Before I begin today’s blog I want to say thank you again for your support of my big announcement on Friday. I’m blessed and humbled beyond words by your support and prayers.
“Everything short of God must and will disappoint you” – St. Catherine of Siena
Truer words could not be spoken or written anywhere. Anything short of God will disappoint you, period, end of discussion. Trying to worship or love anything more than God will only disappoint you. Trust me, I know.
The truth is that I’ve known this blog would come. Sometimes I see blogs in the future and I know God is going to call me to write them, to lay my heart bare for all the world to see and I tend to avoid writing those blogs because laying my heart so bare is scary, to say the least. I’ve called this blog my own little confessional and that is true, but in a confessional there is the seal of confession that neither the priest nor I discusses my confession outside of the confessional. That seal doesn’t exist here in cyber-world. Nonetheless, my confession is about to lay before you in hopes that you can learn something from my shortcomings.
Is there a person out there who enjoys eating their words? I should think not. Sometimes we say things and they come back to haunt us and we are forced to eat our words. Sometimes the advice we so frequently give others is the advice we need to heed most in our lives. Looking back over the last few months of my life and this blog I give this piece of advice a whole heck of a lot: Love God first. Don’t let anything or anyone replace God in your life. Too bad I wasn’t listening to my own advice…and now I’m eating my words.
For those of you who are new to the blog there is a character I must introduce you to, and his name is Mr. Irish. Mr. Irish and I first met nearly 7 years ago on a retreat, through which we were reconnected early last year. We began courting in August of 2011. I’ve written much about him, our relationship and what I’ve learned because of my relationship with him. My confession is as simple as this: if God were Mr. Irish then I loved God really well. I failed, in giant ways, to love God first. I went to Mr. Irish first for everything – advice, reassurance, hope, joy, peace, love, my frustrations, everything. However, in case you couldn’t already tell, God is not, in fact, Mr. Irish. I wish I could tell you that I’m writing these things in past tense because all is well, I’ve fixed my heart and Mr. Irish and I have moved on, but that simply isn’t the case. Remember the words of St. Catherine of Siena, “Everything short of God must and will disappoint you.” And disappointment is exactly what I got. By trying to make Mr. Irish into God I set Mr. Irish up for constant failure. No matter how much he tried to love me it was never enough for me, I always wanted more. More of his time, more of his attention, more of his heart, more reassurance, more, more, more. What I failed to see was that I really wanted more of God, but I was trying to make Mr. Irish fill the God-shaped hole in my heart. I put Mr. Irish in an impossible situation and I set myself up for constant disappointment with him and, ultimately, I set our relationship up for failure. Everything short of God – including Mr. Irish – must and will disappoint me if I am not FIRST seeking Him and letting Him love me. Period.
I also wish I could tell you that I realized all of this in time to correct my own crazy heart and stop setting Mr. Irish up for disappointment. However, I didn’t. It wasn’t until a week or so after we broke up that I began to see just how much I had tried to make Mr. Irish my God. I’m still realizing just how much I set him and us up for failure. I’m not saying that my idolatrous ways are the sole reason for our end, though I won’t deny that they are a factor. The guts of the break up will never appear here, only the lessons I’ve learned since our end. “Everything short of God must and will disappoint you” are words I’ve been meditating on ever since the break up. I had to be disappointed. I had to be broken-hearted and be broken open to be able to see the error of my ways. I’m eating my words. Trust me when I say I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Love God first. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have your heart-broken or that life will be all hearts and rainbows. But loving God first and foremost gives you the best chance of being the happiest most joyful person you can be. I know that because by falling in love with Him again I’ve been able to learn, to grow, and to pick myself up again. He is washing me in His radiant love for me, no matter how far from Him I had strayed. While the shower of His love has been beautiful and humbling, I wouldn’t wish the journey to this place on my worst enemy. My hope and prayer is that you can learn from my mistakes – no one else can ever be your God. No one else can fill that God-shaped hole in your heart. You may know this in your head but until you live this truth out in your heart you will find constant disappointment. Everything short of God must and will disappoint you.
“So your love should be sincere: You should love your neighbors with the same love with which you love me. Do you know how you can tell when your spiritual love is not perfect? If you are distressed when it seems that those you love are not returning your love or not loving you as much as you think you love them. Or if you are distressed when it seems to you that you are being deprived of their company or comfort, or that they love someone else more than you. From these and from many other things you should be able to tell if your love for me and for your neighbors is still imperfect and that you have been drinking from your vessel outside of the fountain, even though your love was drawn from me. But it is because your love for me is imperfect that you show it so imperfectly to those you love.” – St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 64
What I’m Listening To:
“Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by the Eli Young Band
“Letting Go” by Matt Maher
“Springsteen” by Eric Church
“Maybe” by Ingrid Michaelson