Relations!

Recessive Desire

Autosomal recessive EN
By Aymleung (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I have a desire to get married and have a family. As a (younger) adult, I wanted four children and a family like the Cosby’s. I did not want to compromise this desire. I also didn’t share this desire aloud.

I cannot hide behind this screen and tell the world that this is some unselfish dream. Just reading those first sentences, there is an air of immaturity and selfishness behind my desire for a family. For some of us, this desire becomes selfish when unchecked and misunderstood. It leads to selfish actions. We end up with selfish motives entering our relationships. Yes, I went there. The word packed with sting, selfish.
It is purely a want and desire that I see as something to benefit and satiate a yearning within my heart. Children that have my genetics. A husband that loves me. A family of my own. Even in the wrappings of nice and sweet terms such as “sacrifice” and “submit,” the desire is intrinsically selfish.
I saw how selfish this desire was when (after nearly [x] years away from dating) I was asked on a date (…yay?). I don’t “date” in the Western term of the word: we will casually form a friendship and watch how things go from there. No use “jumping in” a relationship for the sake of having one…
So, there we were, getting to know each other and the topic turned to my career field: biology. More specifically, the field of genetics. Genetics and biochemistry. Genetics, biochemistry and diseases (I’ve been in school too long…).
I carry an autosomal recessive genetic disease. In its homozygous form (that means you have two copies of the gene) it is a severe, painful and deadly disease. It is painful to watch and painful to have.
And I can pass this disease on to any children I have with another carrier.
That is inheritance.
That is (basic) genetics. I carry it and my mother carries it. My mother didn’t know she was a carrier when she met my dad, married him, and had her little bundle of baby test positive for this genetic trait. She always says how lucky she was that my dad was not a carrier as well.

Yet, I know I am a carrier.

And so is he.
This is not new information. You see, he told me this in the eleventh grade. He then mentioned it again about two years ago. And again last year. Each time is as if this is the first time he is giving me this information. We have discussed marriage. We discussed children. We confront the same information: What decision do we make with this information being known to us?

There is a 25% chance of having a child with both copies of the defective gene.
There is a 50% chance of having a child with one copy of the defective gene.
There is a 25% chance of having a child with two normal copies of the gene.

In that Cosby family, one child would theoretically suffer due to our selfishness.
Theoretically…

“Theoretically” leads to two overly simplistic responses:
“Don’t trust genetics. Trust God.”
“God gave you this insight into the genetics and this revelation for a reason.”

There are wonderful qualities to this person. Yet, this is the information we were given well before the idea of romance entered our minds. [X] number of years without dating aside…could there be someone else who is not a carrier for both of us? Information and insight given for a reason?
In this light, how selfish to ignore this information and move forward. It seems these are not questions another human can answer…

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The 10 Things A Single Girl Learned from Watching Bridezillas

Well, it finally happened. Bridezillas is coming to an end. After realizing most of the women on this show were beyond entertaining (if that’s what you call it), I began watching when I wanted a peek into the world of women such as these. As I watched, I learned a few lessons on love and marriage I could use later! Here are ten lessons I gathered from ten seasons of crazy.

1. Men marry the crazy girl…:
For all the fuss I have read across the Internet and from male friends about “the crazy girl” it seems that they keep getting married. The thing I still can’t figure out is why? Since I do not possess the ‘Y’ chromosome, someone who does will have to enlighten me. Is it all the yelling? Does that just turn you guys on or something? Well, it kinda gives me a headache so on to the next lesson…
2. Planning a wedding is the perfect excuse to curse everyone out!
I never knew this until I started watching the show. Want an excuse to curse your mother out? Plan your wedding! Secretly hate your best friend/cousin/sister/fiancé? Go dress shopping with them! Everyone will understand because after all, you are planning your wedding! If they don’t, it is perfectly okay for you, a grown woman, to cry and curse anyone who challenges you. And no, it does not mean you might need to “talk to someone…”
3. Not all of that crazy is for the show:
There’s a reason the replacement for this show is “Marriage Bootcamp” where former couples from the show come to get counseling. I say make the right decision the first time and there is no need for a second marriage.
4. Weddings are had only to cause envy in others:
All of the girls seem to want “their day” to be more spectacular and expensive than someone else’s. I thought the wedding was simply to exchange vows with the person you love and have decided to share your life with.
5. If you can’t afford it, just accuse the vendor of bad customer service:
It seems like all of the brides on this show that can’t afford a service always accuse the vendor of conspiring to ruin “their day.” After the accusation, they walk out and refuse to pay for the service rendered. Seems legit to me (and I have seen this done in real life by a family member!).
6. Your fiancé is simply a supporting cast member in your one-woman show:
This is “your day” gosh darn it! How dare your fiancé think he has anything to do with it! Tell him to get in line and follow the script!
7. The smaller the town, the worse the bridezilla—I mean princess:
Just watch the show. Some of these places are so obscure I have to look on a map to find them—and I live in Alabama! Yet, these are the girls most likely to insist that their wedding is the most important event to happen this year. You know, maybe that is true…in that town.
8. Some of these people actually get divorced:
I’m not even going to comment.
9. I would rather have love than a fancy wedding:
This is something some of the women in my generation have not grasped yet. Yes, it is easy to get caught up in the glitz of dresses, décor and such, but you have picked your dress before you have met your mate. A little backwards, methinks.
10. Weddings are not the Marriage:
I would rather a less-than perfect wedding with the man who loves me unconditionally and brings out the best in me. I can wait for that. I can wait for the man who will wait for me. I can wait for the man who sees the cool, nerdy me and the stressed, scared me and loves both. I can wait for the man who doesn’t care if I wear makeup and a dress or khakis and a Star Wars shirt. I can wait to build a foundation to marriage with the man who is worth it and knows I am, too. A wedding is but a fleeting moment in a lifetime together in a strong and loving marriage. I can wait for that, even if the wedding is at the courthouse.

Goodbye, Bridezillas. I hope you never return to torment us with your presence…or lack of presents.

Purpose in dating: What is your goal?…Part II

This inspired me for Part I. Not everyone agrees with this view-point, however there is more truth in what Joe is saying here than many of us want to admit to ourselves. A recent conversation with a few friends about dating lead me to post this. I really hope it helps more than my inner circle. Always be aware of your actions, intentions, and desires when feelings are involved. Most importantly, make sure you search where they are coming from and where they might lead you. If we are not honest with ourselves and each other on this, we can leave room in our hearts for delusion, dishonesty, and sin. Be upfront with your intentions, and remember that the person you are trying to date has the same Father in heaven who loves them as well. If we see each other this way, we are less likely to take relationships, whether that be a friendship or something more, so lightly. We are also less likely to see that other person as a vessel to please our sexual desires. Again, why are you dating? What is your purpose and goal if you are not leading toward marriage? What are you hoping to gain from a romantic relationship with someone you know you would not marry? Even more importantly, why would dating this person tell you more about them than simply building a better friendship with them? What is your end goal…?

Peace.

Purpose in dating: What is your goal?

English: Love question

 English: Love question (Photo credit: Nevit Dilmen, Wikipedia)

I present this question after a series of conversations with very different friends on very different paths. I also don’t present this without first examining myself. Each one of us must ask this question as we approach relationships so that we have clear intentions. Many of us have a desire for a relationship, but do we know where that desire is coming from? If someone asked you the question why do you want a relationship, what is your answer? Does that answer look something like the following?

Because I’m alone.
I don’t know, I just do.
He/she seems cool enough; I think I just want to date them to get to know them.
Girl, he is just too fine not to date!/Dude, I’m trying to get with that, look at her!
Well, everyone else has someone and I want someone, too.
It feels like the right time.
My family wants me to settle down.
I think I’m running out of time.
My eggs are drying up (By the way, this is not even correct biology, but I digress)
I just want someone to love me.
As I considered each of these answers, I realized that I have heard all of these at some point, either from friends, acquaintances, or passing conversation. I know I am guilty of at least two. However, what is missing from every response given is the answer to a question I have begun to ask myself over the past few years. What is the purpose behind dating? Why should I date this person? Would I not only date this person, but is what I’m seeing something I would consider in a spouse? If I wouldn’t consider marriage with this person, then WHY am I considering entering a romantic relationship with them…? These are hard questions to ask not only myself, but also some of my friends. What is your purpose? If you are honest with yourself, you may find that your purpose is much more carnal than you want to believe. Is what you are seeing in the present getting in the way of what you should wait for in the future? Dating is not marriage, and too often we try to substitute it for the real thing. If you are dating seriously and you know you have no intentions of marriage, maybe it is time you step back and ask yourself these questions. Could it be that you are trying to fill a need with someone or something that has already been met by God? What is the purpose of a serious romantic relationship that just simply ends? To where does that ending lead your heart?

 

“We are Living Single”

There was a discussion yesterday evening I had in a bible class that lead to this topic. I love this message because it gets lost when we become anxious and nervous about things yet to come. We begin to look around and we often lose our focus on the present time we are in. God calls us to live without worry, without care, and without want for anything. If you are still single at a certain age, be of good courage and continue to serve God in Faith without despair or want for another human being. It gets tough at times, but don’t live in despair because what you see and want are not coming “fast enough” or you feel like you are “running out of time”. And to my wonderful fellow “single ladies” of our generation: please remember that you are single until marriage, no matter how boo’d up you think you are. This is a time of preparation, so be sure you are using it wisely. Let go of the fear and be sure that you prepare your life, your mind and your heart to not only love that person, but to allow them to truly love you in turn.
Peace and love
-KTE

The video above is from http://www.youtube.com/user/chaseGodtv. Check out his channel, it has some great nuggets of gold.

True Love and Forgiveness

“I love…” This statement is tossed around quite a bit. We try to define it, we want to feel it, and we search our lives for the one human being who may return it to us. We often think of it in naïve forms as children to our parents, then in romantic ways as we age and few of us in the purest form as we mature beyond our selfish youth. We wear it, display it, talk about it, yearn for it and seek to recreate it through our creations. However, so many of us walking this planet think it is a destination we must reach. We then grow bitter when we cannot find it, when we seek it in others and cannot see it or we wait for it to come and it never finds us.

However, we have the definition of love completely wrong.

Go on, look it up. Most dictionaries will have the main definition of love as a noun, then an adjective, and finally a verb. Each definition will be a form of emotion or expression there of.

Love is not just an emotion?

No, it is not. True and perfect love is not a feeling. It is not thinking another human being completes you and you cannot live without them. Although most think it is, love is not marriage, children, boyfriends or girlfriends. It is not a parent, a spouse, or some material thing. Love does not sweep you off your feet nor does it arrive to save the day. It does not wear a suit and drive a Bentley; and it definitely does not meet you at the club.

I said I loved my best and dearest friend a few years ago. But time and circumstance pulled us further and further apart. Over the years we have not only put physical miles between us, but the ups and downs that occur in any relationship strained us in our ignorance of youth. And what I thought was love became a burden of pain. What I felt was love hurt because it didn’t act the way I wanted and didn’t go as I planned. I tried to cling to this idea of love until it was ripped away and pulled from under me, landing me flat with a broken heart. Then I began to resent the day I ever found this love.

But I was wrong. And I venture to say that I am not the only one. True love is a verb. It is cliché, but it is also correct grammar. Although it is in the dictionary described as emotion, the more correct definition is to love…not to feel love.

What you feel is an emotion. What you do determines where your heart is.

God loved and still loves us daily. He loves us when we are wrong and he loves us when we are trying to do right. We turn away and come back and yet he continues to forgive us when we ask it. If this is love, how can we say we have it? We break God’s heart every time we turn to sin and yet he forgives us when we come to him in repentance. How then do you love your brother or sister when you hold on to transgressions they have let go? How can you have love when you won’t grant forgiveness?

Forgiveness for humans is not simply forgetting. Besides, it is through our falls that we learn to walk. Forgiveness is love that allows us to be human. It is necessary because we will each hurt someone along the way in life. It is realizing that we each need this love reciprocated because we are human.

This was my friend, my best and dearest. This was a person who had my heart that I freely gave. Yet, I thought with worldly views that I should hold on to past transgressions. This just isn’t true. I couldn’t see the way to forgiveness until someone told me the truth. Love and forgiveness must be one, and the journey is never complete to either.

Now after all the clouds of anger and hurt have gone, my ability to love has strengthened through forgiveness. Real love, true love, perfect love covers and removes past transgressions. However, it is a decision you must actively make every day.

To: The Black Man

In celebration of Black History Month, I decided to post one of my older poems. I wrote this as an essay for a speech class during undergrad a few years ago. It has since been published in Everything Woman and has been one of my favorites when I am asked to speak at public functions or spoken word open-mics.  If you like it, remember there are more where this came from! Also, pass the word along to someone you know that may like it, but if it turns up plagiarized, I WILL COME LOOKING FOR YOU!!! Enjoy responsibly.

To the Black Man

K.T. Edwards

We came together through the Middle Passage
On a great ship packed liked cargo.
From Africa to the Caribbean, the West Indies and the Americas
We reached lands unknown to us.

I was there with you when
We were separated on the auction block
And sold as if we were nothing more than animals.
I cradled and held you when the master beat you.
I wiped the blood from the open wounds on your back;
The flesh torn and hanging from your body
All signs of that infamous leather whip.

I was the one who shed tears for both of us.
I calmed your anger when they sold our children,
And sat in silence when they raped and used me
Watching as you could do nothing
Afraid he would kill you…

However, I was with you in the talented tenth—
When we flourished as teachers, lawyers, doctors, and professionals.
The Black Renaissance changed us
We were in our golden age
When we were reborn and born again.
When divine organizations flowed in nine rivers.

Our music was played in places we could not go,
And we purchased a home in the Hamptons and vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard
Finally, my brother I was with you
As we kept our eyes on the prize.
I marched with you hand in hand
And side by side.
Men spat in our face and broke our bones.
And as we both waited to overcome
We realized our dream with Dr. King.

So today, I ask you not for diamonds,
You know, “ice” or “bling”,
I simply ask that you love me the same.
Love me and respect me,
Because I have carried this race of people and
Borne great leaders forth from my womb.
I have raised a nation and not neglected my family,
Cleaned the houses of those that hated us and
Fed the mouths of those that needed us.

I have prayed and preached,
Blessed and bleached,
I’ve gone from domestic to doctor in three generations;
And I have carried our people for four hundred years.

But now, I am tired;
I am weary and worried.
I am afraid that you will not be there to carry me,
As I have carried you,
As I have cared for you, and as I have comforted you.

I beg of your respect, and I beg for your love
For I can do it alone no longer.
Our people are suffering and time is running out.
You see I do need you, my black man.
But first I need you to love me.