Isolation & Connection

I’ve been in an intense struggle of choosing relationship over isolation, battling loneliness and desperately wanting connection, but feeling frustrated when I can’t connect and thus wanting to shut down and isolate more. Possibly being overly introspective in an inaccurate sort of way which has led me to be exceptionally selfish lately. I’m so focused on wanting to fill my need to connect that I’ve stopped actually caring about the people in my life. It sounds backwards, but it’s true.

One of my closest friends called me out on this last night. I zone out on him way too often. Like…if I don’t deem it “actual connecting” or if it’s something frivolous in my estimation I just stop listening. I don’t mean to…but it’s been happening more and more. So I’m also feeling like an asshole right about now. I used to pride myself on being a good listener. Now I’m having to convince myself I still actually love the people in my life. I’m also struggling to believe that making new friends is even worth it.

Some of this comes from some difficult changes that have happened with Bushbaby over the past year. She’s very different now and our friendship is too. Overall it’s not a bad thing and we are still friends and still love each other, but the process has caused a lot of pain and I think I have trust issues that I never had before. I don’t like being someone who has trust issues.

In May I had a few weeks where I was really struggling with the specific residual wounds of that situation. On top of that I was struggling with feeling isolated whenever I was with my family simply because I’m single and relating to people who all got married and had families young is difficult.

I realized that the isolation you feel because you are the only single person in the group is worse than the fact that you are still single. You can’t contribute to the conversation about child labor or the various joys of childrearing or sex, and those people don’t know what to ask you so they just don’t. That isolation is far worse than the fact that you don’t have a husband yet even though you want one.

And then you ask yourself,”Do I want one? Or do I actually want to go be a hermit in the mountains with a few sheep and my cat?” Because hermithood would be easier than wanting and trying and failing to connect and then you wouldn’t hurt anyone when the process morphs you into a selfish asshole and no one could reject or misunderstand you ever ever again. Just you and Jesus, some sheep and a cat.

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But it would be a waste. And I believe that none of this season, this pain, is a waste. It’s life.

As tempting as it is, hermithood is not true living.

Other contributions of this season:

Falk (while still a fantastic human) is not right for me and I’m longer interested the way I was. The more I spent time with him the more I realized we wouldn’t have the right kind of connection that makes you want to talk and talk forever.

Ironically, the Lord forced me to hang out with Shanks for a few hours so that I’d have to see him as human and stop flat-out disliking him. I had to face why he made me so insecure and got under my skin so damn easily.

First, it’s easier to paint someone as an all around unfeeling, inconsiderate jerk than to be ignored and rejected by a good man.

I also realized that he reminds me of some guys I went to college with who were very cerebral and only cared about people who impressed them with their intellect and wit. Anyone else was rarely acknowledged and definitely not valued. I spent about two semesters in this friend-group and then realized I always felt horrible about myself afterward so I stopped hanging around those people. I attributed the same snobby callousness to Shanks because his treatment of me felt very much the same and I saw his intellectual side come out more than any warmth. As I have said in previous posts, I value warmth and compassion, so when I felt the opposite I immediately assumed he was just like them: snobby, arrogant, and exclusive. I also realized that I’m snobby toward people I view as snobby. Then I realized that just because his intellectual side might show more dominantly, that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t love people.

At this point I still don’t know much about whether he’s a jerk or a prince charming or what. He could be a nice person and he could be a total snob. But I’ve at least been stripped of my preconceived notions enough that I don’t seethe when I see him, because 90% of my feelings about him were derived from my own issues and only about 10% of it was actually his doing. Who he actually is remains to be seen and I’ve cleaned all my scribbles off his slate at least.

He still intimidates me. I also realized that part of my whole “my man has to love people and see people and be warm” thing might be because I don’t think a guy who was particular would ever give me a chance. Maybe it’s this subconscious belief that it would take a guy who really loves people to notice and have enough grace to pursue me.

Yikes, that is a vulnerable confession. I hate that that level of insecurity is in there.

I was also sick for a few weeks (which was not fun) and my roommates have been busy with trips so I’ve spent a lot of time alone. I’ve watched a lot of TV which hasn’t helped because you are watching shows about connection and seeing characters connect or suffer being disconnected and you long and then relate and then feel like you have no life and you want something to happen because nothing ever happens and somehow you are the hermit already except you are still having to interact with people and still having to try. None of the perks of being a hermit. Only the disadvantages of feeling alone.

Ay-yay-yay what a mess.

I’m a mess.

 

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The Rapunzel Analogy

So two posts ago I referenced the movie Tangled to describe some of my feelings about dating. Since then I’ve discovered the best analogy!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce:

The Rapunzel Analogy!!!! *brilliant fanfare ensues*

You know how I was talking about being sparing with my affection unless I’m certain of my feelings?

So it goes like this: I’m Rapunzel at the top of my tower. A man comes along and takes interest. Well, I can see him. I’m even interested enough to let down my hair, but he’s still got to climb the tower in order for us to be together. I’m incapable of pulling him up on my own, and I do not have the patience for that kind of laziness. I’ve got the hair, you’ve got the muscles. If you want to be with me you’ve got to climb. It takes effort and time and careful planning of the next foothold.

When Puzzles put his arm around me he had not gotten remotely close to the window yet. He basically put his arm around the base of a stony and cold tower. I felt awkward and I know he felt it, too.

Different women have towers of different heights. Mine is particularly high, but I’m willing to let my hair down. I’m working on doing that. Other women need to stop jumping out of their towers in desperation. Their tower could be a little higher. Some women have super tall towers but refuse to let their hair down for anyone.

Also, women need to be pursued even after the tower has been scaled. There’s always a tower, always new heights to climb. And in different aspects of a woman’s being as well. It isn’t just emotionally. This is reflected in sex. You can’t just jump on her and expect her to like it. Got to climb that tower, buddy. Emotionally and physically. I know it seems unfair to always have to be climbing but that’s part of why men and women work. A woman can always present a new adventure, a new challenge, just by her very nature.

And if she is a good woman who sees your worth she will do her best to pull you up as well. To help you out a little. And to give you the enormous reward of her love during those special moments when you are both in the tower together.

A couple weeks ago a new man presented himself at the base of my tower (he contacted me on EHarmony). Almost offhandedly I thought, “Eh, why not?” and replied. And let me just tell you. He’s climbing.

That’s right. I’ve actually got a love interest!

Just dating but I’m actually excited about this one. When dating Puzzles Mom would ask “Well? How are you feeling? Do you like him?” And I’d always reply, “I don’t know.” Like this:

But after I met this new guy I answered “I dunno…” like this:

Okay, maybe I wasn’t THAT girly about it but it was a much more optimistic “I dunno!” and that’s saying something.

He’s a good man. He’s a man of character. He’s a communicator. He comes from a very similar background and I have yet to have any red-flags about values and beliefs. And he’s kind and full of joy. He sees people and loves people. And conversation is definitely way more natural than with Puzzles. And he’s fun-loving and goofy.

I don’t know what to nickname him…oh wait! Yes I do! My 5-year-old niece met him (that’s another story for another time) and told my sister out of the blue, “I like Aunt Ace’s friend. He’s really smiley. They should be friends for a long time and then they should get married.” How cute is that!? So I’ll call him Smiley. Thank you, Neice #1.

On the second date I definitely had moments of “Oh, crap! This could actually go somewhere!” Which of course terrified me. We’ve been on four dates by now and the last one was really good. I’ll explain why with another story.

This story is a confession because it’s really embarrassing.

In college I dated this guy for about a month. Didn’t get as far as calling him my boyfriend or anything, just going on dates. Well, the whole time I dated him I was trying hard to figure out if I liked him romantically. Same sort of situation as Puzzles.

Again, I must reiterate how inexperienced I am when it comes to actual real-life romance and dating. And back then even more so!

We were watching a movie at his house and while sitting on his couch poor innocent inexperienced me gave him the “Hold My Hand” signal without realizing it. He reaches over and tries to take my hand. Right as he gets to my hand, I clench my hand tight in a fist.

What have I done!

I gave him the signal! I totally just gave him the signal! But I closed my fist so now I’m sending the opposite signal…why isn’t he getting it!?

The guy took the unintended hint #1 but refused to accept hint #2…well a tightly closed fist isn’t even a hint! He wouldn’t take handholding rejection! He kept trying to pry my hand open!

We struggled this way for a moment and then I finally pulled my arm away from him and mumbled SUPER awkwardly, “Don’t hold my hand.”

How. Mortifying. So painful even after all these years.

It was really tense until after the movie and then I had to try and explain that I didn’t mean to give him the signal and then reject him, I just wasn’t ready. Which is in itself embarrassing.

Also, when I was “going out” with a boy in 8th grade I broke up with him when I found out he wanted to hold my hand. Apparently holding hands is a big deal to me based on my reactions. Some of my favorite movie romance moments happen when handholding is emphasized such as Ivy and Lucius in The Village and Wall-E and EVE. Not to mention countless Doctor Who hand holding moments.

Sigh.

Well, on our last date I was sharing something kind of vulnerable and struggling to find the words. He reached over and placed his hand on mine. It was perfect. He knew that it was exactly what I needed in that moment.

What’s more, I make him really nervous most of the time (which, I have to admit, is pretty darn cute), and he’s usually kinda shaky and tense with nervous energy. But when we held hands he was so calm and sure and it was so sweet!

Later he tentatively reached for my hand again and grabbed two of my fingers. I looked at him with a smile and said shyly, “You can have my whole hand, Smiley.” He smiled back and we talked for a while while palm to palm.

(By the way, I’m a total girly mess right now)

He’s climbing the tower and I’m doing my best to let my hair down and help him along. He may not be Future Hubby, but he’s definitely worth giving a shot and getting to know and taking the risk for.

It’s terrifying but also really nice at the same time.

“Why are they still single? What’s wrong with them?”

Even I am guilty of saying this.

Let’s be honest, the assumption that there is an undesirable reason someone is still single is an easy assumption to make.

Because we’ve all known those perpetually strange folks who are socially awkward. Or those guys who never want to grow up and act like teenagers into their thirties. Or those girls who are super insecure and will date anyone and end up just being used. Or that guy who is stalkery toward women and creeps them out. Or that girl who is painfully shy and can’t even have a conversation with the opposite sex.

It’s hard not to judge someone when they are nearing middle-age and still single. You naturally just wonder what’s wrong with them. I get it. I do it. And then sometimes I wonder the same thing about myself.

What’s wrong with me? Am I unattractive? Am I awkward? Do I have a glaring flaw that I’m blind to?

But then I think of Reader and how she was socially awkward and not exactly the most attractive girl and yet she married WAY before I did. I think of other people who have numerous or significant flaws who have found love, people that you can’t help but raise your eyebrows when you hear they are getting married. I know this makes me sound pretty terrible but you know. YOU KNOW and don’t act like you don’t.

Your mom: Did you hear that So’n’So is getting married?

You:

And just when you are about to process that So’n’So…SO’N’SO of all people!!!…has found someone who is willing to not only put up with but also tap that…THEN the thought hits you–

If SO’N’SO can find someone then what the hell is wrong with ME!!!!!!?

And then your thoughts and self esteem kind of do this:

Your mom is the bird but she doesn’t know it.

But then logic and reason eventually return and let you realize that So’n’So is marrying someone equally strange and it’s nice that most of the time there’s someone for everyone…even the quirky ones, and so there HAS to be someone for you (as if you aren’t quirky at all, right?). And also that you literally do not KNOW anybody and don’t get out of your bubble very much and also you have high standards and you are unique and so it’s going to take someone awesome and unique in a way that compliments you and it’s all going to be okay. You are happy being single. You won’t settle for less than God’s best. You are open and optimistic but also patient and enjoying the time you’ve been given with your friends and the people He’s placed in your life to minister to.

Shut up, Satan! There’s nothing horribly wrong with me. I’m just waiting on God’s timing!

And then you hear that people have been asking if you and your roommate are lesbians.

And then you do a little this:

And then feel John Watson’s pain and inform the messenger:

Because someone is single does not mean they are gay. Because they spend time with their best friend a lot doesn’t mean they are gay. It means they are single and they have a best friend. No one would think a thing about it if I was younger, but because I’m single and nearing thirty…oh I must be gay. Nope. Sorry. I’m interested in men. Women don’t do it for me. Thanks for assuming that about me.

Also, thank you woman who watched me grow up, for not trusting me to drive a van full of students because “Are you old enough to drive a rented van?” “Um, yes. I’m 28 years old and I’ve driven it before, and I’ve never been in a wreck and have been a responsible driver in the 12+ years I’ve been driving.” I bet you anything that if I were married this wouldn’t be in question (I understand I look younger than I am and that that is a good thing, but being treated like I’m irresponsible is really frustrating when 20-year-old married people get more credit than I do).

Married friends, thank you so much for assuming that I’m miserable and worthy of your pity because you are one of the blessed married people while I’m a poor lonely spinster. Thanks for the frequent consolation that he’s out there or that “we’ll find you a guy” when you actually have never set me up with anyone. But, you know, you seem to feel worse about my singleness than I do, so when it comes to your pity, thanks but no thanks.

People assume you are too picky, or you need to get out more. People assume all kinds of things and it’s hard enough sometimes when you are having to fight the lie that there’s something wrong with you that makes you unworthy of love without others speculating and accusing you, too.

That’s not to say that you “Shake It Off” as TSwift would say, because in reality it’s just not that easy. In reality it isn’t bad to question and examine yourself to see where you need to change, where you need to become the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for. But in the end what matters is what God knows about you and what you know about you. You persevere though it feels unjust, trusting that God sees you and truly does have a purpose for the delay. Trusting that you’re life is on the course He set and that is the course that will bring Him the most glory and in the end, you the most joy.

In the end I think “What’s wrong with that person? Why are they still single?” is a harmful way of thinking. Singleness is not actually tied to performance or favor or worthiness. It’s not something that needs fixing. Some single people are walking the path God has laid out for them. Some people are still single because they are doing it absolutely right.

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.

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

Surrender

An image of the Throne of God comes to mind as I sit on my bed, heart sore and tears in my eyes.

I realize that my passion for what I hope to have, for what I’ve always longed for, what I don’t have, is draining my attention and affection from what I do.

“God, you placed me here. You put me in the lives of these brothers and sisters-in-christ for this time and for Your purpose. I know I’m passionate about my future husband, and he’s not even a blip on the horizon! I also know that you can give me zeal and compassion for those that are right before me. So I want to lay all this down at your feet. Future Hubby and everything that goes along with the idea of him. I want to leave him before the throne for now, trading my passion for him for the passion You have for the people who are here. All of my hope and desire for him still exists, it’s just going to remain at your feet for a while so that I can focus on what’s in front of me.”

Not long after my last post I had this conversation with the Lord. I realized a few things about surrendering my love life to God over the years, the main thing being that I’ve surrendered the same longings and desires over and over, but the reason why I’ve surrendered has changed. All are good reasons and necessary realizations, but I can see growth as the motivations have changed.

The first time I can remember really conversing with God on this subject was when I was sixteen or seventeen. I was at summer camp and decided to commit to setting boundaries that I felt that God wanted me to set. I didn’t have a boyfriend all through high school, but I desired one then as much as I do now, if not more. It wasn’t even a camp subject. God was just speaking to me about it and I remember committing to not kiss until I knew I was going to marry him. He also had me commit to asking myself, “If we waited, would it be better?” Even back then I knew I was in danger of my horniness and understood that I might need seemingly extreme boundaries to hold my passion in check. I wanted to please God and not make mistakes that could be avoided with some wisdom. So I surrendered my boundaries to Him.

In college I surrendered my story. I realized that God knew what I needed way better than I did, and He could write my love story way better than I could! I wanted God’s absolute best for me, so I surrendered trying to control how and when it happened. I remember praying, “God, if it isn’t Your perfect timing, then I don’t want it.” In the same vein I asked God that I would only fall in love with the man I was going to marry. I didn’t want to just date for the sake of dating. I didn’t want to have to go through multiple relationships. I wanted only the man I was going to marry.

Between those early years of college and this past year, most of my surrendering has been motivated by the desire to remove distraction from where God has me and the desire to fall more in love with Him. I wanted to be satisfied in God and for the potential idol to be torn down.

So, let’s recap this evolution of motivation. I surrendered my love life to God because:

  1. I wanted to avoid making mistakes (I wanted to please God by living righteously)
  2. I wanted God’s best for my love story (which was better than I could ever come up with)
  3. I wanted to focus on my relationship with God and what He had for me at that season
  4. (And now this new one) I genuinely want to surrender the passion I have for my personal dreams so that I can have passion instead for the church.

All good reasons! This most recent one made me come to the realization that it’s the first motivation that isn’t self-serving. I want to pour out God’s love on those He’s placed in my life and I see my pining affection for my future husband as a hindrance to that.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to desire what I do and I’m not saying the desire needs to be done-away with. I just need to put it in God’s hands and then receive whatever He wants to place in mine. He will hold onto that Future Husband passion for me until I need it, if that day ever comes.

In the meantime I want to be attuned to the Holy Spirit so that He can fill me with a passion I do not naturally have. I believe that God can fill me with His passion for each person I come in contact with, and how I want that! I want to care about them with as much fervor as I spend on thinking about someone I don’t even know yet!

What Are You Gonna Be?…A Sexy Beast!

The title of this post is the pep-talk that Bushbaby and I give one another at the gym.

“What Are you!?”

“A sexy beast!”

“What you gonna feel like when you go shopping!?”

“A sexy beast!”

“When you get married one day your man will find out what he already suspected…”

“That I’m a sexy dang beast!”

I have never really worked out in my life. Exercise was something I never really knew how to fit into my daily schedule.

About a month ago I decided to join Bushbaby at the gym. After a week I signed up. I can do it! I can be healthy! I can eventually be hot! I am a sexy beast!

To be honest, the idea of future-sex (I’m not referring to Justin Timberlake’s album, but actual sex-in-the-future (which sounds like the title of something weird (I actually mean the sex that I hope to have with my future hubby)))….It’s great incentive to get in shape. And being in shape gives energy and makes you happier and all that so it’s all around a good thing that I’m doing it at last.

Working out is not the only thing that has changed recently.

Thanks to some of you who commented on my post “2 Topics” I realized that I really hadn’t asked God about online dating. I’d kind of already made up my mind without actually praying about it. So, earlier this week I set up a profile on a site and browsed without signing up. I asked God to help me know if I should pursue this, pay the money, etc. I wasn’t sure. I talked to Bushbaby about it that afternoon and she suggested setting out a fleece. It was decided that if anyone mentioned online dating in any form before midnight, then I should sign up and do it. If not, then God had another plan and I didn’t have to. We went to bible-study, I talked to Logicat afterwards. 12:00am came and went and no one had breathed a word about online dating.

I deleted my profile and can now legitimately say that I prayed about it and God said no. He made it clear. So that’s nice.

It’s really nice, actually, because I’ve given God the pen, and…well…these are my confessions after all…so here’s the honest truth.

I can’t help but feel that if I’ve waited this long to fall in love, and it is the one thing I’ve ALWAYS desired, and it is the hardest thing I’ve had to surrender and resurrender to God time and time again, and that I am trusting that He knows better than me what my story should be…Well, if all that is true, and He’s the God of the universe who ROSE FROM THE DEAD, then surely He has an AMAZING story for me and My Man that is miraculous and beautiful. And, while I’m sure that God could make something miraculous and beautiful out of online dating, it just doesn’t seem good enough compared to what else He might do. Especially not after I’ve waited this long. I expect an EPIC romance that is worth the wait!

Now, having confessed all that, I know that much of this thinking is wrong. That’s why it’s a confession. Why does everything inside me tell me that I’m deserving of this!? I know I should refute it and tell myself the truths that I know, but there is a stubbornness that digs its heels and clenches its fists. It says, “No! From birth I’ve felt that this is what I was created for! I’ve never been without the wanting of it! Everything within me craves and yearns to love him! Where is he? I must meet him soon and our story must be wonderful!”

I want to bring my case to God, like Job or David, recounting the years I’ve been patient, that I’ve given to the service of the Lord, the times that others compromised and I did not. But I can’t because I know that I am not righteous or deserving, but for the blood of Jesus. Jesus, who doesn’t want my service and acts of righteousness as much as He wants my heart.

Sometimes I don’t know how to reconcile loving God with my whole heart and still asking for what I want so badly. To say, “God, because I am your child and you love me you should give me my romance,” suggests that God’s love hinges on Him doing what I want and not on the all-encompassing love demonstrated on the cross.

Why do I feel like I’m owed this beautiful story of love? I KNOW that Christ’s love is enough and no story will ever be as epic as the way He won me. It’s not just that He would die for me…He DID die for me! That love is eternal! But I FEEL that my story is incomplete without an earthly, tangible romance. It’s ingrained in me to my very depths.

I am not a passionate person. It takes a lot for me to feel strongly about anything. But I am passionate about this. And I don’t know what to do about it.