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Onward

But the sword cuts both ways. While our heart grows in its capacity for pleasure, it grows in its capacity to know pain. The two go hand in hand. What, then, shall we do with disappointment? We can be our own enemy, depending on how we handle the heartache that comes with desire. To want is to suffer; the word passion means to suffer. This is why many Christians are reluctant to listen to their hearts: They know that their dullness is keeping them from feeling the pain of life. Many of us have chosen simply not to want so much; it's safer that way. It's also godless. That's stoicism, not Christianity. Sanctification is an awakening, the rousing of our souls from the dead sleep of sin into the fullness of their capacity for life.

Desire often feels like an enemy, because it wakens longings that cannot be fulfilled in the moment. In the words of T. S. Eliot,
"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire" (The Waste Land).

Spring awakens a desire for the summer that is not yet. Awakened souls are often disappointed, but our disappointment can lead us onward, actually increasing our desire and lifting it toward true romance.

—John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance

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"pain begets joy, that ecstasy may wring sounds of agony from us" - nietzsche