Liam’s Journal: 08/16

if you’re just now starting this journey, start here for context

Dear River,

The three months haven’t even started yet, but I’m writing this as a start to what I hope will be a way that I can tell you what I’m feeling. Someday I want to give you these unsent letters. You’ll understand me better. 

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I get scared, River. I get this knot, right underneath my sternum, when I think about marriage, about really saying “yes. I choose her.” I don’t know why. Maybe it’s fear that I’ll get it wrong. Maybe it’s a fear of commitment itself. Maybe it’s just that, somewhere along the line, I started considering myself some temporary fixture in the lives of a few female friends and acquaintances, a guy who gave support and male affirmation and then was done. It’s probably a combination of all of these reasons. 

When I’ve been with you, the few times I have, sometimes I haven’t said much. It’s because i don’t want to break or disturb or ruin the peace I’ve felt by opening up my mouth and actually saying it. This is so hard to explain. I’m sorry in advance. 

I try not to talk about Layne or Sarah with you — I know it doesn’t feel good to hear about them. But for a moment, I need you to understand something about them. They both were unstable. They both had previous issues with other guys, other masculine figures in their lives. Some of those issues were pretty serious. 

It would be dishonest to say that I wasn’t attracted to them. But, in a very real sense, I ended up dating them because they needed it, not first because I wanted it. To both of them I was a temporary fix, a cigarette. I don’t care if Sarah would have married me. It was all for the wrong reasons. In some odd way this is the real reason for a lot of what I call my insufficiency complex. It’s just that, for the first time in my life, there’s a beautiful girl who wants to be with me — and she needs nothing from me. She doesn’t need me for male affirmation or for emotional codependency or anything like that. I’m trying to change my entire paradigm. I want it changed, and I don’t want to be the same. 

But it’s very hard. I don’t want to be needed more than I’m wanted. But need has a part to play. How much? I don’t have any answers right now. The biggest question I have is how much “want” does it take to make the choice to choose someone? 

In the end, all I want to say is that I do have a knot. It’s fearful. And I know fear is not an emotion of the Lord. But I think He might be using that knot to speak with me. Right now what He is saying is simply, “Not yet. I’m not finished with you, Liam.” I trust Him, River. 

I am hopeful for us. I want these three months. I want to be transformed into His likeness. Like you’ve said, I want to empty myself out for others. I want to diminish. 

I want Jesus. I want you. And it scares me. But Jesus will... He’ll change things. He’ll change us, change me, change you. Let’s let him. 

Liam