to have. But also, help me to not wish for something I have wanted, but will probably never have.
I do believe that I did count the cost when I followed Jesus for the first time. I often tell people the story of when I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I’d put Jesus squarely on the Throne of my life… but I don’t think it would be fair to say that I FULLY knew what He was asking.
“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” -Luke 14:26 NLT
I am thankful for this hard, painful non-goldfish-related-incident that made me cry, but ultimately challenged the reality of this verse in my life.
Where will He call you? How unloved by the World will you feel? All to draw you to Him. The Lover of your Soul.