Tuesday, December 16, 2014

128: a short change of scene

Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy, 1940

"That chapter is definitely closed."
--Mr. Darcy in the b/w version of Pride and Prejudice

Guess what I just did?

I closed both my ChristianMingle and eHarmony accounts!

Granted, I haven't been paying for those services for awhile.

However, closing my accounts means I cannot go on ChristianMingle when I feel out of sorts and look at the plethora of profiles viewing my profile.

It also means I won't be waking up to e-mails that say...

So why did I close out my accounts?

I don't know. I guess I am finally ready to let go of my personal security blanket (which wasn't doing anything for me anyway) called my online dating profiles.


Hm, I think I need to change my blog description now. :-P

(I still stand fast by the opinion that online dating sites are great tools!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

127: takin' it to the Lord in prayer

I was getting ready for bed, thinking how it was getting late but I needed to spend God time, so I started praying as I washed up.

Lord, I pray--

I paused.

--that continuous, every day prayer.

I paused.

But that I rarely pray. Lord, I pray for a--

Any guess what comes next? It starts with hus and ends with band.

But I'm sure God was sick of hearing about that. Even if I actually don't pray for it very often. He hears my thoughts. He sees the constant theme and figuring out. I feel like I'm imposing, bringing it up to Him again. Like He'll tell me to drop it for once.

That is not God. Humans, yes. Humans reacting to that obsessive, teenage chatterbox in us that thinks the same pathetic thoughts over and over.

But God? Do I need to be ashamed to ask God about what I have already spent hours thinking about?

A friend shared the other day over potatoes and pancakes that she thinks the danger is not in what we think but is instead in not including God in our thoughts.

I can think and think and think, but the real action that can actually do something is stepping away from the drama on the lawn, running up onto the porch, and asking Mr. God about it. Yes, He sees it already and knows how silly some of my thoughts have been. But He doesn't reproach. He gives wisdom liberally to those who ask.

So even though the prayer for a husband and wisdom about boy-related issues might sound redundant and drama-ish and even stupid to an average human, I'm going to remember to feel free to take it to God anyway. He's been in my head for 29 years and still loves me. I think He can take my excessive wondering still.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

126: good guys

I spent this weekend with some really good guys, in person and via a Homeschool Alumni Skype chat.

Does that mean I'm interested in every single one of them because they are really good guys?

No. Because . . .

~Some guys have very different theological beliefs than I do.

~Some guys have different preferences/convictions than me, and I'm not comfortable altering my preferences/convictions to create a cohesive life together in the future.

~Some guys I enjoy their personality in a friendship but wouldn't want to be married to it.

~Some guys I'm not physically attracted to (although "attractiveness" in my mind is directly linked to personality as well).

I have six general things I look for in a guy (not necessarily in this order): Do I like him? Could I love him? Do I enjoy him? Can I trust him? Do I respect him? Will he be a spiritual leader?

I might enjoy and trust and respect a guy. But I cannot control whether I "like" him romantically (this drives me nuts sometimes). Or I might like a guy, but theologically I cannot go there.

That does not negate the fact that there are some genuinely good guys that I am proud to know and be friends with!

The Alamo...guess what we've been studying in class?

And that doesn't negate the fact that some of the good guys I know I could like and love if asked to go there with them!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

125: comparison

When my life-long friend got engaged, God gave me the grace to be happy for her. For the most part, I didn't struggle with pity parties of "but what about me?" Actually, I was more jealous that I was losing her to a husband than I was jealous that she got a husband!

When she got pregnant, that's when I began to struggle. It's the comparison problem. It isn't about her and her life. It's about me and what I have or have not.

Emotion clutches my heart. It points at me and then points to my friend. Then points to my friend and points back at me. It grabs my face and pulls me to look at her through the eyes of my own desires and lusts. It paints her happiness with the ugly and painful hues of comparison.

The emotion comes. It snatches my heart and twists, wanting me to either cry or harden my heart. I take the thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I am freed.

Someone posted a photo on Facebook of my friend's baby boy, held in the arms of his recently married 18 year old aunt. The caption read something like, "She wants her own baby now."

My immediate reaction was not, "Oh, that's so cute and sweet." No. It was "Oh, come on. Wait for a bit. You got married at 18. Let the rest of us in our 20s and 30s catch up to you before you go on and have children too!"

It's comparing, isn't it? It's coveting, isn't it? It's wicked, isn't it? And ugly and consuming and unprofitable and not based on truth.

What do I believe about marriage? I believe it's ordained of God and is good. What do I believe about children? I believe they are a gift from God and that part of the purpose of a godly marriage is to produce godly offspring.

But when my emotions grab me, what I believe and what I think separate.

No. Orthopraxy. Live what I believe.

Fortunately, I don't serve a God whose motto is "become your best self." I serve a God who acknowledges that I am a covetous, envious sinner who has been redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb, and that it is NOT my power that overcomes my tears as I bang my fists into my pillow late at night crying "why not me?" but it is the power of the Holy Spirit, God of the Universe, the one who spoke light into existence, who can comfort my heart, turn my eyes off of myself, and teach me to walk in His ways.

The amazing thing about dealing with singleness is that it really applies to all areas of life where God is sovereign and I am not.

Friday, November 21, 2014

124: objectivity

I might have mentioned this before, because it is something that I really appreciate.

I really appreciate the objectivity of God.

I love that my God is both in my circumstances and above my circumstances.

I love that God puts objective beauty all around me whether I choose to gaze at it or not.

I love that God has a place called heaven prepared for me no matter what subjective chaos may or may not happen here.

I love that God sees and is present in my past, present, and future even if I forget how the past has molded me or have no idea where He's taking me.

I love that the cross is an unmoveable event in history and that its sufficiency to save me is unchangeable.

I love that God is with me when I change.

I love that God brings the thread of my childhood into my present and says, "I AM."

I love that God is.

And that's not dependent on me.

sorry, couldn't get rid of the red-eye

God has blessed me over and over these last several months. My cup overflows. Tomorrow everything could change. But I am very thankful for today and yesterday's and the day before's happiness, laughs, satisfaction, and peace. (Explanation: Yes, I blog about singleness and its craziness and my fluctuating emotions, but I don't blog about the rest of my life, which happens to be pretty great! Not that singleness isn't...oh, nevermind. :) Anyway, if I could I would be plastering every post with pix of my students! And if I was writing a teacher blog, I would be telling about all the cool stuff we've been getting to do! But that's not what this particular blog is about. :))

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

123: surprise! and a summary

When it comes to guys, I'm a list checker offer and a box fitter inner. I've never been good with the "you're marrying a person, not a list" counsel. But I've been working on it. I really have! I think I'm getting better at it too. And I think I'm finding it's more enjoyable this way. Imagine that!

I'm not very fond of surprises though. I worry when I'm getting to know a fellow that some unforeseen info about him will pop out, or the counselors in my life will discern something unhealthy, and without warning my image of who he is will crumple in upon itself and everything be ruined. That what I know of reality will be altered with a single word. That new information will tug me toward the black hole of bewilderment, despair, and, finally, dismissal of my fellow.

So, while I'm trying to be more gracious and think of prospects as holistic human beings instead of check boxes, I still fear what I will find out as I get to know them, ie. that he whom I'm emotionally invested in might not be who I thought he was.

Solution? Well, still working on that. But perhaps a solution would be thinking of a guy as a whole and ask myself whether incoming new info defines who he is or is just a deviance from the normal good will of his heart and upright character of his life.

That means I have to know a fellow and spend enough time with him in person to trust his heart. Which is why online dating and long distance relationships are not going to work for me. I need to see the 3D person in action, not black words on a white screen telling me who he thinks he is.

random picture from my school year

To summarize this series of fears, with God's help I'm working on overcoming the fear of what others might think of me, the fear that I'll turn fickle as soon as I get into a relationship, and the fear of finding out something horrible about the fellow in my life.

So, I need to keep working on killing my pride, having faith in God to get me through my scared emotions, depending on Him as my faithful Lord and Rock no matter how earthly reality might change, and having courage to move forward despite my worries!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

122: leading them on

Lord, keep me from dealing falsely.

I wrote this as a note on my phone earlier this week. It can be applied so many ways, but the most applicable way is how I deal with guys I like.

Without trying to and without doing so consciously, I have in the past toyed with the hearts of the guys pursuing me. I have strung them along, not willing to be all in, not wanting to let go. I've blamed my behavior on fickleness, on jumping ahead and ignoring the Lord's voice, on not wanting to cause hurt and not wanting to go through the pain of a breakup, on wanting to make things work. Whatever it is, I have dealt falsely with a couple guys and have felt the guilt.

Now I live with the fear that dealing falsely is what is in this wicked, deceptive heart (Jeremiah 17:9) and that that is what I will naturally do again.

I need God's supernatural power to do a work on my flesh so I will walk in the Spirit and not defraud my brothers.

I need to carefully walk with wisdom. Lord, search and know my heart so I don't jump where I will immediately falter upon landing. Help me be patient and even content with what You have blessed me with so that I don't rush and ruin the beauty You may be creating. Give me self-control so I don't start down a path, trying to make something work, when you haven't even told me to go that way. Show me Your way for me right now so I don't move forward based on my desires and earthly wisdom.

These are the kinds of prayers I need to burn upon my heart so that I will not deal falsely next time.

And then the equally vital prayer: Lord, grant me the courage to move forward and not be trapped or controlled by fear that I will deal falsely again. Because You are faithful, and that is more true than my fear.

It's fear-exposing time at my blog. To read about my fear of what others might think, click here.