Category Archives: Contentment

Hope for the Broken Hearted


English: Broken Love Heart bandage
English: Broken Love Heart bandage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romantic love…the stuff of books, poems, songs and legend. Why does this topic merit so much attention? What is it about love between two people that generates so much, well…emotion? It’s the thing that many of us search our whole lives trying to obtain, yet it is elusive. It’s the thing that many of us fall into…with no warning or preparation. It’s the thing that poets, artists and musicians try to convey in their works, yet never quite get it right…because love is too big. It is too difficult for us to describe in our finite states. We cannot comprehend love because it isn’t human to love…it is divine.

That desire that we have to be in communion with another…that longing for physical touch and intimacy…that need to be needed…those aren’t accidental. We were designed to desire. We were created to caress. We were made to mate. Literally. It’s in our DNA to procreate, but that’s not all. The ultimate example of love that our Creator bestowed upon us, was not just the desire to make more humans, but the JOY and PLEASURE in doing so. The downside of all that joy and pleasure is heartbreak and pain when the love that we express to someone else is unrecquited.

But there is hope.

I have had my heart broken many times, I’m sad to say. The first time, I literally thought I would die from the pain. So heavy was my heart that I feared ever loving again, because I didn’t think that my little organ could handle the pain of another disappointment. But eventually…I dared to love again. And when that love didn’t last, my heart was again broken, but somehow less so. I hadn’t loved any less. I hadn’t lost any less. But my heart was better prepared and quicker to heal.

I’ve been in love again. Twice actually. I love a friend who can’t return my affections, but strangely, that doesn’t negate the love I have for him. In fact, the way he has handled my feelings…his care and concern for me…has actually made me love him all the more. But because I love him, I will let him go so that he can have what’s best for him.

The second love is a different kind…not as altruistic. It’s more a love of friendship and convenience, but there is still a desire for more. But this man doesn’t love me. He never will. And because I love myself, I will end the relationship. Even though I am choosing to move on, the pain in my heart is still real. I ache for him, and I miss him. I miss the idea of what we could have been and I grieve for the loss, but I know that my heart will heal. I have hope…

Hope that the creator of my heart knows what I need. Hope that the man He has made for me will find me. And hope that my broken heart will be made whole again the next time I love. Because that is the true cure for a broken heart…to take what’s left of your heart, and use it to love again.

Finding Love: Chasing the Cat


I’ve been single for 46 years.  This isn’t really my choice, but it is my reality.  Part of my personality is to analyze and over think things as I shared in this post.  My love life has not been exempt from this habit of analysis paralysis.  I was talking to a friend of mine at work the other day and she said something that was eye-opening to me and really shed some light on the way that I have always approached relationships.

She told me the story about the time when she was a little girl.  She begged for a pet.  Her parents got her this kitten and she was so excited. She was so happy to have this new little feline friend that she wanted to spend all of her time with it.  She wanted to hold it, to pet it, to dress it up, and to have it return her abundant amount of affection.  The only problem?  The kitten was overwhelmed.  It was terrified and wanted nothing to do with this little girl.  It wrenched free of her affectionate grip and found refuge under the recesses of the little girl’s bed.  Crouching in the farthest corner, the kitten was terrified and shaking.  And my friend, chased the cat…trying to make the little animal love her back, but all the kitty wanted to do was to escape.  My friend was heart-broken.  She just wanted to love the kitten.  She wanted to have the kitten love her back. She envisioned a playmate and life-long friend, but the kitten was in a new place, with new people and the only thing it saw was an invasion.  What my friend didn’t know was that the best way to approach a cat is to relax and go about your business.  The cat will come to you.

So, what does this have to do with finding love?  Well, the fact is that people are more like that little kitten when it comes to romance than many of us realize.  At least more than I realize. About a year ago, I did some soul-searching and ending up fighting with God about the whole me still being single thing.  At the end of everything, I decided to move forward and approached finding love with a kind of military attack strategy.  I joined an online dating site.  Now I don’t know about you, but when I realize that my current approach is not working, I have a tendency to swing, like a pendulum, in the complete opposite direction. So instead of being shy and retiring, I started barreling in head and heart first.  In short, I was chasing the cat.

And just like that little kitten of my friend’s, the men that I met ran for the corner!  Understandably.  I was simply overwhelming them with my desire for a relationship.  And like my friend, I was heartbroken when they ran the other way.  And just like my friend, I didn’t understand. Until she told me her story.  All of a sudden, I realized what I had been doing. In my zeal for love and relationship that might lead marriage, I was being pushy.

I think that a lot of people fall into that trap.  We are so hungry to find love that we throw ourselves at the person we’re interested in.  We smother them with attention and affection thinking that our enthusiasm will translate to becoming a couple.  I wonder how many others are seeing this truth for the first time, too.

You know, when I was younger and so confused about why I was still single, I would ask my older, married friends for insight.  They would all invariably say, “When you’re not looking for it, love will find you.”  That used to really make me angry. I couldn’t see the truth in their wisdom.  I thought, “Pssh!  Easy for you to say…You’re married!”  I thought, “I’ll never not be looking for love.”  But I think that I finally understand.  What they were saying is don’t try so hard.  Don’t push.  Don’t chase the cat.  If you will relax and be yourself, when love is ready, it will find you.

I think that the bride in Song of Solomon has said it best.  This Biblical tome is all about the affections shared between two lovers.  It doesn’t get a lot of pulpit time, but maybe it should.  There are real nuggets of wisdom all throughout.  The beloved bride issues a challenge to women who are longing for romantic love.  In this very short book she says no less than three times,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

Even then, she was telling us what my friend learned what the woman in the Song of Solomon was trying to say.  If you are interested in finding love?  Don’t chase the cat!

Single Life


This is a talk that I will be sharing with a group of female residents at the Sumter County Correctional Intitute in June of this year.  I had some fellow attendees ask me to post it here.  It is long, the talk is supposed to last from 15 to 20 minutes. 

10th Talk – Residents Encounter Christ #14

Good morning, Ladies.  I’m going to talk to you this morning about a lifestyle that can be both the most frustrating and the most rewarding that you’ll ever know.  My talk is about the single life and I promise that you can be single, but never be alone.  Hi.  My name is Karen, and I am living that life.

From the time that we are born, little girls are conditioned to long for love.  We are told fairy tales with damsels and princesses who wait to be rescued by heroes and handsome princes.  We dream of weddings and dresses…of ceremonies and happily ever afters.  But the single life of reality doesn’t usually turn out that way, does it? Continue reading Single Life

3 Things to Do to Honor Your Parents


Even if your parents don’t know the Bible, odds are they have quoted it in the course of their parenting:  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long…”  At least that was the case when I was growing up.  I had a real problem with that when I was a child.  To say I was stubborn would be like saying the Titanic was a boat!  I resisted authority…still struggle with that one.  I questioned every decision – and I mean EVERY decision…especially those made by my mom.  Why is that?  Well, because she was the most present parent.  She dealt with all the details of raising the four of us.  In the course of the every-day, I learned just how far I could push an issue and I determined to push as much as possible.  I wasn’t a bad kid.  On the contrary, she was often complimented on our excellent behavior and manners, but that didn’t change the fact that I challenged her. Continue reading 3 Things to Do to Honor Your Parents

The Prison of Want


Every single one of us knows what it feels like to want something.  From the moment we take our first breath, we are able to loudly assert our desire for something that we want.  We want food, we want comfort, we want sleep, we want to be held.  For an infant, our wants are simple, but as we grow, we learn to want more.  We want a particular toy, we want a certain snack, we want just the right pair of shoes.  The older we get, the more elaborate and demanding our wants become.  We want more money, we want designer clothing, we want the biggest house, we want the perfect spouse.

When we get something we want, it makes us feel good—for a while.  Soon, though, you want something else.  It’s easy to fall into the mindset of thinking that what you have is never enough and to equate what we want with our happinessSingle people say, “If only I were married, then I would be happy.”  Married people say, “If only we had a baby, then we would be happy.”  Employees say, “If only I made more money, then I would be happy.”

The problem isn’t WHAT you want…it’s the fact that your happiness is tied inexorably to the want.  It becomes a vicious cycle of want – pleasure – disappointment – and want again.  It’s a prison.  But you can be set free.  The key to unlocking the door to your dungeon of desire is already in your hand.  You just have to use it.

Here are three things that will help set you free from your prison of want. Continue reading The Prison of Want