Nothing has been more painful and fruitful than my willingness to die in my relationships. Worldly imprudent, but spiritually efficient. Maximum effort, maximum humiliation. So many lessons from love. The last one really tortures me still in a holiness inducing manner. I just interpret it as a call to continual prayer, until (if?) it fades away. In the moments of peace about what it all meant for me, I keep receiving this idea of a sexually integrated celibate community. I keep believing that my romantic love belongs in a celibate marriage with a special sister. In my last attempt, I almost never felt like she was a temptation for me while we were together, even though we had a very strong physical chemistry. It sounds weird, but I felt sexually full, satisfied by her love without the desire to consummate it in that procreative way. And I didn’t feel that our sexual attraction was a hinderance to our ability to serve God. In fact, I experienced it as a kind of protection and inspiration that freed me to pursue God’s Will with more joy and more direction. In the beginning, it seemed like she was so on board with the idea. Because of both of our different wounds, there seemed to be a real fittingness to it. Somewhere along the way, the relationship started to become something else, something much more like the way everybody else does it, and I really did not like that. That’s where our friendship started falling apart, at least for me. When it became a normal marriage vision for her, she drifted so far away from my call for my life that I felt I couldn’t even relate to her anymore in a non-superficial way. I wish I hadn’t let that happen, but hindsight comes before foresight and it was my first time in that situation. The lesson has been how to recognize and avoid letting our relationship slip into that worldly rut again next time. If the pain has served any purpose, I definitely think it is to never let me forget that difference. When I find the right one, she will want the same freedom to be focused on serving the Lord (in a direct fashion) that is also equally protected by my love as I am by hers. This lesson is the light that now accompanies me through this ugly darkness of my broken life.