Your Soul Mate

by Peg Coleman

Have you found your "soul mate" yet? You know who I'm talking about, don't you. Your soul mate is that one person, above all others, who "really knows you for who you are, warts and all", and still "loves you absolutely, completely and unwaveringly" more than they love anyone else. Maybe you thought you'd found that person, once, but now you're not so sure, because lately things haven't been going so well and you're wondering if you made a mistake after all. That spark of excitement that you sensed when you first met doesn't seem to be there anymore and the "love of your life" seems to have forgotten how to love you.

Don't despair. I have your answer. Really. I heard it on TV and radio so it must be true. All you have to do is fill out a form. And the best part about this form is that it's all about you so it's an absolute breeze to complete.

Think about it; who knows your favorite colors better than you do? You're the only one who knows if you'd rather spend your vacation lying on a beach with a good book, or climbing Mount Everest. And you're the only one who knows what another person needs to do to make you feel safe, secure and, well, loved. Am I right?

You're the only one who knows what you think of as the most romantic thing in the world. Whether it's a quiet evening together, snuggled on a couch with soft music playing, or court side seats at the NCAA basketball tournament, passionately rooting for your favorite team—who else could know these things but you? And as "they" try to tell us—who could better understand these dreams and make them come true, but your soul mate?

But finally, the most wonderful thing about finding your "soul mate" this way is that you can really, truly be yourself. You don't have to pretend to like what he likes or support the same political party she does, hoping that by shaping your own thoughts and desires to match theirs, they will somehow recognize they can't live without you. No, finding the "right person" in this way means those worries are all gone. Filling out this form means that you no longer have to agree with their opinions and perspectives on everyday sorts of things. Because, in this form, you can explain who you really are, so the person who responds will be responding because who you are is exactly the person they're looking for! They'll think you're wonderful and will realize you're the only one who can possibly make them happy for the rest of their lives.

How are you doing so far? Have you bought into all of this yet? Judging by the amount of advertising for these services it seems a lot of people have. Look at the newest concept in blind dating right here in my own city— it's called "Speed Dating". You sign up to spend an evening with strangers. In the course of the evening, you have the opportunity to spend 6-10 minutes with every person of the opposite sex in the room. The purpose is to give you each the opportunity to get to know each other and find out if you "click" with anyone in particular. After the speed-dating portion of the evening is over, you have the rest of the evening to connect with the one (or ones) who most impressed you, and work out where to take things from here. Six minutes. It takes longer than that to get a hamburger at a drive-through window.

So that you know where I'm coming from, it might help to say here that I am single and always have been. I've known the reality of the desire to "find that special someone" for my own life. And there was a time when I didn't know what to do or where to go with those desires. In fact, there was a time when I was almost overwhelmed with the thought of being alone for the rest of my life. I wanted to be loved. I wanted someone to look at me "warts and all" and say I'll love you, for better and for worse and in that declaration, confirm that my life had meaning to at least one person. And at the end of the day, isn't that closer to the truth of what each of us is searching for? I would be willing to wager that a great number of us want to know that our life means something, and we believe that can only come from someone outside of ourselves. So we reach out in whatever direction we can in order to bring that sense as close to us as possible.

And the truth I came to see turned out to be closer to what I thought I needed than I realized. But it was in a different direction. This is what happened. One day while in nursing school, I hit the lowest point of loneliness I had ever experienced. So low, that I asked some girls in my dorm, one of whom I did not like at all, if I could go out with them that evening. I had never done anything like that before. I would never have admitted my need in that way, but this time was different, and somehow I knew it. They were going to a movie that night called "A Time to Run". I'd never heard of it, so had no idea what it was about and frankly could have cared less. I just needed to be with people that night.

As the story unfolded it was as though someone had taken my life and put it right up there for everyone to see—not the details—but the heart of it. Somehow they expressed the deep sense of emptiness inside me that nothing could seem to touch—not education, not traveling, not work, not friends. And then they introduced a Person, someone whom I had never really thought about and knew very little of. He said, "I will never fail you or forsake you… I have loved you with an everlasting love…before you were born, while you were being formed in your mother's womb, I knew you. I knew the days that were planned for you, every one of them, before even one of them had begun….". That was the day I began to turn from all the things and people I had used to try to grasp some sense of meaning and purpose for my own life. I began to turn toward this Person, Jesus Christ, who had made these incredible statements.

So, there is another way. By putting your trust in the One who said, "I know the plans I have for you, plans for a future and a hope" and by learning to walk day after day in that reality, you can be changed from a fearful, lonely, person who needs all sorts of things and people to feel alive, to someone who is secure in the knowledge that you are loved and cared for in a deeper way than you ever thought possible. And that frees you. It frees you to enjoy people simply for who they are, rather than for what they can give you or how they can make you feel. And marriage -- what about your soul mate? Somehow it isn't as important as it once seemed. As you begin to realize that the One who actually matters the most in this world loves you, you find yourself becoming a person who gives out of the abundance of the wellspring of love that touched and changed you.

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