Archive for Februarie, 2012

On God and relationships

A realisation has slowly begun to take shape in my mind… I have always struggled with loving God, being incredibly into Him, giving my life to Him, making promises, then doubting, wondering things, feeling like He can’t exist, then loving Him again ect… When I was younger I thought this was not how things worked. I mean…you live in sin, you decide you love God, you give your life to Him and you start getting better and better at being a Christian, doing His will, living in his love and so on.

This is also how I thought relationships worked. You meet, you get to know each other, you fall in love and you love this person incredibly forever. As I grow older I realise both of these perceptions are untrue.

Love works more like this… You meet someone, you fall in love, you want to be with them all the time. You start a relationship. You get to know the person. Some days they make your hard bang out of your chest. Some days you want to scream at them and kill them. Some days you suddenly discover something about them you never knew before. Some days they are your support and your rock and you couldn’t do the thing you did without them. Some days are just routine and you settle into silence, or making dinner, or conversation without really noticing their presence. Some days you fight like you never thought you could. Some days they hurt you. Some days you hurt them. This is true for relationships, friendships, marriages….

I don’t want it to be like this though. I mean, the hard part is FINDING a husband and arranging the wedding isn’t it? Aren’t you home free after that? Why should there be any pain, fighting, conflict in a marriage? Unfortunately life is not like that… We are all people. We go through our personal ups and downs. We go through times of complacency, of passion, of selfishness. And in a relationship there are two people, therefore this happens a lot. I notice this more and more, in my own relationships as well as the people I talk to. A friend of mine who is married for almost 10 years told me, the other day, that they had to have a hard conversation about possible divorce. They decided to stay together, in the end, but there were some hard things they needed to address and discuss. But in these really hard moments there are also the really wonderful moments. Life is just like that. There is no magic button, there is no line that you cross and everything is perfect. There are day to day decisions, experiences, conversations (sometimes the hard ones). And I think we need to know this. Married people need to talk about this, need to let single people know that, if you struggle in your marriage one day, you are not alone. You did not fail. Everybody experiences this. The good part is, that the hard parts lead to the great parts. Relationships grow stronger, even if they are still difficult. The things you fight for are worth it.

Moving on to what I actually want to say…if we compare what we have with God to falling in love, to the feelings and emotions we have in a marriage, we should expect the same. When I realised this I finally became free. I always thought of myself of “not really being a Christian” because I still fight, I still have doubts, I still “take a break” from God sometimes. Turns out, not only am I a Christian, I am in a relationship with God, because this is how it works. We simply have our ups and downs. I shout, I scream, I ask questions, I run away, I come back, I dance with Him, I walk with Him, sometimes I listen, sometimes I don’t. But I do feel more peaceful. I do feel more secure in these ups and downs. I’m starting to get to know Him, and knowing He will always be there. Actually, He IS always there.

 

So…may we be more open. May we be free to say we are angry. May we be free to ask questions. May we be free to tell our friends if we struggle in our marriage, or in our walk with God. May we be free to talk about the good times, and the bad…

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Coming home

And so it ends…

One day of packing, 12 hours on a plane and many tearful goodbyes later here I am back in the mother city. I decided yesterday that, if I could marry a city, I would marry Cape Town. An ocean bluer than your imagination, tall, beautiful people everywhere, delicious wine, cocktails and beer at affordable prices and food that I would sell my soul for on every street corner. At first I could not really remember what tempted me to leave for 6 months.

Coming back I had deja vu of the feeling I had when I arrived in Stockholm. That these two countries that, from a view before you leave, do not seem so different, can be so, absolutely contrasting. The first, obvious difference is the weather. A swedish summer is a hot winter’s day in Africa. It is said that 7 consecutive days of above 0 temperature marks the beginning of spring in sweden. Coming from having to wear my biggest coat and three layers under, dragging my luggage through snow and seeing gloves and a scarf as an extension of my skin, landing in Cape Town was…slightly overwhelming. I slept with my fan on last night and today was a “cold” day, as compared to the previous few weeks in Cape Town.

The next thing was the scenery. Both beautiful countries, Stockholm is marked by the archipelago, with water running everywhere through the city, with barely any hills and a many parks and trees. A stark contrast with Cape Town’s large body of water (called the Atlantic Ocean), Table Mountain and streets that cause a shortage of breath when you walk for a few metres uphill. I remembered this today as I was sweating, walking back to my house, just having went to the grocery store. Cape Town streets are steep.

But more than everything I felt a little…out of place. A bit off my game. Almost like I am on holiday here. It is probably because this, for me, is the beginning of 2012. I would like for these past 6 months to fit neatly into a box (as if life works like this) and get on with real life now. I have to find a job, fit myself back into a routine and re-adjust my life to fit into this new season. It’s crazy how a place can be simultaneously very different and make you feel like a stranger, while at the same time you feel like your heart has come home.

I have very mixed emotions about being back, but mostly, I am loving it. I also feel like I might be a bit wise (only time will tell), like my mind has been cracked open a bit wider as to the rest of the world. In so many ways it is always a good experience to meet people that are different from ourselves, to go places where are the rules are changed and things you take for granted (like being able to deposit money into your own bank account for free) are suddenly challenged. Somehow Cape Town has become both very small and very large at the same time.

I will have to wait and see where all these new life experiences need me. I’m sure this feeling of wanting to run away and never leave again at the same time, will eventually subside.

For now, I will try to catch up on lost blogging time. I want to write about Norway, Germany, Prague, Spain and rolling in the snow in my bikini. All these experiences need to find their way onto paper within the next few weeks, if only to honor their memories, or for me to look back onto a few years from now.

For tonight, good night Cape Town. I love this city.