the funk was gone. Unfortunately it took the better part of the weekend, but finally early Sunday afternoon I was back to normal.
Carter and I went to dinner Friday night, trying Bound'ry per Citysearch's recommendations. I called ahead to make sure it served apple martinis. The menu was fun with tapas, tasting, and entree sized portions, and I liked the fireplace near our booth. I hoped the martini might help the mood, but I don't think it did. I did manage to keep pretty quiet, which is unusual for me. After dinner we went to Christ Cathedral to hear a variety of musicians perform some of Bach's work; one guy whistled "Ave Maria," and it was surprisingly good.
Saturday my self-centered funk seemed to escalate with my mind being filled about 60% of the time with negativity and criticism--pretty much all directed at Carter. It's only by the grace of God that the ugliness playing through my head didn't ooze out more than it did. Again I kept quiet, which created a tension of sorts, but it was much better than anything that would have come out of my mouth. Every other thing Carter did annoyed me. For example, I baked cookies, and he stood in the kitchen while I got started, and I was seriously irritated. And each irritation just led to me creating a longer list of his bad traits.
Crazy. You know how people talk about rose-colored glasses? It was like I had on black colored glasses and saw Carter through a hateful filter. Throughout the day there were times I would start to enjoy him like normal, and then bam he'd breath the wrong way and I'd snap back into hyper-critical mode.
Thankfully Carter was very patient, understanding, and seemed to roll with it all incredibly well. Saturday night I prayed that God would lift the black cloud off of my heart and that He would help me see His beauty in Carter. I prayed that I would seek God’s will in this relationship and not focus on my selfish and ugly desires. I prayed that the Spirit would fill me with love and compassion and guide me in all that I do. I had to make myself pray that when all I wanted to do was write pages and pages in my journal about what annoyed me about Carter. And yes, I realize this sounds straight-up ridiculous and crazy.
Despite strongly implying that I didn't want him to come, Carter showed up for the Sunday school class I lead, and then we attended church (at another church) together. The sermon was on being judgmental, which was perfect given how busy I'd been judging Carter. Condemning someone is so much easier than loving him, and it's completely opposite of the example set by Christ. Reading scripture, fellowship, and worship seemed to help my heart thaw, and by the time we were done with lunch, I was back to normal and so very glad to be with Carter. The rest of the day was fantastic, but I couldn't help but regret how much of the weekend was squandered by my funk. It's like I missed out on really being with Carter. Oh well, ten lovely hours are better than none. And I found something new to admire about Carter (his patience and understanding despite my irrational mood), and we had a really meaningful and emotionally honest (not my strong suit) conversation last night.
And today I've reflected on the entire funk situation, and it sort of scares me. It scares me that my perception could be colored so ugly. It saddens me that there have been times in my life that that sort of judgment may have been the rule rather than the exception. It scares me that sin can so easily fill me up to the point of completely coloring my thoughts and feelings.
But at the same time I have so much hope and gratitude. How awesome to see God's patience reflected in someone else. And how awe-inspiring it is to trust in God and rely on the Holy Spirit. And while sometimes life seems harder as a Christian, times like these remind me of how much I need a savior and how much I need grace--and how blessed I am to have both in Christ Jesus.
p.s. I'm thankful for you guys. Your prayers, comments, encouragement, and e-mails really helped me.