As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Forever Part 1

I spent some time chatting with my friend Scott over the weekend. I like talking to Scott for several reasons. Mostly, he's just flat groovy, but he makes me think. He's one of those folks that isn't presumptuous or pompous in any way. He doesn't get into the heady, aloof, intellectualer-than-thou condescension. In fact, he's one of the most down to earth people I think I have ever met, which is another reason I enjoy chatting with him. Interestingly, despite not getting into the deep thought stuff, he always gives me some deep truth to ponder or at least truth so close to home that I walk through my living room and trip over it.

Our last conversation was about being single and dating.

I asked him how he handles being single. His answer made me feel better because the truth is, I don't do single well. He told me there were a lot of things he missed. I read his list and laughed, and then I realized I couldn't give him my list because it would just look like I copied his. <I laughed again>

Honestly, it felt good to see that there are men who like what I like, want what I want, miss what I miss.

However, that isn't what left me pondering.

When I told Scott, I am surprised by how many men are so quick to toss out the term "forever", he said he thinks in forever terms. Honestly, I do, too. I am not interested in casual dating or the Maybe/Maybe Not MerryGoRound. If there isn't a chance of forever, I am really not interested. This doesn't seem to be a problem, except it really is because for me "marriage" and "forever" are not synonymous.

Most people I know like the idea of being married. They like the concept of couple. They like the warm body in bed with them, having someone to see movies with, a playmate for those romantic weekends, and the wondrous high of someone who shares interests...and likes them back. I like those things, too. They feel good.

They are not, however, forever.

Forever isn't enamored with right now. Forever takes the words "till death do us part" and decides to live purposefully between now and then.

Forever asks:
How do we keep the friendship we have now tight a year from now, five years from now, twenty years from now?
What do we do now that brings us close, and how do we maintain that when everything else is vying for our attention?
How do we keep the sexual attraction alive instead of letting it become a simple physical act?
Are we both committed to keeping us the priority we are now?
In what ways can I show you that you continue to be the most valuable person in my world?
How do we make sure we are two people creating one life together instead of becoming two people living different lives merely sleeping in one house?
How do I show you I don't just like living with you but that I love life with you...not just now...but forever?"
I know there are a lot of people who want to get married. I'm all for marriage, but I've been married. Now, I want more than that.

I want.....



Anonymous said...

I'll take two scoops of that, please. In a cone, not in a cup, because I want to eat it all up!!!

Jerri Kelley said...

I love how you put that!

mizzbrizz said...

When I read the part about marriage and forever not being synomymous, I have to admit I was like, "Whatchu talkin bout, Willis (Jerri)?" And then, as I read on, I got it and TOTALLY agree. I believe marriage is meant to be forever, but it will only be forever IF you answer it with "Forever asks". It's all about choice. Every day choosing to live purposely, love purposely, and give yourself to another fully on purpose! Forever is what I want, too.

I had a date last night and it was one of those where I started thinking about whether he is someone I could be with forever. He's a Unitarian Universalist which to me screams Humanist. He connected with me, but as easy as he was on the eyes, I needed the connection that happens on a much deeper level and that wasn't there. My time is valuable and do I want to invest it in someone who can't be my forever? Not really. So, sorry everyone else who thinks that dating is about maybe's and could be's. I think if it can be forever love that from the beginning it's there or it's not. If it's not there, better to move on! At least that's been my personal experience.

Paula said...

Good stuff, Jerri. Hubby and I have been through some really tough years since he almost died in 2008. Those romantic weekends have been few and far between and we both miss them. We have four teenagers (oops! the oldest just turned 20, so three and a young adult) still at home. Life is busy, has had some big losses, has weathered a lot of fears. But we're still working toward forever, even when some of the little things you wrote about aren't available right now. I'm with you. Forever, please.

Jerri Kelley said...

Mizzbrizz, we need to have coffee! You want to fly here or me fly there. LOL!

Yeah, that whole "easy on the eyes"...whew...that can be VERY tempting. It's cliche' but true: you'll never get where you want to go unless you know where you want to get to.

Paula, I remember when Jerry nearly died. I have thought of that often in the last 5 months. That is the artery that killed Rob. And you make WONDERFUL points. Life isn't all we want it to be all the time. Those are the times we have to choose a "plan B" that still accomplishes the goal of Forever because if we don't, life/Satan will steal it. I admire you and your wonderful hubby keeping your eyes and your actions on forever. Bless you!

Anonymous said...

And here I am hoping that forever is still with the man I married...

Possible? Yes.

Probable? No.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

I want me some of that good ;)


Jerri Kelley said...

When I filed for divorce, I stood at the clerk's desk and prayed for God to save us. If it encourages you at all, God wants your forever to be with your husband now, too, but He's not scared, and if that is not what your husband wants, God is still the God of Forever.

Hugging you and praying with you for the Forever you hope for.

mizzbrizz said...

I think you should come here for coffee! We can sit at the lake on a swing at my favorite little park. We can talk or just enjoy each others company in silence as we look out over the lake, the sailboats, the blue sky and whispy white clouds. It will be a time to laugh, and a time to cry! :D

Jerri Kelley said...

Mizzbrizz, save us a swing! I need to make plane reservations! Sounds lovely!