The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 6

I’d love to wrap this saga up in a nice little bow. I’d love to say I have no more insecurities and my confidence now brings all the hot men to the yard more sufficiently than my milkshakes. But I can’t.

I can’t notice Falk’s qualities without instantly feeling the weight of my flaws. I fight it, but it is definitely a struggle that I’m not entirely sure how to fight.

All I know is to focus on what the Lord is teaching me. What He’s shown me.

It has definitely been a month of asking and listening about all this. And also Jesus answering.

divider-line

9923a580971b68b0826918008fabb5b2

I recently watched the Meryl Streep film Out of Africa for the first time. Now, I haven’t experienced dramatic love affairs in the African savannah, or even dramatic love affairs in the US…or even dramatic love affairs…

…or …love affairs.

BUT

What resonated with me the most was that, yes, Karen was a strong character and she did what she had to do and she survived, but at the end of the day she didn’t want to do it alone. Was she capable? Yes. She proved that to everyone.

The real tragedy in the movie wasn’t the death of the man she loved. To me, it was that, though she was capable of going it alone, she didn’t want to have to. She wanted a partner to help her do life. And none of the men in her life were willing to truly be there. They wouldn’t step up. Were they capable? Yes. But they chose not to be there, annoyed that she even expressed that desire. He uses the excuse that his freedom was a better mark of his love for her. That he comes back because he truly loves her and not because he’s obligated to. He doesn’t see that she’s tired. He doesn’t see that for once she doesn’t want to fight alone for herself and her livelihood. That she wants him to fight for her by fighting alongside her instead of galavanting off to his easier life and leaving her with all the work and toil and uncertainty.

How often have I desired that? Am I capable of doing this life thing without a man? Yes. I am. And thank Jesus I’ve got the Holy Spirit so I’m not truly alone. But at times I long for a partner to help me carry my life’s burdens as I carry theirs. I long to have someone in my corner. Someone who has my back and shares the load of “running my African coffee farm.”

This lack also extends beyond the romantic realm. Sometimes it is very discouraging in ministry when men don’t step up…almost as if they view relational ministry as “women’s work.” I’m the head student ministry leader and it’s hard to see the girls growing and the number of guys dwindling. Us female leaders can only lead the boys so far. We can’t teach them how to be godly men and we can’t invest very deeply without it being inappropriate. They need male leaders. Male disciplers and mentors who lead them by example and invest in their lives. We have volunteer leaders but none of them know how to invest relationally. At times their presence seems to be more of a hindrance than a help because the example they set is to be passive, aloof, and clicky. The opposite of servants.

What’s more, around the time I watched Out of Africa I also was, once again, having attitude issues with the guys in the band.

Quite often I go through bouts of questioning why God decided to make me the leader. Why God? You know I’m non-confrontational. You know I’m not good under pressure and especially when I’m angry. You know I’m like a fish out of water when trying to relate to men. You know how hard it is to lead while trying not to come off as a bossy “bitch” who is disrespectful to the men she’s in charge of. Why did you put me in a job where I’ve got to handle people? Lead them?

The attitude got out of hand one Sunday and I was so shocked by what he said to me I didn’t respond. I could only stand there in unbelief at the level of disrespect he’d just shown in front of everyone. I didn’t get the chance to confront him about it afterward in private either and was so upset that week, feeling like a failure and also hurt that he’d acted that way and hurt by what he’d actually said. Mostly mad at myself for not handling it when it happened.

That week at the small group I shared my struggles, thankful that this group of people was unrelated to the rest of my life and a safe place. I needed encouragement that God would enable me to lead if He’s called me to lead. I’d even have been happy for some advice for how to talk to the guy in the band and deal with the issue. Some of the people did encourage me. But then Irishman, who is also a worship leader I look up to, asked me how long I’d been in my job. When I told him he said that maybe I needed to look elsewhere.

He didn’t say it as though it were a word from the Lord or anything. He said it kind of flippantly. But it hurt because he basically was affirming the idea that they were never going to respect me no matter what, that I’m not cut out as a leader, and I should just quit. He didn’t hear me. He didn’t see my need. He didn’t see me.

Already feeling unseen and misunderstood, things got worse when Shanks arrived super late when Dreamer and I were the only women left. Dreamer asked this young guy what kind of girl he was looking for.

“Oh, I’m not worried about that at this point,” he answered.

“That’s true,” she mused, “You’re only 22. You have time.”

Then Shanks piped up, “I don’t know, though. When I was 22 I thought I had time but when you get to be my age the dating pool is ugh!” And he pulled this face of disgust.

“It’s super late and I’ve got a long drive home,” I declared and left fairly abruptly. Between the house and my car I paused and seriously considered going back inside and giving him an earful.

“Ace Rosalind, you get into your car right now and drive away,” I commanded myself. You know it’s bad when I’m considering actually chewing someone out, swearing included. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve lost control of myself in anger but when it’s happened I scare myself. INFP’s ya’ll. Great depths of emotion that don’t come out very easily but when they do…boy are they strong! Like a bursting dam.

This was my imagined rant to Shanks:

If you had ended that sentence with, “the dating pool is smaller,” or, “it’s so much harder to find people who aren’t married,” I would agree with you and would have no problem. But “ugh!?” Really? You’re really going to say that in front of me with no hesitation? I’M IN YOUR FREAKIN DATING POOL! So either I’m “UGH!” or I’m so far beneath you you don’t even consider me as in your UGH pool! What’s more, you say this to people who are part of the small group that is full of beautiful, intelligent, single, Christian women. No wonder you’re single, you jerk!”

After raging all the way home I tried to go to bed. I couldn’t sleep. I let God in on my thoughts and emotions and found myself crying and felt my heart breaking.

Lord, it’s not just Shanks. It’s also the men I do ministry with and my friends and these singles. God, they’re breaking my heart! I feel like Karen in the movie. I want help. I want to be seen. I want them to want to understand. But they don’t. Not in ministry or friendship and certainly not in dating.

For the first time I felt a discouragement about men that caused actual despair. That night, What Men Lacked seemed to have a weight of its own that crushed and buried me. They lacked the ability to care to see. I lacked the ability to cause them to. I felt that I would forever go Unseen, Unknown, and completely Misunderstood.

The irony in all of this is that Bushbaby gave me a Giving Key with the word “Cherished” on it. Basically the idea behind The Giving Keys is that you give someone a key with a word engraved that the Holy Spirit directs you to give. That person wears the key until they embrace the word and then they pass it on to whoever the Lord directs.

So I’m trying to embrace that I am “Cherished.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 12.39.11 AM.png

Over the past months I’ve felt quite the opposite of cherished. Loved, sure. I know God loves me. But cherished? How can someone Unseen, Unknown, Overlooked, and completely Misunderstood by what felt like everyone around her be cherished? 

But then that Saturday I put on the new Bethel album as I drove and the Holy Spirit directed me to pay attention to the words of a certain song. I cried as I listened and then I listened again and cried more. I love it when God speaks like that. So specifically to your need. And not only to dispel lies and speak truth but also to prove that I am cherished by the fact that He does so!

After worship and much prayer, the Lord affirmed me in the leadership role He gave me. Throughout the Bible He never says that He will take away the weakness of those He uses. I’m not going to be cured of the things that cause me to struggle as a leader. However, He always tells them that He will be with them. He equips them to do the work. On their own they can’t, but He will act out His will through His power and their weakness will be the means of displaying that power. The same goes for me. He’s called me to lead. I’m not equipped on my own but I don’t have to be. He will give me what I need in the moment. I must rely on Him to come through in my weakness.

He did. The next day went really well. I got some attitude from the one guy. Instead of inner turmoil the Lord gave me the words and the tone and an inner peace that were perfect for the situation. He came through for me.

I went on a mission trip. It was very challenging for me this time. Again I was in a situation where I had to work with someone very difficult. I wondered why I was even there and felt useless and Unseen in totally new ways. And yet, I ran to God in the midst. And in each instance where I wanted nothing more than to lose it on this difficult person or get snippy or really passive aggressive, I asked Him for patience and self-control. For grace. And He sustained me. I’m still shocked that I contained my frustration as well as I did, and can only say it was Jesus doing it in me. He was very much my refuge on that trip. And in the end I was exhausted because it had been hard but I was also very much in love with Jesus and so thankful for His care in the midst.

On the trip there were some very precious moments of connecting with people. Even though the work I went to do was disrupted and frustrating, these moments of connection were the bright points. One of these moments was a conversation with a leader from another group that was staying the same place we did. (This was not a romantic thing) He and I talked about theology and philosophy, but occasionally he would say something like, “You seem like a (insert descriptive word here) person.” And he would totally nail it. Like…he got me. He saw who I was after only talking to me for half an hour. And as I walked away I felt really encouraged and heard the Holy Spirit say, See? There are people who can see you and get you. I’m not the only being who can. And there will be men who can too.

What matters, what He has been showing me through all of this searching and questioning and feeling and hurting…well, basically I’m cherished by Him. Maybe the idea isn’t to cure me of my insecurities about other people. Maybe He’s brought this up in order to show me His sustaining power, His tender care, His deep personal desire to show me that I’m understood completely by Him and so loved for who I am. And to show me that His desire is not just for me to understand that He loves me, but that I was made for loving Him in return. The kind of relationship I long for He longs to have with me! He wants me to seek to See Him and Know Him and Understand His heart.

This is the song that He led me to, that I’ve gone back to over and over lately because I need its truth to sink in. To seep into my cells. It’s super good…and then the bridge hits and it goes to a whole new level. COMPLETE Lyrics are below (The vid only has some).

“You Don’t Miss A Thing”
When You stand I feel the floor of Heaven tremble
As You breathe we live and have our being
When you speak oh I feel it in my chest
When You sing all my fears are put to rest

CHORUS

What a wondrous thing
I can stand to sing
Cause when I fall to my knees,
You’re the one who pulls me up again
What a mystery
That You notice me
And in a crowd of ten thousand
You don’t miss a thing
You don’t miss a thing

When you sigh the wind becomes a sonnet
When you laugh the storm around me ceases
You whisper and all my enemies are scattered
You surround me with angels on assignment

CHORUS

And I am seen
And I am known
By the King of Kings
And Lord of Lords

There’s no place I can go
Where your love won’t find me
No place I can hide
That you don’t see
There’s no place I can fall
Where your love couldn’t catch me
You see it all,you see it all
Through the eyes of love

There’s no place I can go where your love won’t find me
No place I can hide that you can’t see
No place I can fall where your love wouldn’t catch me
You see it all, you see it all
And you’re in everything, you’re all around me

When I withdraw, still You pursue.
There’s no place I can go where your love won’t find me
No place I can hide that you don’t see
When I’m misunderstood your love understands me
You see it all, you see it all
You’re in everything

You’re all around me
You surround me

There’s no place I can go that you won’t find me
There’s no place I can hide that you don’t see
No place I could fall your love wouldn’t catch me
You see it all, you see it all
Through the eyes of love

So come and see me
Come and know me
Come and search my heart and make me
Like You, like You
I just wanna be like you

Come and see me
Come and know me
Come and search my heart and make me new
Make me new
I wanna be like You

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 6

    • Nah. Anyone can be an a-hole, myself included. At that time it was just compounded by the guys around me to the point of exasperating me. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt that so strongly. And I don’t feel like that now. We are human. We have flaws. I don’t hate men. I love them and I don’t blame them for all these struggles I’m going through. So much of it is me having to learn who I am from God and not men or friends or society. And I think either of the things that happened at the small group wouldn’t have bothered me so much if they were stand-alone occurrences (Well…I still might want to punch Shanks in the face…).

      • i honestly believe that sometimes a good smack in the face is necessary to awaken something biblical inside of a person.

    • second. sometimes we are just horrible. i’ve looked back at some things i did and thought “you a-hole!!!!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s