My brother just got engaged.
My younger brother…..just got engaged.
HE GOT ENGAGED!!!!!
First off, let me tell you how frickin’ excited I am for them. He and his girlfriend have been dating for nearly two-and-a-half years. It’s about time It has been so neat to see them both start to serve together in different areas of the church, from the music ministry up front to the nursery service in the back. Both of them have a servant’s heart, and I’m stoked to see what the Lord has in store for them as a couple.
Of course, it is a little bit hard as an older brother to watch your younger brother move very quickly towards marriage. Though I can honestly say I’m truly content right now in my singleness, there is a part of my heart that seems to wilt a little when I watch them interact with one another.
“Will I ever have that kind of a relationship?”
I have no idea. God knows I’d love to someday; but the odds are not in my favor.
Unfortunately, with the engagement announcement comes the inevitable questions directed back at me, the older brother.
“That’s so awesome, James. You must be so excited for them! How about you? Any girls?
Not at all.
Or, “How about you, James? Any special someone in your life?”
Yup. My best friend. We get along super well. I think I’m in love.
Oh, he’s a guy though.
Pardon my language. I try not to cuss, but the line above pretty much sums up my current feelings on the matter.
Also, as a side note, please pardon my last post. That’s definitely a bit more “angsty” than I like to come across as. Usually, it’s something that flows more from teenage girls and feminine guys but, while I am neither, I do occasionally get the need to vent some un-edited feelings.
I forget who it was, somebody on the old Xanga web-ring, but he was writing a blog post that I read and talking about “messiah friends”. You know, those friendships that we begin to hang our lives on, investing everything in? Those friendships we feel we would fall apart without?
They’re so dangerous.
They become idols in our lives, things that we begin to depend on instead of God. They take over our every waking thought, becoming monsters that threaten to destroy our relationship with our heavenly Father.
In my own life, I have become aware that this is the direction one of my friendships is going. I’m trying desperately to turn the tide and prevent it from happening, but it’s so stinking hard. Last night, I came to the realization that I don’t want things to change, even though I know they have to. It’s not that the friendship itself is harmful or bad; it’s the way I view it and think about it.
And the mind, like the tongue, is often the hardest thing to control.
My mind especially.
When I was in junior high, I created an entire imaginary world in my head just to amuse myself. The culture was much like that of Coruscant, the capital planet in Star Wars (excuse me while I don my nerd cap for a moment). I styled myself as the leader of this beautiful society, with all my real life friends making appearances in this imaginary universe. I would stand in the shower for hours, eyes closed, mind lost in this virtual paradise I had created out of my imagination. For over two years of middle school, I lived a sort of double life, even going so far as to journal some of the events that took place in this world.
You want to know the interesting part? The longer I spent in this world, the more time and thought I invested, the more the world seemed alive and responsive. The more I delved into this imagined universe, the more it seemed to live by itself. And it started to “do” things without me. Small changes that my mind just seemed to “suggest” of its own accord. Increasingly larger changes, that I just amalgamated into my imagination without realizing what was happening. And finally large changes that I began to fight to change back to how things use to be.
Eventually, the people in my imagined world turned on me. My own imagination tried to boot me out of this universe I had created.
Do I sound crazy yet?
I was a weird kid haha
Here’s the point of sharing that: the imagination is incredible. The mind, created by God as the connection between Body and Spirit, is an incredible instrument. It has power unlike anything else He created, and that power can be used to help you or to harm you.
Think about it this way: what your mind dwells on will begin to shape and define you. If you constantly dwell on the fact that you struggle with homosexuality, you will find yourself struggling more and more with the very sin you’re trying to avoid. Trust me. If you find yourself lusting after someone else, thinking about them more and more often, you’ll begin to find that your mind runs away from you, taking you on sinful fantasies you didn’t even know you had the guts to think about.
And if you begin to obsess over a friendship, your mind can quickly start to over-analyze and over-examine the relationship, picking it apart in your head until it begins to unravel in real life.
I’m fighting it.
Two verses: Philippians 4:8-9
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
That’s the simple truth. If you set your mind on God and His commandments, He will be faithful to grant you peace of mind.
That’s definitely something I’m lacking right now.
It’s so hard to love when you don’t know how. When you’re fighting the world’s definition of love, but you’re still trying to figure out what the correct definition really is. I know God is love, but I’m still working at knowing what that practically looks like.
I’m still pretty new to this whole “friendship” thing. I’m still learning how to be a good friend, how to love somebody else the way that Christ would love them.
It’s a lot of work.
But perhaps, once I do figure it out, it’ll be all that much sweeter because of the effort I gave to know what it was.
I guess we’ll wait and see.