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I listened to this song when I was a senior in public school. It made me feel less lonely. I  was (stupidly) desperate to have a boyfriend and be like the other girls in my class. I was a shy wallflower, so most of the guys didn’t notice me. And the smart ones who might of noticed me, were too afraid to say anything.

Smile, make them think you’re happy
Lie, and say that things are fine
And hide that empty longing that you feel
Don’t ever show it, just keep your heart concealed

Like most prepubescent girls, I had a warped sense of love and romance. There was pressure to conform and FOMO, the fear of missing out, something that’s existed long before the concept gained popularity! I suspect that even though girls are educated from a young age to dream big and pursue those dreams, from astronomy to zoology, from running marathons to running multi-million dollar corporations, the longing is still tucked away in there. We were built for relationship. Unfortunately, thirteen year olds aren’t built with the maturity to build serious relationships.

I don’t think the pressure to have someone really lessens with age. The ability to sidestep those awkward conversations get easier. And one learns to take joy in other types of relationships, including with one’s self. As we all should. After all, no one person can ever truly make us happy. Only Jesus.

Instead, it seems every television show promotes relationships as one-night stands or something that can be tossed aside when something better comes along. Not every relationship is healthy but the casualness is disconcerting. Not just because I’m an old fart! It’s just a style with which I couldn’t be comfortable if I were single.

I’m proud of my oldest son. It’s a sore point for him. I know he’d like settle down with someone special. I’ve watched him sidestep the awkward questions. I know he gets pressured by the guys at work. But I’m proud of him for waiting, for respecting himself and the girls out there enough not to run around. He’s looking for a lasting relationship, built on friendship and trust, not sex. I believe he’ll blessed one day, and though it’s painful in the waiting, he will share a love that runs deep and can weather any storm.

 We have all been wounded by love, in the lack of it, the distortion of it, or the loss of it. We were built for relationship. But what we don’t realize is the first and most important relationship were supposed to have, the One who should be our first and forever love, is Jesus.  I don’t think I got that at thirteen. I realized it much later in life, after a lot of wounding. And yes, sometimes I still have to be reminded Who loves me most. That all the longing to love and be loved can be satisfied in that one relationship. That when it is, I have love that overflows into the other relationships I hold dear – my family, my church family, even the stupid man in the grocery store who didn’t care that he was going the wrong way!

Perhaps that’s why this long-forgotten song has been playing in my head. I needed the reminder again. Maybe someone who persevered through this very long post needed it too.  😉

Leaf_ed

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Friend of a Wounded Heart © Claire Cloninger / Claire D. Cloninger / Wayne Watson
Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Photo: Marko Blažević on unsplash.com