Well, last night was not my best effort at taking every thought captive. I did not control my words at all. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until it was already done. I really don’t feel like we have a problem. Not until we start talking about it. I am there most of the time now. I don’t go off in my head very often at all. I don’t think about terrible things much. Just once in a while when I’m lazy. Mostly, I’m there. I try to focus on you and how we’re there because we love each other. It’s a relationship, not an activity.
And, in the context of every action, every thought, every feeling being something that directly affects how close I am to God, I want what runs through my head, especially when we’re together, to glorify God. And God gives us a new start when we come to him. He promises to make us new creations. I want to claim that promise in full. I want to go into this like I’ve never been anywhere. I know that God has a glorious, wonderful design for intimacy and marriage. I don’t have any idea what it is or what it might be like, but I want to find out and I am praying that God will show it to us.
So we are talking about how different this trip is for you. It is really true that these last few years and, especially the last year, has been really big for us. I can’t even really express the changes I see in you. And us. We are so blessed to be touched by God’s hand. I see it all the time, everywhere. And I want more. And I know you do, too. So I have immense hope for the future. No matter what we do, I know we will be trying to do what God wants as much as possible, as far as we can discern it.
Well, only one more day and you’ll be back. I tried to be mature and generous and loving, thinking of you and serving God with my words. As Jeff would say, I think I might have done a 5 on that. Luckily, God has sufficient grace for all of us. But it’s helping me see how important it is to check our words and our attitudes. When I am bitter, it makes me not want to talk to you or to be mean to you and neither one is good for us. And, contrary to popular belief, “venting your spleen” doesn’t make it go away. Sometimes it makes it worse and worse. Also contrary to popular belief, we don’t have to say everything that comes into our heads. Authentic and real don’t mean thoughtless and flippant.
You can think about things and consider your words and still be who you are. Or, if you can’t, maybe you shouldn’t be “who you really are.” I don’t think that is an idea that is supported by the Bible either: expressing your “real” authentic self. There is being who God made you to be, but that’s not what you were born with. You were born with a fallen sin nature. There’s using the gifts God gave you to do the good works he planned for you, but that’s hardly the same thing. I just don’t think God cares about us being authentic and true to our fleshy selves. I think he wants us to be holy and righteous and outrageously committed to him.
And the wonderful thing is that every crazy thing I come up with, you are right there with me. I still wonder sometimes what your reaction will be when I take all our extra money and send it to the orphans or the Bible planters or some missionary. I should know better but old habits die hard, I guess. Also, a lot of times it seems really crazy to me. I mean, who does that? “We’re getting ahead. We’ve got a bit extra to pay of some bills. Let’s give it away.” Or, worse, “We’re tight this month, we barely made it. Now is a great time to commit to more monthly giving.” But you never disappoint me. You are always supportive and you never (seem to) worry. I am completely awed and humbled that God would allow me to travel this road with you.