Still here! Still Single, Still Horny, Still…Well, You Know The Rest!

I’ve been asked if I’m abandoning this blog and the answer is a solid no. I realize it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted and I’ve had some reasons for that. Mostly because this has been one of the most chaotic winters/springs I’ve ever had. Usually I get a little reprieve in January/February but this year I hit the ground running with hardly time to catch my breath. I can’t believe it’s already May! Since my last post I’ve been in weddings, gone on mission trips, switched out a roommate with another, moved houses (the most recent development), and dated and stopped dating a guy I met online (I know, I know!). And that’s just my personal life! Work has been busier than ever, too, and so I’ve hardly had time to write anything!

But enough about all that. I’m here to write about singleness, horniness, and walking with the Lord through those things.

So, first things first (drumroll please….)……..Online dating.

Not long after my last post I realized I was over my qualms about online dating and sure why not I’ll give it a shot.

BLECH.

Now, I’m not saying everything has been bad about it but the “BLECH” comes from the experience as a whole. Online dating is work. And it’s the kind of work that makes you feel shallow and discouraged. It’s a LOT of work with what seems like not much payoff.

What I mean is this:

I’m an introvert. When I get to know someone it is a drain on my energy. Who I invest my time in is an important choice. It is truly and INVESTMENT because it takes something out of me and therefore it needs to be worth it. I’m not talking about generally being kind and caring about others. I mean really getting to know someone from scratch to see if I want them in my inner circle. Well, in normal face-to-face life the majority of the time I can tell when I meet someone if I would want to spend more time with them or not. If I am remotely attracted to them or if I can at least have a decent flow of conversation. Online I have to get to know them enough to at least know that they are not serial killers and that they have a genuine relationship with Christ. This is frustrating and draining to me. I feel like I am investing a lot of precious energy and attention on something that, as soon as I meet them, will most likely be an easy “no.” And even saying this makes me feel bad but it’s the truth. I confess it.

Not only the feeling of it being hard work instead of something enjoyable, but also the sheer number of men I pass over makes me feel bad and discouraged. Let’s be honest. So many of them just need some help with how they present themselves.

Here is some advice for men who are online from a Horny Christian Single Girl.

Don’t put up photos of you and a bunch of women. Why do so many men do this? That doesn’t impress me. That makes me think you are a womanizer. If you HAVE to put one then make sure it’s you and your sister and make sure you put a caption letting me know that it is. If it’s a photo of you and an ex (even if you cut her out) just don’t use it. Ask a friend to take some new photos. I’m here to see you. Not you and the competition.

Stop posting pictures of you looking miserable. For the love, smile. No one wants to be with someone who looks angry/depressed/pitiful. A good smolder is fine but also let me know you can enjoy life too. Let’s see that smile!

Have photos without sunglasses. Has anyone ever told you you have nice eyes? Seeing someone’s eyes in a picture is very important, maybe more for women than men. They are the window to the soul and help me know you seem kind and trustworthy. Hiding the eyes makes me assume you are hiding something dark within. Please post pictures without sunglasses.

Don’t crop the top of your head out of a photo. Just own the hair loss. Be confident. A woman worth her salt is not going to pass you up for that reason alone. Also, just a hint …bald is beautiful. If it’s mostly gone then just own it and shave or buzz it. I believe in you. You can rock it. You is smart. You is kind. You is a sexy dang bald man.

Be specific about what you are looking for. If you are a Christian and want to marry a Christian woman than pay attention to your preferences. Those of us who put our relationship with God first check to see if you do too. If you are ok marrying a hindu, spiritual but not religious, muslim, christian then you aren’t the guy for me. That’s a deal-breaker. Also, be specific about what “Christian” you are. Protestant is very different from LDS. Know what you believe and pursue someone on the same page. That’s all I’m asking.

Write positively. Do you realize that bitterness and negativity comes across in what you write on your profile? One guy wrote something like, “I’m fed up with fake women and finally gave in to online dating to see if any of you genuine, God-loving women are actually out there.” Well, I can understand that sentiment but the way you came across was very angry and bitter and yikes I don’t want to go near that attitude. Instead answer the question What do you have to offer? Present yourself in a positive light, blog about your frustrations ;)

And finally,

Why are you here if you are not actually single!? If you are separated and in the middle of a rough divorce, please don’t date. Just don’t. You are only hurting yourself and others by dragging them in. Take time. Heal. Be single for a while.

Now, I realize that all of these things can be applied to women as well but, as a woman looking for a man I haven’t had to deal with the women of the big wide world of online dating. Only myself.

I’ve actually met 4 guys from online dating. Three of them were “no’s” after one date and the fourth…well, the fourth was actually a really nice guy.

We emailed back and forth for a while and he was the same personality type as me (INFP) and so we wrote eerily similar. He told me his dream job would be designing board and card games. I told him about writing and being stuck where I’m at in my novel and jokingly said he should design me a puzzle of a plot diagram and I’d put it together and be inspired to keep writing. The next email he sent me a link to a jigsaw website where he’d made me a puzzle of a plot diagram. It was really cute. And therefore I shall call him Puzzles.

Puzzles and I had a lot in common. We liked to do the same things, read the same things, etc. He was also passionate about God and had this confident way about him as far as knowing who he was. I enjoyed my time with him. He was a gentleman. But it was never any more than that. He was more a quiet type (which honestly I’ve always had a hard time with and never been much drawn to) and conversation didn’t flow naturally. It was like I had to do all the work. Not to the point where it was necessarily awkward because I wouldn’t have gone out with him more if that was the case, but just enough to make the time just okay instead of I-Can’t-Wait-To-See-Him-Again-I-Don’t-Want-This-Date-To-End sort of a thing. I liked him but I didn’t LIKE him. And he was starting to LIKE me and that didn’t feel right. After five very long dates I thought I should have more than just a cool fondness for him. So I called him and told him and he was very nice and we ended things well. After every date Bushbaby and Mom would ask me, “Well?” and after every date my answer was, “I don’t know. Maybe it could happen with time? Maybe because we are both INFP’s it will take longer because our personality types are slow to let people in at first because we feel so deeply about ‘our people.’ Maybe once we get more comfortable with each other.” And I never did.

Maybe things could have been different if he’d won me. There were some factors that might have helped if he’d done differently (one was that he was 15 minutes late to every date, one was that he dressed like a slob on our dates even though it turned out he had nice clothes that he chose not to wear, and one was that at the end of the fourth date he said we should talk about us and how we are feeling more to which I agreed but then he made no effort to initiate that.) but even if those things had been different I still think we didn’t have interpersonal chemistry (good conversation flow and the ability to have fun just being together).

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too picky. I mean…if he and I had been in an arranged marriage I think we could have made it work. But I’m happy being single and I want someone to add to my life the way I want to add to theirs. That’s different than having the ability to make something work. And I honestly have WAY more fun and meaningful conversations with my friends than I did with him and isn’t that wrong? And it’s not fair to him when he deserves someone who’s crazy about him.

There’s another guy, the one that I mentioned a long while back of almost having a thing with that didn’t happen. I’ll call him Dimples. Dimples and I have great interpersonal chemistry and physical chemistry. But, unlike Puzzles, he’s not in a financial or responsible place to date anyone and he’s very much a feeler to the point that I don’t know if I could handle that. He depends on others in a way he should have grown out of by now. I think I might end up being his mom and nope nope nopety nope to that!

Future Hubby, be he in existence according to the will of God, will hopefully be someone I can respect and have things in common with (like Puzzles) but also be someone I have fun just being around and can talk to and flirt with with ease (like Dimples).

I still have one online account that I check from time to time but I’m not actively searching like I was. The experience was bringing me down and it just wasn’t me.

One last thought on the subject that I realized is that to me affection is very precious and something I don’t give freely or lightly. It’s a message. It says, “I love you and want you and care about you.” On our last date Puzzles put his arm around me and I let him but even that small thing didn’t sit well with me because I felt like I was lying to him. I was still trying to figure out if I felt anything more than neutral toward him and until I knew that I really did have romantic feelings for him I didn’t want to send him that message. A casual hug hello or goodbye is for friends. That is fine, but more than that is too much for me unless I know that I like the guy. I don’t ever want to use anyone or lead them on just because it’s nice to be held. I want to be held when I know that it’s because I want HIM to hold me.

I’ve also been challenged to constantly question my motives about everything because I don’t want to act out of fear. When I got my cat I had some panicky issues about commitment. Will I regret getting a cat? What if he’s badly behaved? What if I can’t have as much of a life because I’m tied down to taking care of this creature? Etc. I got over all that anxiety after a week of having him because I fell in love with that fuzzy bundle of awesome and have never regretted getting him.

I’ve been single so long I had to question if I was keeping myself from falling for Puzzles because I was afraid of commitment. For someone who had longed to fall in love and be married as long as I have it sounds wack. But maybe that’s why. Go watch Tangled and listen closely to what Rapunzel says when she’s about to see the lights. (Yes, I did just make a Disney reference). I need to be careful not to act out of that same kind of fear. I prayed about this specifically before I ended things, and I do feel a peace that I did the right thing. But it is something to be aware of.

Thanks for reading and I always appreciate your comments!
Next post’s topic:

– The challenge of assumptions about you because you are a single virgin who rarely dates.

I Want to Want It But I Just Don’t Care

How do I describe the state that I’ve slowly devolved into the past four months?

Is it depression? Maybe in some ways. Apathy? Absolutely.

My personality type is an INFP. I have a deep well of emotion that lies beneath the surface…In my case this well is so deep that even I am out of touch with it. It makes it really hard for me to know what sets off my bad escapist tendencies. Basically I begin to go through the motions without connecting with God, stop working out, then I start watching more and more netflix, get lost in a video game or book, which leads to indulgence both in eating and masturbation, then my finances suffer and next thing I know I’m miserable, broke, and my clothes don’t fit. But miserable mostly because even knowing I’m being stupid and so far from the person I want to be, I still just don’t care. Zero passion. No, less than that. Negative passion. Is there a word for that? Is there such a thing? It’s like I’m just a black hole of passion only a black hole seems too intense because black holes are such passionately crushing things and I have no passion. I feel only little ripply surface emotions. Brief, insubstantial things. I still function, just not well. And I know what to do. Just small adjustments.

Connect with God, even if it’s just going through the motions for a while. Go to the gym. Go a day without refined sugar. So simple and yet I don’t because even though I know I’m being stupid I JUST DON’T CARE.

My heart is atrophying, calcifying…petrifying. Devolving into it’s stone-state. Realizing this I seek to find the root of the problem, the moment my bad habits began to resurface. I can’t. I don’t know. So instead I stop my avoidance tendencies and while at a women’s retreat this past weekend and tell Bushbaby and our friend AwesomeSauce about my rut and my not-caring.

“Yeah, you’ve been in a rut for a while,” says Bushbaby.
“Trust me, I know that I’ve been in a rut.”
“I’ve known it for a long time and have been waiting for you to say something.”
“I knew that you knew.”

It’s so great having friends who know you that well, but sometimes it’s hard because you know that they know you are avoiding and you know that they are letting you avoid and they know that you know and it makes you feel dumber for avoiding…but overall it’s nice.

I try to connect. To truly focus. To feel something. To care. But sometimes it takes more than overlooking a beautiful pasture in the mountains in the fall and trying to make yourself do what you haven’t done in months.

“Why am I like this? You can talk to me, I’m listening.” Just the wind bearing the sound of leaves and insects in the trees. So after trying to be still for a while I put on some music. This was the song I was led to.

These lyrics:

Father, have mercy
I know that I have gone astray
When I saw my reflection
It was a stranger beneath my face

That is truly what I’m experiencing. While in high school God began to really transform me. He melted my heart of stone with His love. I went from not caring to having a soft and loving heart. I went from not feeling much to acutely experiencing emotion. I didn’t become emotional. Not frothy, frittery emotions that come and go. Not the kind of feelings that burn hot and quick, cause you to say or do something in the moment. No. The deep stuff. Love and compassion and righteous anger…the kind of emotions that motivate you to live each moment of your life with purpose. Passion, really. God melted my stone heart with His love and I found that I cared.

And now here I am again with no passion and a heart that is cold and hard as stone. That stone heart isn’t me. It’s not the real me. It’s the old me. A stranger. Running away from the Father like the prodigal has turned me into a stranger. I know I don’t want that. I know that’s not who I am.

I remember my favorite moment of experiencing God and the closeness I felt with Him. It’s a memory that I will treasure forever and always look to when doubt creeps up or I need perspective. A precursor to that instance was someone telling me that Christ wanted me to experience His love in a deeper way. I understood His love as my heavenly Father, as a little girl needs the approval of her daddy. But now He wanted me to experience His love as a grown woman. A deep intimate romance. The word picture this person used was to let Him lead me to the dance-floor. After that I experienced the presence of God like never before in what was the best moment of my life so far.

Now, remembering that, I look down at the Pig Slop in my hands and ask for prayer. I confess my lack of caring to my sisters in Christ. Confess right before I’m about to lead worship that I have no desire to lead worship and that I hate that I don’t want to. I want to care. I want to want God. They surround me and begin to pray. And then one of them says it:

“Jesus. You want to take her to the dance floor.”

And at the mention of His name He is suddenly there. Not the God that I know about in my head, that I’ve read about like a character in a novel. The Jesus that I know like I know Bushbaby. I know Him personally. He’s there in the words of the prayer. In reminding me of the time I felt His presence so strongly. In reminding me of His passionate, personal love for me. And that love is what finally melts through the barrier. And I cry. And then the women take up a song of praise. They praise Him for me, because I had found that I couldn’t. Their gift…God’s gift…melting, soothing, softening and the real me is able to begin to come through.

After that I can sing. After that I want to. I just needed to remember who I’m singing to. Not the God that I know about. The God that I know.

Today I care enough to take the steps I know to take. I spent time with Him. I went to the gym. I ate good food. None of these things are to gain His favor or make myself “right” in any way. I’ve already got His favor. But now that I care I want to keep caring. Keep growing and thriving. I went six or seven months without masturbating. Walking in the freedom He gave me was wonderful. It’s worth fighting for. Now I care to fight anew. Now I care to write again.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) My verse for the year. A pure heart is a heart of flesh. A heart that beats with the warmth of living. Not some cold, hard, dead thing.

If you are struggling with masturbation, lust, or even simply loneliness and bitterness, please know that change begins in the heart. Jesus cares much more that you have a warm, living heart of flesh than he does that you behave properly. Outward behavior is just a symptom of the state of your heart. Only Christ can truly give our dead hearts life. And he wants to. He holds out His hand and invites you to experience His love for you.

To Love

I’ve never been in love. I’ve longed to be for as long as I can remember. And it isn’t just the desire to be loved, but to love! Sometimes I feel I could burst with the mere potential of love I possess within me. The potential that craves to be realized, to be unleashed upon the one who’s won me. It’s like a wild beast. It’s something that will be kept close and guarded and contained until the right man earns trust and coaxes it from its cage with an offer of freedom. And at last my wild love will allow itself to take flight and will fulfill its purpose.

I think I’m a One Great Love kind of woman. I hope. I pray that that can be the case. I’m the kind to give myself wholly and deeply, but so so rarely. Only once have I even come close to allowing myself to love someone, but it was unrequited. But when another rare instance takes place and finally clicks with the right man, I think even I will be surprised by the depth and wholeness of my love for him.

Cursory Crushes, Date Offers, & Open Wounds

Intensely Passionate 30 Minute Crushes

Yesterday I was in love for about an hour. Maybe 30 minutes or somewhere in between.

On my way home from our church’s Easter service I was convinced that I was in love with one of the guys in my band. Like, why aren’t we together? We should just be together. We’ve probably been in love these 4.5 years of our friendship and we just don’t realize it. So maybe I should just come out with it and he’ll be my boyfriend and we’ll just be together!

Sometimes, as a woman…well…maybe just as a human in general, for no reason you get swept up in these emotions that have nothing to do with logic whatsoever.

See, he is a friend that people have been asking me why I’m not dating for the four and a half years we’ve been friends. He’s sweet and SO MUCH FUN. Well, the most simple answer: I’m not making the first move and he refuses to do so.

So when my 30 minute passionate love for him died down, logic made it’s way back in.

I’d want to change him, he’s too passive, I’d hurt his feelings with my honest nature, he’s not as passionate about God and ministry…etc.

So all in all, even if he DID ask me out, I don’t know that we would have a future. But if he got up the nerve to ask me then I would definitely consider it because it would show growth and I’d want to give us a chance to see if the other things are true. I’d just be scared of the consequences since he’s my friend and we are in the band together.

But as a single, for that brief time I wanted so badly for me to really be in love with him. Because he’s so FUN! And I was mangry.

Let’s be real. Mang-er was the reason for all of it.

 

Turning Down the First Date You’ve Been Offered in 5 Years

I got asked out for the first time in a long time and it was not by someone that I wanted to ask me out. I turned him down as gently as I could (“I don’t really see us”) and he was polite about it. This guy is the king of awkward. A very desperate, needy, insecure type of guy with just a hint of creepy. I’ve given him no reason to think I was remotely interested and yet he still took the chance. So for that I at least give him props for putting himself out there and asking like a man…a gentleman at that.

So why can’t someone like my bandmate or the friend that I was considering last fall, who actually would have a chance, man up and ask a girl out? With a direct, clear question? Why is that too intimidating? My respect for awkward guy went up just because he was brave enough to take a chance. Bandmate’s unwillingness to do so is exactly what makes me hesitate the most about him.

All in all, I still don’t think any real prospects are in my life at the moment. But I’m changing, or trying to. Christ is showing me areas that need more work so that I can thrive as His temple, as His child, and as a single adult. He is showing me how to be a good gift for my future husband, because He only gives good gifts to His children. A LOT of this has to do with my physical health, but more so my spiritual walk with Jesus.

As I said before, there have been stumbles and failures, but more victories and avoiding temptation altogether. This morning I had intense physical desire but prayed, “Holy Spirit, help me! I need you!” and the longing left me. I’m experiencing victory by the power of the Holy Spirit in the moment of crisis! Not only is there great joy in overcoming, but also in knowing that God truly is bigger than our carnal nature! And He’s faithful if you turn to Him!

One last thing.

Encouragement vs. “Helpful” Criticism

I’m trying to make being physically fit a bigger priority and part of my lifestyle. I don’t always have good eating habits and I gain weight far too easily (lame!), but I also loose it fairly easily if I actually do the work and stay away from the fries (O, fries of the french! Why doest thou tempt me with thine deliciousness!?). In the past I’ve gotten down to the size and shape I want to be and feeling so good about it! I love it! But I also love tasty things, and as anyone who has read my blog knows, self-discipline is not my strongest suit! So since Christmas I’ve been carrying around that extra weight, trying to scrape up the motivation to deny my tongue the joys of french fries and ice-cream, and hadn’t been doing so great. This, of course, poured into the rest of my life in not so great ways, I guess.

One day I called Dreamer (the one who is engaged, whose wedding I’m in), not knowing I was about to be blindsided by extremely hurtful words that left me in tears and feeling like I’d been casually stabbed in the chest with a bowie-knife a few-dozen times.

She said she was worried about me, but when you are worried about your friend you should pray about what to say to them and how to say it. She did not. It kind of came out in a big rush of her raw emotions that left a wake of desolation across my unsuspecting being. I’d rather her of just said in summary, “I take issue with…this.”

Here’s what she could have said:

1. Because of some of the things I’ve noticed when hanging out with you and Bushbaby, I think you should pray about whether you’re relationship is too co-dependent. Just examine it because you might overlook opportunities for new adventures or friends because hanging out with her is comfortable. She seems to rely on you a lot and so it would be smart to just check on your boundaries.

2. Consider how you present yourself to people who don’t know you. I know you and love you, but you might not represent your best qualities to new people who meet you. I’ve noticed that you open up more when you are taking pride in your health, so make it a priority again! Your confidence gets an extra boost and you reach your potential. I want to see that again and I know you do too. Also consider that hanging out only with your younger friends (mainly Bushbaby) might reflect immaturity on you so don’t default to them. Don’t be afraid to stand on your own.

3. I’m telling you this because I love you and sometimes worry about you being in a rut and I never want to see that. Do you get where I’m coming from and is anything I say valid?

Here’s what came out:

1. You and Bushbaby have this awful co-dependent thing and I can’t be around it so I’m not going to stay at your house anymore. You act really immature around her and you need to hang out with people your own age to practice being social.

 

(Thanks for dealing out the punishment of never staying at my house again before giving me the chance to explain or fix it or work on it. So gracious of you)

 

2. “Your confidence seems way down.” “You need to consider what kind of man you want to attract because, well…do you want to marry, like…a gamer?” Those and her other comments summed to up say that I’m a loser with no confidence because I play videogames all the time, hang out with people waaay younger than me, and I like anime (all of which are vast exaggerations: I JUST got an xbox so I’ve been talking about it it because it’s new, but have not been playing it to the detriment of my social life. I do have 3 friends who are younger that I spend a good deal of time with but I also regularly hang out with people older than me and my own age. And I like Miyazaki films and Avatar the Last Airbender…WHICH SHE DOES TOO! So thank you for condensing my entire life into an exaggerated image of three tiny parts of it!)

 

Then she said, “I try to think of setting you up with my guy friends and I just don’t think…I just don’t see you being…” (Basically I’m not good enough for any of her friends. I’m not even set-uppable.)

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3. “I’m just worried about you! You just seem really insecure and I see peoples potential. I just want to make sure you don’t get stuck. But thanks for being so easy to talk to” (while I’m sobbing on the phone BTW) “and just take everything I said with a grain of salt.”

 

She did call and apologize the next day but for the “timing” of the conversation. She wasn’t sorry for what she said or how she said it. Only for when she said it, I guess. Just a clue to anyone out there who is thinking of giving their friend some “helpful” criticism. If you are upset/angry/annoyed with them for something, make sure you plan out what you’re going to say and don’t let those emotions drive you to say something harsh and cruel. Even if you think something you don’t need to share it all. Only what is helpful and encouraging.

Also, if you think your friend has low self-esteem, DON’T CRITICIZE THEM FOR IT! I didn’t feel particularly self-conscious until she told me I was an insecure loser. NOW my confidence is low!

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It’s hard enough to fight the lies of condemnation that Satan throws at you. Those whispers that something is wrong with you and that’s why you’re single. And then someone who was JUST in the same boat a year ago goes off on a wild spree and blatantly says those things to you without remorse…someone who you thought was safe. While I’m thankful that she isn’t afraid to confront me on things, I wish she’d shown more tact and grace, encouraging instead of criticizing, belittling, and judging me.

I’m not going husband-hunting. I believe that God can bring Him through the very doors of my church if He wants to, or that He will make it clear when I need to seek something outside my social circle. That’s not good enough for Dreamer. She thinks I need to join a new small group at a different church or get out more…but she didn’t meet her fiance doing that! She met him at a wedding and her friends introduced her. And guess what. I go to weddings. But I guess she won’t be introducing me to her friends because she doesn’t think I’m good enough.

The first list of things she should/could have said are the things that I’ve been trying to focus on because some of it I do need to consider, but it has been tough to drown out the accusing voice. And tough to forgive because I’m still hurt and angry that she said what she did, and was so condescending instead of loving about it all. I hate that during a time when I want to be there for her and celebrating with her this has come up between us…a big fat wall I’ve put up to try to recover. I’m still talking to her, I’ve seen her twice, but I really DON’T want to tell her anything about my life because I don’t feel like I can trust her. It’s hard to know how to go forward with my friendship with her.

I know we’ll work through it. I love her too much to give up our friendship because she was a huge ass to me that time. I want to forgive. Maybe I need to let it go, get over it and move forward. Maybe I need to work through it with her. I don’t know.

Confession: I know that some of what she said is true. I don’t like admitting that. Confessing it. I recognize my immaturity in even writing about it, too, with all my sarcasm and bitterness. But it is part of being a horny Christian single girl…the things people say and the effect words can have. How you handle it or don’t. How even if you’re someone that doesn’t have many feelings rise to the surface like me, certain words can bring as acute a pain as salt in a wound. Please pray for me on this. I’m trying to sort truth from lies and focus on what God wants to teach me, but Satan’s voice keeps trying to pipe in and bring condemnation and discouragement about my self-worth.

Living in Freedom

Freedom from sin does not equal a perfect record, I’m coming to understand.

I’m going on 5 months of being masturbation-free. When I say that I mean that I’ve been free from the habit of masturbation that I’d been trapped in for the majority of my life. I’ve had two hiccups in that time. One when I was half-asleep, the other when I saw something online that I should have turned away from. During the latter, I began masturbating but then stopped. 

What am I doing? I thought, Am I really going to step back into this when I’ve been so wonderfully out for so long?

I decided, no, and put an end to it. 

Here’s where I saw the freedom: I didn’t let either of those failings drag me back into the usual cycle.

Before, that failure would have triggered my surrender to my flesh, and to the idea that I can’t ever get it right and be free from lust. I’d have given up and given in and the whole process would begin anew. 

Why? Because I believed that if I can’t do it perfectly, if I mess up once then I’ve ruined the purity streak and might as well indulge.

Now I see that even though I’ve messed up twice I’m still living in freedom. I didn’t let those failures get in the way of saying no now. It’s not about keeping a perfect record. It’s about choosing grace this very moment.

I say no to the cycle. It doesn’t line up with the Gospel, or with God’s grace. It isn’t sanctification, either. What I’ve got now is much better and it’s truth. If I stumble it doesn’t send me back to the starting line, so I shouldn’t immediately go back to it. I should get up, right where I am and press on toward the prize.

Also, I want to say to those who are also struggling. I’m still tempted, especially when ovulating, but the less you indulge the easier it gets and the less frequent the temptation. A HUGE part of this is saying no to watching or listening to things that make your mind want to go there. Like, last night I said I didn’t want to watch a certain movie because I knew there was sex in it though I couldn’t remember how much. If I’d seen it I knew it would make the temptation to fantasize more difficult so I said no.

It was easier to say no because I haven’t masturbated and so the physical desire was less, too. So keep going! Abstaining gets easier with time!

In other news, there was an almost romance for a few months last fall with a friend of mine, but he never made a move and God made it clear we wouldn’t be a good fit even if he had. It was all in all a good experience. I discovered I’ve lost all the shyness and insecurity that I once had, and I’m perfectly capable of flirting (which I’ve questioned more than once). And we are still friends so nothing’s really changed. I’m okay with that.

Victory

For the briefest moment I hesitated. A moment that quietly accepted the realization that if I spoke, if I revealed the truth, then there would be no going back. Only forward, toward light. Toward purity. Toward Christ.

 

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I’m in charge of our student ministry this year. I’ve been one of the youth staff since I’ve led worship at my church and this year the youth pastor took a year-long study sabbatical. So that has left me in charge for 2013.

 

It was a Wednesday night in October after our youth service was over. All the students had gone and a rare thing happened that I was left with only Bushbaby and our other woman youth leader talking about how the night had gone. Usually some of the guys stay until all us women leave. But the three of us were talking and our other youth leader shared that one of our girls had just gone through some intense hurt because a teenage boy had taken advantage of her and thrown her by the wayside. As we listened, I was filled with urgency and passion that all of our girls know their worth and know that no matter what mistakes they’ve made or what someone has done to them there is grace and hope.

 

The Holy Spirit laid on my heart that we needed another girl’s night sleepover, but this time really have purpose behind it. I know that Bushbaby and the other woman had both gone through their own share of struggles and each of us needed to be honest with our girls and let them know they are not alone.

 

But if we were going to do that I knew that these two leaders needed to know my crap first. If I was going to be honest and vulnerable with our girls it had to start then and there. And I knew that if I told Bushbaby my struggle then it meant that I was going to fight, really fight for purity. I accepted this and obeyed. I told them that I’ve struggled with masturbation and pornography. They were filled with grace and agreed that opening up to the girls was important and necessary.

 

We left in agreement to work out a time to have the sleepover and Bushbaby and I got in the car. She exploded that she also struggled. I’ve told people before, (heck, I’ve written a blog) so it is easier for me to talk about it than it was for her. But that night I decided to fight.

 

I decided to struggle, really struggle against my flesh and fight for purity. Not just an absence of indulging in the physical act, but to fight for a purity of heart.

 

I wrote Matthew 5:8 on my mirror, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

 

I’ve experienced times of incredible intimacy with the Lord, times when I’ve experienced His presence and seen Him at work. In those times I didn’t have the desire to masturbate. I was content. I was full.

 

I realize now that for so much of my life God has fought for me and I’ve responded to Him, but now I’m choosing to fight for Him. I want to “see” Him. I want that intimacy and I will fight against what hinders me in order to have that once again.

 

And He has proved to me James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I’ve been tempted but have asked for His help and He has helped me!

 

I’ve messed up a little mentally but His grace catches me and the Holy Spirit has helped me repent almost immediately. Having the support of God to fight also brings me closer to Him in intimacy. It means so much to experience His faithfulness and support. I feel like I’m being hidden in the shadow of His wings. It’s worth every denial of my flesh. It’s worth being humbled when I mess up.

 

So I’ve been masturbation free for over a month and hope that continues! It also really helps that Bushbaby and I check up on and support one another, too. She will sleep in my room with me if either of us are having a bad night. I just know that I don’t ever want to have to tell her I’ve failed.

 

I wouldn’t be able to say any of this if I hadn’t told her. I wouldn’t have told her if God had not ignited a passion in me for our students to know purity themselves. It’s kind of cyclical I guess. The truth is that I really do care about purity! I believe that sex can be an incredible gift if we humans don’t cheapen it. I believe that some of the deepest wounds are because it is cheapened and distorted. And it is so tied with self-worth that I want to do all I can to protect our girls from having regrets.

 

So that’s what’s happening right now. I know I might screw up but God is good and faithful and worth it! He’s so worth it.

 

 

I also have to tease that as of two weeks ago something romantic might finally be happening in my life…but I’ll give it a little more time before I expound. J

 

 

For those still struggling or those who are completely in bondage: There is hope and there is victory, but you won’t find it unless you accept the grace and forgiveness and help of Jesus. And again, I’m not able to do this because I want to do it for me. I really do want it because I want to “see God” so I’m fighting for my relationship with Him. It has to start with that motive. And then your first step is to (prayerfully) find the right person to tell. I wouldn’t be able to do this alone, and from other testimonies I’ve read, not many others can either.

 

Tears

“And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair”

– After the Storm by Mumford and Sons

 

I cried yesterday.

 

For once I think it was a healthy cry. I let myself feel my emotions as they happened instead of stuffing them down. 

In my extremely long post Jealous Rage Monster I described the group of really close friends that I had in high school. Basically, my tears were over the fact that I will be last. Over the feeling of being left behind. 

Reader, Charmer, and Wit are married. Hippie probably doesn’t plan to marry anyone. And Dreamer has found herself a wonderful Irish man. She left yesterday to visit him for 3 months, and it is very likely she will come back engaged. 

It was hard saying goodbye to her knowing that everything is about to change. 

Why is it so hard for some of us? Or a better question: why is it so easy for others? I can’t help but wonder if there is something glaringly wrong with me that makes me undesirable. People are constantly trying to set Bushbaby up with people.   Probably because she’s younger and she’s a charmer. Everyone loves her. 

But it is hard being the last and it is hard being overlooked. It’s difficult to keep myself from comparing or thinking I am not enough and too much at the same time. 

However, Dreamer told me yesterday, “I always thought that you had unrealistic expectations about your future husband, Ace. I always thought you would have to move to the city and work harder to put yourself out there. But God just dropped Irishman into my life out of nowhere and worked everything out so much more perfectly than I could have imagined…I know that He can do the same for you.”

Basically, what she meant but failed to say was “You were right after all.” She moved to the city and “put herself out there” for years and that wasn’t the reason she met Irishman. God worked everything out between them, hand picked him, just so perfectly. They have an incredible story so far. 

I have two battling reactions to Dreamer and Irishman. I’m tempted yet again to give up and shut off my heart because being left behind is painful, watching the dream happen for someone else can really hurt, I can’t deny that I am also filled with joy and hope. I LOVE that God has worked everything out so beautifully for my dear, dear friend. It makes me so happy and excited for her. She’s one of the people who I really respect for how she’s sought the Lord and I love seeing how He’s blessed her. And seeing God display His love for her and how awesome it is because of her faithfulness fills me with hope that He truly can work everything out for me. My expectations of God when it comes to my story are not too high. He can and will do amazing things, and I can make room for those things by trusting and being faithful. If He does have marriage planned for my future, by George, my story will be spectacular. 

“Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.” – Psalm 126:5