Falling In Love

Falling In Love

If we’re going to talk falling in love…we first need to talk about one of the greatest platforms for love stories:

Netflix.

Did you think I was going somewhere else with this?

Humans and Netflix. We have a good thing going don’t you think? Truly love at first watch.

I like the way our love is described here:

“Episode after episode, all in glorious succession with no commercials and only a ten-second window in which to end the binge and get your life back together – which you loosely consider during seconds one through seven, but then the next episode automatically begins…and its too late. What are we supposed to do?? Turn it off at that point? We’re not communists. The fates decided for us and and so, with forbearance, we move on to episode eleven of Gilmore Girls and log our fifth straight hour on the couch.

After you auto-start the fourth episode, even Netflix itself throws shame with a pop-up screen, “Do you want to continue watching?” YES I DO NETFLIX. I don’t need your shame. Pretty judgy for an entertainment platform that offers 132 episodes of Xena Warrior Princess. Don’t act like you’re concerned about our mental intake.”

– Jen Hatmaker, “Of Mess and Moxie”

 

So much guilty giggling when I read that.

Thanks, Jen. Regardless of what anyone may think of her, she nailed the condition of the human heart’s love affair with Netflix.

Oh and for the record, if you’re the ONE perfect human who read that and had zero guilt-giggles because you’ve never binge-watched Netflix. You can just leave right now.

Okay now that its just us Netflix-binging-sinners left, we can continue.

 

I used to think we all LOVE Netflix because its commercial free, a way to disconnect, a way to live in a reality other than our own for some time… lot’s of different reasons – and its not that those reasons might not play a part, I just don’t think they are THE reason.

 

I think we just really like good stories.

And Netflix gives out good stories like candy at a parade. Its endless.

We love endless and we love stories.

One of my favorite stories is the one about the day I met my husband. If you’ve met him surely you will think I’m insane, but believe it or not I did not find him attractive when I first met him.

Pure insanity.

I won’t provide a picture because, well, I’m not trying to cause anyone to stumble (I’m kidddding…… just don’t want to make this a picture-book post… I’m also 2% not kidding), but just envision a 6’3″ Enrique Iglesias with double the muscles, curly hair and green-blue eyes. Ya. I KNOW. Swoooooon.

Anyway, when I met him my first thoughts were something like, “Who’s the guy with the big teeth? Wait, is he cute? I just can’t tell.”

I just “couldn’t tell“. ME. The girl who at 12 years old had an actual human size poster of Enrique Iglesias on my bedroom wall (which, I may or may not have kissed every night before bed for a time). I met a real-life Enrique and was handed an emotional platter of confusion and curiosity, hold the attraction.

That day I went on with my life as usual but couldn’t ignore the thoughts that kept popping up about the tall guy with the big teeth. “Who is he?” “Why can’t I stop thinking about him?” And, in your best Valley girl voice – “He’s not even hot.” (Lies. All lies. He IS hot. Have I driven that point home yet? You’re over it, you get it. He’s hot. Let’s move on.)

Of course I chatted with girlfriends about the mysterious not-hot guy I just met. I was baffled for reasons I didn’t understand and I had questions. And low and behold sitting there in the front Soprano row of my BGSU Freshman Choir class, I found answers. People KNEW this mystery guy. Went to high school with him even.

And that’s when I started hearing the stories.

This guy had this crazy relationship with God like nothing I’d ever heard of before.

There were even rumors of him being dumped by a girlfriend, because he wanted to wait until marriage and that wasn’t his girlfriend’s preference.

My curiosity was peeked of course with that last one, so I started investigating (in this story “investigating” loosely translates to “moderate socially acceptable facebook stalking”). And I started picking up bits and pieces of more stories about him.

Family, it matters to him.

He looooves… I mean LOVES music, even plays in a band, creates, writes.

He does “cool spiritual stuff”, which is what 19 year-old me would have so eloquently called it. After all he wasn’t responding to my friend request because he’d given up Facebook for lent… the COOLEST.

And thats when all of the sudden I looked at his picture again. And it was like I was given a new set of eyes for this guy. In a matter of 5 minutes of Facebook …ahem, “researching” and one choir class with whispered stories in between songs, he went from the tall guy with big teeth to the intriguing guy with ALL the Enrique Iglesias hotness and more.

It was the stories that did it.

To this day I harness that same power of stories in my marriage. I actually have a few stories in my pocket for the days when I’m cranky and critical of my guy, or the days when I wake up and am just not swooning (because in real life, even if you’re married to Enrique you’ll still just have off days). On those days I pull out one of my in-my-pocket favorite stories of him. Like the time he surprised me and stayed up for 24 hours straight to put new flooring in the house while I slept, even though he had work at 5 am. He wanted to see me smile. He sacrificed. I swooned.

 

I re-tell myself the stories like this, and his human flaws that I’m allowing myself to be consumed by are no longer in focus.

 

I love a good story about my guy that refreshes my heart for him.

 

And really I just plain love a good story.

 

We fall in love with good stories, don’t we? And we’re both satisfied and sad when they’re over. But re-telling them helps with the sadness. That’s what’s so great about a story. The good ones never get old – you can re-tell them over and over again. Maybe you have a Netflix show or a book that you revisit from time to time (Um hi. New Girl, start to finish. Twice. No shame).

Right now I am re-reading a study called “Seamless” by Angie Smith. It was written to help the 99% of us without theology degrees to understand the Bible as one big story, the way it was meant to be understood. Angie is hilarious and down-to-earth as she weaves it all together big picture style.

I started reading it after listening to this story (https://vimeo.com/227687777) about Jesus a few weeks ago (I highly recommend you check it out!). I had heard the story a million times. But for some reason on that day, both the unique way the story was told and the needing-something condition of my soul, made it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Bricks made out of love. and chocolate. and Jesus.

That day, after months of feeling disconnected from God, empty, and exhausted in every way I could be…spiritually, emotionally, physically weary from new motherhood and the way it turns your entire world upside down, I felt life breathed into me. I felt my heart leap. I felt hot tears run down my cheeks not from exhaustion but from overwhelming joy. I fell in love with Jesus all over again that morning. Because of the re-telling of a story.

Just like in my marriage, stories about my husband make me fall in love over and over again, this is my current walk with Jesus. I’m just wanting stories about Him. And I’m falling in love all over again every morning.

So whether your heart needs some re-falling in love, or just refreshed with your friend, your spouse, or your Creator, maybe you just need the re-telling of an old story.

 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

 

Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

 

The Root of Heartache

The Root of Heartache