Friday, January 21, 2011
Text Messages from God
Getting to know someone via text message is interesting. It allows for almost constant communication, if you have job that allows for intermittent cell phone use. There is no way you could stay on the phone all day and talk. But you can text all day. Pick up the phone every ten minutes or so, type out a witty response within seconds and continue on with your day. No problem. Texting also provides an outlet for making random observations. I wouldn't call you up to tell you about the dream that I had about meeting Kate Gosselin at a book signing. But I would text you about it. Neither would I make a special phone call to let you know that the best way to test the freshness of milk is indeed by smelling and not by tasting. But this I would text. Text messaging also allows for life to take place in between. I have to go to a funeral and I will be off the texting map for an hour. No big deal. I may or may not give you warning, and then you will hear from me in an hour and we will pick up right where we left off. Try doing that in a phone conversation. I have never tried it, but I think it would not go well.
And then there are the flirtatious texts. When I am right in the middle of the funnest part of the relationship, every time I hear the little text message alert, I have to work to hide my excitement. I pick up the phone and read the message, and I try to hide the ridiculous smile on my face so that people don't think I am crazy. And those little messages of affirmation stay with me. I read them. I reread them. I show them to my friends occasionally. And they make me feel cared about, important, liked. I meditate on them, memorize them even. I have gotten messages like that, and I could quote them back to you word for word. Those little things are what help a relationship to grow. This is the modern day equivalent of the old fashioned love letter. You can express in writing what you do not always feel comfortable expressing verbally. And while I still appreciate a hand-written love letter, I am just happy to have visible proof of affection and affirmation.
I received a text from a girlfriend the other day that said "Sometimes, I have days when I just need someone to follow me around, pat me on the head, and tell me I'm okay. The whole good enough, smart enough thing." I get that feeling. Totally and completely. And when I am not receiving affirmation from people, it's an easy thing to feel. Whether I am not in a romantic relationship at all or in a romantic relationship where approval and affirmation are not being communicated, it is easy to feel like I need those things. But here is the truth. The truth I already know and might just forget from time to time. God never intended for my well being to be wrapped up in other people's approval and affirmation. True story. There is no way for me to have healthy, fulfilling relationships when it is wrapped up in them. God did intend for my well being to be wrapped up in Him. In Christ, I have endless amounts of approval and affirmation.
Human relationships are tricky. They are not predictable because people are not predictable. People are not always trustworthy. People are not always steadfast. People are not always reliable. And to find our value and worth in relationships with people is a scary thing. It's the fastest way to feel worthless. But I will tell you it's easier to do than to seek out our worth in Christ. We see people. We talk to them. We spend time with them, tell each other stories, laugh and listen. And God, well, he is harder to see. And harder to talk to. And honestly, He never texts me. Never. It requires effort on my part. I have to get into His Word. I have to read it, reread it, meditate on it. I have to memorize it. But when I do, I feel cared about, important, liked. That's what I am supposed to feel. And God is trustworthy. He is steadfast. He is reliable. He is the only way to feel worthwhile.
So during this weird time in my life, I will be intentional in reading God's letter of affirmation and love to me. I will reread it. I will meditate on it. I will memorize it. Not because I am super spiritual and have it all figured out, but because I am not and I don't. But if anyone wants to start a business of sending daily Scripture text messages of affirmation, let me know. I am totally in.