Of late I’ve had a recent rash of incidences involving men. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal but I’ve been dateless in DC since the Jheri curl was in style. Anywho… lately I can’t go for a walk without a nice young fellow attempting to get to know me or calling on me. It is very exciting…nice to have a little male attention… I can’t get on metro without a guy trying to strike up a conversation. Going to Starbucks to sip on tea and read the paper is mission impossible since a gentlemen caller wanders over to my chair and introduces himself…
I’m not complaining. Many of you know I prayed about this so this is an answer to prayer. I guess it just seems weird…the timing and all. Why now? What’s changed? I haven’t lost the 20 lbs I’ve been promising to lose for 7 years. I’m older so it can’t be that I’m a hot young thang. I definitely don’t dress for attention (I only dress for me and my friends…LOL…). So what gives????
Over the past few years, I’ve been going through an internal change of sorts. I think when you are young life is all about extremes, apologies, and excuses. When you are really young, you say things like, “If I don’t achieve this, I’ll die.” or “I will never work at a job that I don’t love.” Extremity. Youth only knows what it will or will not accept or reject. It’s like we only see in bold colors. It’s hard to see the pastels of life.
Youth seems to be full of apologies--probably because of the extreme resolutions issues. I have had to apologize a lot for the extreme judgments I’ve made about people, things, situations, etc. For a few years, I lived in apology central. As I’ve grown older I’ve learned to think about what I say—even things I say in jest. My humor is not everyone’s humor and if it is a bit dry and sarcastic, it can be perceived as hurtful and mean.
Oh, let’s not forget excuses. My Mom really took offense at my unending list of excuses and reasons for not being able to do something. “Can you pick up a few groceries after school today?” she’d ask and I’d reply “Well, I would if I had enough gasoline in my car to make it to the grocery store.” As if there were not any gas stations near my house or on the way to the grocery store…
In the last few years, I’ve really asked myself a lot of questions concerning why I do, live, behave, etc. the way I do. I’ve asked God to reveal to me who have been, who I am currently, and who I’m supposed to be. To say the least, it’s been REAL. I realized that I’d carried some of my crazy youthful behavior forward into adulthood. And I’m not talking about the mess that’s good youthful behavior. One thing I noticed was my propensity to lean toward extremes and excuses which always led to me apologizing to someone.
So I’ve seen some of that mess worked out in my life. For example, I used to say, “I would only marry a man like _____ _____ _____ and ____.” Or “I will only live in these places: ____ _____ ____ and ____.” Basically, I would tell God the what, the where, the when, and the how and expect that he’d either bless it or would give it to me later.
Via a lot of prayer, fellowship, and study of the bible God has been dispelling a lot of myths I’d created in my life concerning career, family, life pursuits, etc. I believed that certain things I desired would come packaged in the way I wanted it or the way I thought I wanted it. I believe having fantasies or myths about God given heart desires kept me from seeing what I REALLY desired. It’s like trying to see a beautiful sunset through your kitchen window, but being unable to because you painted what you wanted the sunset to look like on the window. You can’t appreciate the real thing because you’ve painted your fantasy.
So I’ve allowed God to wash away a lot of my fantasy so that the true, God given desires of my heart may be realized and actualized. I’ve seen incredible movement in my life since letting go of fantasy and myth. Instead of the extremity and excuses I used to have (since I had created these fantasies in my life), I find that trust God when he shows me what I’m longing for and I pursue it as he leads me to or I await for him to deliver it to me. The great thing is that all that God has given is so much better than anything I could have cooked up in the kitchen of my mind.
So what does all of this have to do with all the male attention in my life? Well, I think it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve released a lot of fantasy and myth I had about boyfriends, husbands, and potential suitors. Now, I’m not saying I threw away the standards for potential romance…just that some of my requirements have been retooled and realigned with what I know will bless God and therefore bless me and the one I’m with. God has revealed that I am to bless people including potential suitors by being honest, kind, encouraging, thoughtful and pure to and with them. If my intention is to bless them and treat them with respect, then I’ve gained because I’ve made God, me and the suitor happy. By not placing crazy expectations on the beginnings of the relationship (you know what I mean Christian ladies… “is he the one?” mess that we can’t stop asking ourselves…or he’s a bit short for me thus eliminated from my dating pool…shout out to Mattie Matt…hootie whooo…you taught me that short dudes are the equal to their tall counterparts in gentlemanly pursuit…), I’m leaving room open to learn, give, and receive.
If none of these guys are the one for me, at least I know that I’ve treated them with respect and dignity and not damaged them for their next relationship. Hopefully, I’ve helped them grow and they’ve helped me grow. I think I was afraid of dating because of all the crazy myths I had in my head, but now I’m seeing that God has some amazing things in store for the person who says, “Show me Lord and I’ll follow…”
I realize that God grants me heart desires when I’ve released my parameters of what it should be to him. When I meet someone knew, I definitely have opinions and thoughts about that person, but I’m more likely to say, “Ok Lord, what’s the dealio? Grant me wisdom and discernment…Eyes to see and ears to hear what needs to be seen and what needs to be heard…I want your best and I want to give your best…”
A few years ago, dating might have been tragic for me, but now not so much. I trust God to provide the best for me and I joyfully await whatever he might reveal to me.