**Most of this blog is for girls only! Any boys, please only read the posts linked to in the "For Boys" page on the sidebar. Thank you.**

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Converstation and Subsequent Clarification

{Photo credit to Ethan Lofton and Flickr Creative Commons. Fade effect added,} 

I was D&Ming with one of my dear friends yesterday, and I brought up another chat I'd had with a different friend about choices. I'd told this second friend that no matter what she did or how I felt about it, I wouldn't judge her. And then my first friend asked me a hard question.

"OK, but think about it hard, really hard: DO you judge?"

 Quite a question. Basically why she asked me was because she had felt a bit of judgement about crushes and such through my blog posts. She told me that while I might be able to 'turn off' a crush, she couldn't, and was left feeling judged because of that. She also said that while she agreed with many, even most of the things I said, because she just can't 'turn off' a crush, she saw crushes as something to walk through hand-in-hand with God, because He is with us and sovereign in every circumstance. When she had said all this in tough honesty and love, I realised that I have obviously not been clear enough about some things that I think, resulting in misconceptions and hurt. While I've cleared it up with this specific friend, I wanted to say some things here to clarify what I truly believe, and hopefully to alleviate any feelings of judgement I may have given to any readers.
  • Let me define what I mean when I say 'crush' or 'liking.' I've said it in this post, but it won't hurt to say it again here. I define a 'crush' or 'liking a guy' as basically idolising that boy. He consumes you, to some degree. You probably think about him all the time, and act out of your 'crush' feelings. A crush indulges your current feelings and fantasies. This is what I mean by 'a crush' (unless the context clearly shows otherwise). That is what I exhort against in my blog posts about crushes, that is what I believe is not wise, that is what I post 'how to fight off liking a guy' posts about.
     On the other hand, I'm 'fighting off a crush' when I acknowledge my feelings, but refuse to get caught up and indulge them, but instead choose to focus on God through them, and walk through it with Him (more on this is a second).
  • I cannot 'turn off' a crush. Not on your life!! No way can I just choose to 'flick the switch' on crushes or whatever. True, I've had a LOT of practice at journeying through my feelings and learning how to not give in to a crush but instead focus on God. By the grace of God, I can say that because of that I've never had another crush as I just defined it. But it is not in my power to 'shut down' my feelings that want to turn into a crush! Every now and again, God chooses to intervene and take away those desires for a guy, but rare is that occasion! I wish you could see my journal! It's full of entries of the "Help, God, I'm struggling with these feelings for a guy! Help me focus on You instead, and not give in!" kind. I'm no superhuman!
  • I, too, agree that desires for a guy are something to walk through hand-in-hand with God. In fact, I can't possibly agree more! Once you know what I mean by 'crush' and that (while I can choose not to let them develop into a crush) I can't just switch off my feelings, the need to walk through these desires with God is kinda obvious! It's a gruelling journey. My feelings are real. They're there. So are yours. You can't deny them, you can't flick a switch to make them go away. But you CAN limit (through God's power) how those desires affect you. You CAN pray, you CAN choose not to indulge them, you CAN choose to focus on God, you CAN choose to take His hand, and let Him gently guide you through this whole process, this season, these feelings, this struggle. He is sovereign. He has something to teach us every time this happens. He does not hate what you feel. Nor do I.
 Before I move onto my next point, I thought I'd give you a bit of an example and illustration of how these things have played out in my life recently.

 About this time last year, I began struggling with feelings for a certain guy. Had I just 'let it go,' they would have developed into a crush. But instead of indulging my fantasies and feelings, I chose to bring everything God has taught me over years of fighting off crushes into play. The result: I deliberately didn't think of him all the time, my feelings did not rule my actions (most of the time), I brought it to God daily, hourly, minute-ly, and he guided me through it and taught me things, but my feelings were still there. It wasn't till around March this year that I finally felt release from those desires. Attraction still remains, but it is no longer a battle to see this boy as a friend and hold him as such in my heart, well below God.

 So you can see here my definition of 'crush' (what I had was NOT a crush), how I cannot 'switch off' my desires, and how I had to work through my feelings with God. Now, to continue...
  • My desire is never to condemn, but to exhort, warn, encourage, and help. I know I've judged in the past. I've lectured instead of loving. Many times. And I am truly sorry for those times. Even Christ did not come to condemn, but to save (John 3:17). While I will no doubt slip up again in the future, it is never, ever my desire to judge through my posts. I will not shy away from exhortation or even gentle warnings against something I think to be wrong (i.e. tearing down others with your words) or unwise (i.e. crushes). I will encourage towards something I believe is right and wise. I will offer practical help for things I find hard. But I never mean to pinpoint something and say, "That, there - if you do that you are a bad Christian, or inferior, or weak."
     Your choices are between you and God. My intent is to urge you towards Christ and what I believe is in accordance with His word and His heart. But I cannot force you do something. You have to decide. If you choose something I believe is unwise, may I never condemn you for that! That is not my position. I will feel sad, because I know that unwise decisions are called 'unwise' for a reason: you will get hurt, or at least not be abiding in God through it, which is a painful place to be, whether you realise it or not. But again, it's your choice.

 Dear readers, if any of your have felt judged or offended or hurt in any way by anything on my blog, please know that I am so very, very sorry. If after this post there is still something you feel hurt by, please send me an email or comment, and hopefully I can clear up any misunderstandings and reassure you. If any of you feel that there is something in a specific post that could hurt someone or that I could say better in order to avoid misunderstandings, please let me know.

Blessings in Christ,
Cassie xoxoxo

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