I slept on an air mattress for two months until I finally got the courage to buy a real mattress without my family’s approval. My family was convinced there was no need for furniture because I wouldn’t be in New York for very long.

A year and a half year later, and I’ll admit that I often feel like my New York experience is going to be snatched up from under me. When my parents came to visit me, it was a pretty big deal that they agreed to take me to Ikea. I was convinced they were coming to kidnap and bring me back home. Moving away has never been my family’s favorite of my life choices. Yet, my parents agreed to take me to buy a writing chair and off we drove to the Brooklyn Ikea to make my house a home. On the drive, my parents brought up their favorite Rachel conversation: “when do you plan on settling down?”

To be clear, settling down specifically refers to marrying and building a life with a “God fearing” boy from a good Malayalee family. To my parent’s horror, I am nowhere near this settling and still very much walking around without a plan they can get behind in 2017.
I can be a bit of a brat when it comes to this topic. One of my deepest hurts is that my family doesn’t understand that I, too, would love to be married if that was what God wanted for me. It’s not very fun to be reminded of your singleness with the standard question and commentary. My family genuinely thinks I am an alien for not being sad about it. I finally had enough and told my dad this:
 It’s not my fault that you have shown me what a good man looks like. It means that I am looking for a man who is better than you. Maybe you should have been a bad dad and I wouldn’t have this problem?”
I’ll admit that wasn’t the right way to position that – but I think you’re following me here.
I have an incredible father. I understand the immensity of this gift, the incredible fortunate of having an earthly father, period, but one who has a deep investment in my life. My father is my hero and the most well-intentioned man I have ever known. His desire to do his best for his family and the people he loves is unparalleled. I look up to him, I honor him, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to please him, to make him proud of me.
This is a silver of God in relation with us. This immensity, the level of depth, and kindness is wrapped in the warmth of a Father’s love and our deepest desire within us to respond to it. Because as good as my earthly father is, my Heavenly Father is not just well-intentioned. He is intentional and pursuing you relentlessly. His love for us is overwhelming, sickening, and unfair.  It claims you in the midst of your darkest hour, the hour you have not experienced, and the hours that have passed.
My relationship with my father has shown me both the power of God’s love, but also how to respond. As human as our relationship has been – there is no other man I can look to that can convince me more that the Father’s love is so immense that it covers over every good and bad thing that you do.  It also empowers me to do something with His love. I have spent most of life just trying to be the kind of woman my father raised me to be. I have wronged him, he has wronged me – and to this day, the only person’s approval I desire in life is often his and my mother’s.
My parents bought me a writing chair that day. It’s one of my most favorite places and it’s where a lot of the work you’re reading is written on.
My relationship with my earthly father is very important to me. Yet, through this relationship I am learning that the one I have with my Heavenly father is vastly more meaningful, beautiful, and gracious. In this relationship, I am made whole.
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Living love boldly, courageously, and without fear.

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