Falling Out of Love

by Breezy Peterson

I think we can all admit that at some point (maybe even now) we have had a soft spot for some thing in our lives. I’m talking about an object that holds significant meaning, like a special sweatshirt or stuffed animal, a book, or a pair of shoes. It may not even look like something of value to an outsider. It may look like a ratty t-shirt to someone else, but to you, that shirt is priceless!

As Christians, we know that we are storing up treasures in Heaven (Matt. 6:20), not on earth, but we still have human tendencies. One of the strongest impulses we have is to attach our heart-strings to the substantial things around us.

It’s not just things, though. It most certainly can be music or movies or locations, but most especially, we attach ourselves to people. We all have our squad, our tribe, our families, our PEOPLE. We love our people, and in most cases, our people love us.

MF_1

Think of Jonathon and David (1 Sam. 18). Jonathon put everything he had on the line out of love for David. Think of Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16). Ruth left all that she had behind to follow Naomi, out of love, into a foreign land.  Think of Paul and Timothy (2 Tim. 1). They were such dear friends that they came to regard one another as true family, united in faith and love.

Think ultimately of Jesus Christ, the best and truest friend of sinners, who extends His hand to us though we could never be deserving of His compassion.

As much as we anchor our heart-strings to people and places and things, our passions can shift dramatically. Have you ever wondered why something or someone you loved was perfectly wonderful one day, and completely inadequate the next? Have you taken the time to pray about it and thoughtfully consider why?

We’ve all done it, cast some thing or some one aside because those heart-strings we had so happily entangled with it were cut. Sometimes it happens quickly, and other times it’s a slow severing of tiny threads that fray and eventually break. Somehow, we’ve all lost our love for some thing or some one, but I’m thinking it’s really not that mysterious at all.

What happened was this: we stopped seeing what was once beloved through our own eyes, and started seeing it through someone else’s. We allowed the judgement of others to color our vision and alter our perception.

I’m experiencing this very phenomenon as I type. Our family is in the process of putting our house up for sale, and almost overnight, my home became far less appealing to me. I started seeing my house through someone else’s gaze—specifically, our realtor’s. He came to our home to help us draft a list of things we ought to do to make our house more appealing to prospective buyers. As I looked at all of the repairs and cleaning and work that has to be done, I felt my spirit sink. All I can think about our home is…

It’s not big enough.

It’s not clean enough.

It’s not new enough.

It’s not special enough.

It’s just…not enough.

A few weeks ago, before I wanted to move into town and out of our home, I loved our house just the way it was. Sure, the floor vents needed to be cleaned. And the kitchen needed some TLC. And the paint could use some sprucing up. But it was all part of the charm. Our home looks lived in. It IS lived in! Very quickly, however, those feelings changed. I stopped seeing all of the memories we have made and started seeing all the imperfections that we have tolerated. 

MF_4
“No, I really love the sweater, Grandma.”

How often do we look at what God has given us and give it a negative label? Even as young children we were taught to accept gifts graciously (even if it was another awful itchy sweater from Grandma Gertrude) and admonished when we complained about the presents we received. As we get older, how do we remember these lessons of our youth, especially when it comes to our dearest companions, and even, to ourselves?

When the Lord knit us together, He gave each of us a gift. God fashioned for every human being a unique physical form, a body for life on earth, that we get to use and enjoy and discipline and mold until its time for us to leave it. Do you remember the moment you fell out of love with your own body? When the hair on your arms or the freckles on your face just weren’t good enough anymore? I can almost guarantee you that up until a certain point, you were oblivious to what you now consider flaws in your physical body.

We all lose that sweet, child-like naivety when we accept societal standards of beauty, when we change our lens. If you need proof of this, consider the average second grader. It’s hard to find a 7 year old who wants to look good in her skinny jeans or be ready for bathing suit season. The reason why is simple: she hasn’t learned to see herself through some one else’s eyes. She still surveys the world, and herself in it, with the optimistic outlook of a child who hasn’t learned to be critical and unkind to herself. When we accept a worldly lens in substitute for a Godly perspective, we set ourselves up for unimaginable pain and disappointment. 

Nothing we have loved or ever will love will be good enough if we are using a flawed perspective. It’s the interposition of Jesus, it’s Him coming into our lives and transforming us, that makes anything and everything beautiful, complete, and pleasing to God.

If you’ve recently lost your love for some one or your own self, spend some time in prayer over those things. This is not a call to idolatry; we must not inalterably love the world or the things of it, but I believe that God gave us affectionate natures for a reason. He gave us friendship and family as a shadow of the Kingdom yet to come, and to help us understand our places in it. We care for the things that matter to us, and I believe that is by design. Did God remove a passion you had been cultivating because He has greater plans for you? Or did you abandon a friendship or a positive body-image because you started looking at things through someone else’s eyes?

Let the Lord search your heart, and with Him, see the world (and yourself in it) through His eyes.

Getting Hitched: PartIV

SLP
above: Savanna Lewis and Seth Short. Courtesy of Savanna Lewis.

 

contributed by Breezy Peterson

We hope that you’ve enjoyed following the “Getting Hitched” series. Between Savanna’s amazing fashion designs and Seth’s romantic proposal, we could just camp out in this sweet story forever.

We’re having such a hard time saying goodbye to this couple that we hope you will indulge us as we stretch this piece out into one more part (since Part I, Part II and Part III were just not enough).

Enjoy!

###

part Iv: binding a dream

Savanna, like any young woman, has a heart full of dreams.

She dreams about her future

as a designer and a business owner.

“In my wildest dreams,” Savanna said, “my future would be designing Taylor Swift’s latest red carpet dress in my very own fashion studio, which would have endless fabrics to choose from.” Savanna took the initiative and reached out to the singer on social media.

In January, Savanna’s offer to design Swift’s upcoming awards show look went viral, getting shared nearly 300 times and mentioned on the local news station. The Grammy season came for Swift and, sadly, Savanna’s phone didn’t ring. But disappointment isn’t slowing her down.

Savanna plans to continue expanding her brand in the fashion industry. Upon the completion of her Associate’s Degree, she hopes to find a job in her field as well as maintain her sewing business on the side.

She dreams of being a good wife

to a good Christian man.

The intentional way she lives this desire out, and the boundaries she agreed to put on her relationship with Seth, reflect their relationship goals.

“Look for someone who makes plans with you for years down the road, not just for the party next weekend, ” Savanna said. “Look for someone who tells you that they love you every day. Look for someone who tells you how beautiful you look every time they see you.”

Savanna and Seth also purposefully chose to no longer preserve close relationships with friends of the opposite sex, preferring to close the door on any doubts or jealousies that could have arisen.

She dreams of her wedding day

as the winter weather slowly

but joyfully turns to spring.

Savanna and Seth plan to say their vows in a wooded area on her parent’s property during what photographers call “The Golden Hour”—the magical moment when the setting sun bathes the earth in a warm, brilliant light. We imagine Savanna won’t need any extra help glowing on her wedding day, but the timing suits her designs for a fairytale wedding.

Though the process has had its challenges (weddings can be expensive), she’s still bubbling over with anticipation.

“The best thing about planning our wedding is just thinking about how excited we are going to be on that day, and all of our friends and family who will be there to celebrate with us,” Savanna said.

“And the dress, of course, the dress!”

 

She dreams of a life built side by side with her husband,

sharing the responsibilities of married life,

honoring God’s design for man and wife.

“There are many unique benefits and challenges to getting married young,” she said, “but the benefits outweigh the challenges.” Savanna looks forward to figuring out everything from stocking the fridge to paying the rent with Seth.

“I’m ready to grow up with him. We are going to make dumb decisions together and learn from them together. We’re going to learn how to cook together, live on pinching a penny together, and love together.”

###

Tune in for our Epilogue, coming next week…if we can bear to bring this story to an end…we make no promises.

Getting Hitched: Part III

contributed by Breezy Peterson

As we sit here looking back on Valentines Day weekend, we can think of no better way to kiss that saccharine holiday goodbye than with a good dose of God-centered, Christ-honoring love. If you missed Part I or Part II of our series on Savanna Lewis (the gorgeous gal behind Sew Savanna), you can read through them first. Or you can simply enjoy this post all on its own.

We thought we would be bringing this series to a close with Part III, but there’s just so much more to this story we want to share with you. Warm up a mug of hot chocolate and settle in for the newest installment of the “Getting Hitched” series. We know you’ll love it!

###

Part III: Match Point

The beach has always been one of Savanna’s favorite places. Over the summer of 2015, during a family vacation on the coast, Seth added one more reason for his future bride to love the sand and surf.

“On the last night we were there,” Savanna said, “Seth told me he wanted to take me out to a nice restaurant. After dinner, we took a walk on the beach.”

What started out as a romantic stroll on the sand turned into a soaking wet scene as a sudden downpour caught the two of them out in the open. They ran to a pier to take shelter from the storm. “We waited for the rain to let up, but it never did,” she said.

“We were already wet, so we walked out and the ocean tide was washing up to our toes. He hugged me tightly and told me some very sweet things.” Savanna said she’d leave out the mushiness for you, dear reader.

“And then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

After making sure he was serious, Savanna accepted and “cried like a baby for a solid hour,” she said.

“That was the most perfect engagement ever.”

Seth’s decision to propose at Savanna’s favorite place comes as no surprise. His tender heart for his bride shines through his choices as a young man. In addition to regular prayer, Seth has been reading through a devotional series for young couples getting married.

“He is such a strong Christian and so gentle,” Savanna said. “Throughout our relationship we have prayed together and I feel like that is the reason we have stayed together so long and had such a wonderful relationship.”

The couple divides their time between classes at Central Virginia Community College, where Seth is studying architectural engineering and Savanna is finishing up her AA in Business Management, and work. Taking a few classes together helps them to stay connected, but not everything has been coming up roses for the young couple.

“The greatest challenge in our journey since we’ve gotten engaged is the friends we have lost from it,” Savanna said. “Some friends you find are forever, some are temporary.” The choice to get married young has caused a few grumbles in their social circles, but ultimately, has not deterred them.

“When you know you’re with the one, you know. And honestly, there is no point in waiting if [getting married] is what you both want,” Savanna said.

“The greatest blessing is that we’ve had God on our side through it all. Having Him on our side has made us feel bulletproof. We haven’t felt hopeless and we give all the credit to Him.”

###

We can’t bear to cut this story short! There’s so much more we want to share with you that we have yet to put into words. We’ll be back later this week with more from Savanna as we finish up this series.