The Importance of Covering Each Other in Community; Especially After the Break Up.
The irony of writing about relationships, the trials, the tribulations is that to stay accountable, you must cover those you write about. So details in matters of the heart will always remain a mystery. You must protect them from gossip, from slander, from a dirtied lens of perspective. There are subject matters that just can’t be relayed here, I might be an open book, but I equally have to protect those who don’t want to be. So should there be massive gaps between the lines you read, try to enjoy the mystery along with the morals to the stories. On other tales I’ll be more obvious. But for today, treat this as a Milk Tray advert like the good old days, and assume a silhouette of a man flew into the room to deliver the chocolates and then….left again…
As I sit in the hubbub of New York, I realize, I have an apology to make. Sitting for dinner last night my girls rightfully butt kick me for not keeping them posted on all romantic musings whilst I write the book. My delay was partly that, but also a question of how do I broach the fact that LK and I broke up without uncovering his heart or sounding bitter? Because I’m not. It just…we didn’t work out.
BORING – I know. But not all relationships have to come to a dramatic climax, nor do they have to end with someone’s soul bursting into a thousands pieces. We weren’t so far in to be in love with each other…
When it comes to men, no matter how brilliantly you might get on, no matter how much laughter and joy you can have, that bond just doesn’t sometimes happen in the foundations of a romantic relationship. No arguments. No showdowns. Simply put – Neither of our hearts were going to make it to ‘there’. The parting was amicable, the beauty of this environment is that friends don’t take sides, the wise don’t judge in fear, and they don’t cut off. That’s called grace and it’s called Christ-like community. How tormenting it is to my soul to see so many people stop going to the same church because one or both sides of a break up handled it so badly they can’t walk into the same place anymore. I’ve experienced it myself only once in my life, and it was enough to remind my brothers to buck up, be a man and cover her, no matter how much she hurt you. She still has a right for a voice; she still has a right to be seen without your bias in church.
Men do need to take a lead here – they promise to cover you in relationship, so they should do afterwards. It’s just controlling codependents that struggle with this the most, as the break up finalizes they seek to cut off every slither of affection as they didn’t get what they wanted from their girl. In exchange, they justify bad behaviour, seek affection/approval from the community whilst playing down their own role in the heartbreak. Equally women need to be wary of their own tongue too. Communities like the ones here, usually won’t let you get away with it, and that’s where protection manifests into a healthier environment. So I’m grateful to LK for not bartering with that lower blow and equally grateful to both sets of friends who love on each of us regardless.
In addition, the healthier the break up (harmonious banter and checking in on big seasonal events), the quicker you heal, the quicker you move forward. It’s how my heart healed in my 5-year relationship. To this day I call him and check in sometimes, asking for honest advice and even comforts me on male relationships today, having known me the best. Break ups don’t need to have unhappy endings if you truly loved them outside of hoping to gain something for yourself.
So since then, it’s been nothing but an introduction to a new and beautiful expedition.
I got brutal on self-questioning, avoiding self-condemnation or over-analytical processing. It’s healthy to get convicted, a time to celebrate on experiencing a new side of God you’ve never experienced, but to wear ‘victim’ as a feather bower – forget it. You might as well start your Lonely Hearts Club Cattery now.
The secret place became a paramount source now coming into the second year of school. Under the pastoring of new teachers and people coming out of the woodwork sharing their honest thoughts with me about relationships, (thank God for honest people) I got very humble and very open.
Questions began pouring out in my reflection (as much as I could with a book deadline). Observing too the church communities, the environments that praise marriage so much, they rarely seek to help singles make good decisions in dating. It’s just not on the agenda. It’s honestly one of the major loopholes in the community. Marrieds aren’t being honest enough about what longevity relationship really entails, and the few courses that are out there only prep people for their betrothed marriage – often attempt to break up the couples to ensure they really know how to fight when the going gets Tyson tough. Which I don’t think is a bad thing. Quite frankly it should be on the school syllabus.
Last night I attended a session in a church in New York that looked at dating in the church. With a city like Manhattan and the average age of people marrying in their late thirties, hundreds, if not thousands are waiting to be acknowledged as just being alive, in the church. You don’t have to have bling on your wedding finger to know you exist. You don’t have to be purposeless without Adam, and finally here was a church ready to tackle the questions of – why are we so scared to date? Are we holding enough clarity? Are we going in with the right approach? Can we shut up about covenant coffee and just let men explore us without girls going all high-pitched and overtly needy because the Curse of Eve says they won’t fulfill their role of helper without finding Adam first. (A complete lie, of course).
I sat quietly at the back taking notes:
‘Some men bracket a portion of girls into the ‘Girls waiting for Jesus’ category, as we fine pick a man’s problems’.
From the men I’ve met in recent months, the new families who’ve introduced themselves into my lives. The men who’ve chosen to cover me in my enjoyable state of singledom, to the men who just got all gung-ho and took a risk to want to approach me in love, the last few months have stories of themselves that reminded me one more time:
Every tactic is completely void in dating, if you don’t know how to be a daughter, and if they don’t know how to be a son.
This was a new season of me understanding a new genre of men:
The Mr. Steadfasts, and my word, were they a fine specimen of breed.
To be continued….