“So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one, in the end – not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts are finally bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by forces of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall.” Brian Doyle, Joyas Voladoras
For two months, I have embarked (or rather, pushed-out) into the very scary experience of opening up my heart to Judge. That someone, being a particular wonderful man who wants to see and take my heart for himself. Genders are equal but about as polar opposites as they come. As I continue to observe the binaries of gender (by, of course, comparing myself to Judge ) I know that it is only by the hand of God that females and males can unite, on any level. Only by his genius and meticulous planning does this love thing work out.
Chris Watts was telling me that her male social work teacher said in class that girls are intrinsically born understanding life is about relationships. We don’t have to experience romance, to know how it works and what it feels like. I know about romance, because I am born a woman. It isn’t until a guy enters into a relationship that he starts learning about the ins and outs of intimacy.
Wanting to be His:
As Judge and I have continued to date, he’s grown more and more confident in me being “his girl” and that has strongly grown my attraction towards him.
I am talking about how Judge introduces me as “his girlfriend, Katie” and not just “Katie” [and that is SO important]
I am talking about the way I love when he uses plural possesives. As the song states, I am talking about “my girl.”
I’m talking abou the way, Mr. Ely still calls Mrs. Ely, “his bride.”
I’m talking about being caught off guard by a strong kiss when you’re least expecting it.
I’m talking about the Rett Buttler attitude, “No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
In the meantime, a man of God will struggle with this theologically. Judge told me that this was a source of conflict for him, because he knew on a spiritual level that I was the Lord’s, first and foremost. In the same way that the Son proved himself worthy of His Bride, so can a man of God in your life prove himself worthy of possesing your heart.
You are Not a Bitch:
I have so many things I want and need Judge to do for me. Sometimes, I feel as If I have so many hoops that I make him jump through, and often I feel like a bitch for expressing to him what I need.
For instance, the other night Judge asked me to drive over to his house and watch a movie. At first, this felt off in my spirit. What I wanted was for him to pick me up, drive me to his house, watch the movie and then drive me back home late. Despite the desire, I supressed this want and told myself I was being needy and was wasting too much of his gas money and drove over there. After we watched (and fell asleep to) Antoine Fisher, I left his house. As I was heading out of his door, I felt like such a tramp. That intrinsically I had done something wrong.
I felt a bit like a prostitute, although on a physical level, the night was PG and involved alot of snoring more than anythign else. Still, as I was leaving his house – I felt lonely and somehow degraded. Then the next day, as I was talking to Chris Watts about our favorite topic, relationships, she brought up how she hates the feeling of leaving her boyfriend’s apartment. She loves her time there, but hates the leaving part. I realized suddenly, that I wasn’t being too demanding – I should be picked up and dropped off. This is what I need, and not just desire.
Those are the things that make me feel like I can open up my heart.
As I make lists of what I need from Judge, I’ll occasionally ask him what he wants, and he’ll say something ridicolously cute, along the lines of, “I already have what I want.” All he wants is to possess me.
It’s so funny though, because I want desperately to give my heart away, and sometimes I just can’t do it. I try so hard to be vulnerable and open and goofy – but there are absolutely conditions that have to be met before I can be vulnerable.
Exhibit A: The next day I still hadn’t talked to Judge about my gross feeling while leaving his apartment the night prior. So, for the last time, I drove over there. Before I got out of my car, I got caffinated, listened to crazy music and told myself, “You are Katie Baker, go in there and be Katie Baker.” But by the time I walked into his kitchenI froze. He asked about my day, asked if I was okay, asked a billion questions – and I stood there all balled up and couldn’t have any fun.
Then I had to read the Odyssey as he cooked spaghetto, until at long last we could have the conversation about a couple of things that I needed in this relationship. As I expressed my desire, “this is what I need, x y and z” he listened and willingly agreed to give me everything I asked for. Then he gently reminded me that there was no possible way he could see me as a bitch, and just wanted me to tell him my desires so that he could match them.
Everything girls need is mirrored by Christ’s love for the church and the way he sacrificially gave himself up to her.
Exhibit A’s Biblical parallel: “We love him because he first loved us (Romans 5)” Christ came here, he came to this reality. He was God and put on skin, and puberty and bodily functions and disgusting and sometimes messy mortality. He left his throne, came here, got us and is planning on bringing us home with him someday soon. I know this may be a strech for yall, but I promise the things intrinsically inside of females reflect the greater relationship of Christ and his bride.
And not only do we not need to feel like a bitch when we tell the Lord our desires, he wants to give us the desires of our heart. We ask not, so we receive not. We have to be vulnerable and know we are deeeply loved, and from that springs a genuine prayer language that will shift the atmosphere of your relationship with Jesus and therefore your relationship with others.
Vulnerability Despite the Past:
Sometimes, though, even if you have an amazing man who listens and waits patiently for you to open up your heart there are barriers. Life scrapes you up and leaves you with defenses and caution. In the deepest parts of you, you hear voices whispering, “Don’t open up. play it safe. Don’t let him see the real you. Stay bottled up. It hurt so bad last time.”
The last boy I fell in love with- I demanded nothing. I didn’t play the game. I didn’t play it smart. I didn’t leave him wanting more or even know how he was suppose to treat me. I was willing to wait forever and take whatever he gave me. I loved with no expectation of anything in return. No one loved him like I loved him and no one ever will. And I fully realized, that that love didn’t “work.”
So, subtly (so subtly the heart speaks) I was ready to play this relationship smart. I heard so many external voices, so many other bruised women’s advice of how to “keep them” how to control, how to hold on tightly.
The Lord lovingly showed me how I was using manipulation and jealousy to try and make myself more lovable, beautiful and desired. I didn’t think I was enough. Because once upon a time, I wasn’t enough. And as female haves done since Genesis, we use manipulation to mask our fear of our inadequacy. I would subtly drop hints to plant fear in his heart of my intentions, loyalty and love. I wanted him to not to trust me. Then I had the power, I had the upper hand. Then I would be the hurter and not the hurt, this time around. My comments were cutting and subtly damaging at times, when I couldn’t stand to be patient or vulnerable.
Then the Lord showed me how manipulative I was being one day in my Southern Literature class, and made me confess my games to Judge. Now I am powerless. I have no way of making him act a certain way, and now I have just to wait and be me and hope that he may fall in love with me. I might be enough this time.
In other words, the Lord healed me and placed me in the same exact position I once was before. He made me innocent and powerless again. He has me sliding down an inverse mountain. No control and no games.
I just have to be me. I have to dance in a parking lot and shake it like a polaroid picture. I’m called to still raise my hand in worship or dance in a purple robe in a choir. I’m called to trip and not cover up that I fell. I’m called to cook and shop like crazy and be imperfect and unfinished and unleashed and uncontrolled.
Scary as hell.
I’m opening up this heart and still in my head convincing myself every day that it won’t hurt too bad if it ends (lies) and that I am not so invested in this (lies) and I could be alright on my own again and could move away from America, no sweat (so many lies).
I will go where you send me, Lord. Right in the same place of stupid trust and vulnerability.
There’s a chance that you’ll think about him all day and dream him about him at night, and when he shows up at your door he doesn’t satisfy. Or ignores you, or treats you as the afterthought of his world. There’s a chance, he may forget about you or one day come to the bottom of your most interesting secrets, “What if he saw my whole existence, turning around one smile, one word, one touch? The day that I find, suddenly I’ve run out of secrets, suddenly I’m not always on his mind… (Chess)”
Then I look up at this man with the warm brown eyes and he lets me knows he’ll never hurt me. He holds my hands in his and we dance…
Perfect timing, write as I finished this sentence I get a text
“I just love your heart. that’s all there is to it, there’s not another like it, its just beautiful, and I am so blessed to have it see something in me.”
And I have to face reality, my heart now needs him. O shucks…
Even the cynics know, every once in a while the Lord sends something or some person to crack open your heart…
“You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possible can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words “I have something to tell you,” a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.” Brian Doyle, Joyas Voladoras
Heaven help my heart.