Friday, 31 October 2014

Why I've Given Up Dating....

In a world that tells us to fight for what we want, there is nothing more difficult than giving up the very thing we want with all our heart. And yet, that's what Christ asks of us.

 At least, that's what I feel He's asking of me.

 For as long as I can remember, I wanted to love and be loved by 'my guy.' I've dreamt of and prayed for my future husband since I was about 11 years old, and spent countless hours writing letters to him, praying for him and our future children, and talking about what our someday would look like.

 I made a commitment when I was about 15 that I didn't want to date unless it was the guy I was going to marry, and that I wanted to save my first kiss for my wedding day. But when I was 16, I got my heart a little bit messed up. I thought I'd found that guy, and when it didn't work out, I was pretty upset and unsure how to deal with it. That failed attempt at a relationship left me with a lot of scars and wounds, and a deep feeling of failure because no longer was my future husband going to be the first guy I'd loved.

 Fast forward to a few years later, when I fell in love with an amazing guy. He was so far from who I thought would be my one and yet so much about him made sense. We tried, and it didn't work... For so many reasons... But that really broke my heart. There were so many days I didn't know how to live normally, so many moments I had to remind myself to just breathe. There were so many times I thought I would never even want anyone else but him. But as time went on, it's just been one guy after another. It's been throwing all my emotions into the next 'crush' on someone, falling for a new guy every few months. 

 Until lately when I realized I wasn't as okay as I thought I was, and my relationship with God wasn't where it needed to be. Being constantly hurt by guys didn't do much to help me love myself or understand how or why God could want me or even love me. 

And so I reached a point of making a change. And I made a commitment that for at least 3 months, til the end of this year, I wasn't going to date or be involved with guys. I made this decision for so many reasons, but primarily for the sake of my relationship with God and the sake of my own heart. 

 But it's been hard, way harder than I thought it would be. Under the guise of friendship I let my heart get deeper and deeper involved with someone, until it once again became my primary focus, taking up a lot of mental time and energy, and wreaking havoc with my emotions. 

 And so it feels like finally now, I'm understanding what commitment looks like. Commitment involves sacrifice. It means giving up something now, knowing that one day in the future I will receive my reward. It means walking away when everything in me wants to walk closer. It means developing character, learning self-control and practicing discipline. This commitment carries a purpose far bigger than I realized at the beginning. 

Initially I thought it meant my heart could heal a little, and I could get stronger in my walk with God, and everything would be great. But I'm learning now it involves learning to control my mind, and refocus my thoughts where they need to be. I'm learning that this will teach me what it's really like to live in God's strength, running to Him every day, every second, especially in the moments I have no way of carrying on.

I'm learning this commitment will help me learn (yet again) that my emotions don't have to control me, and aren't always a good conveyor of the truth. 

 So that's where I'm at. And I don't know how it's all going to turn out. It's hard to walk away not knowing what's going to happen, and not having any promises. It's hard to let go of what I want now for the sake of what I want most. But it's a commitment and promise I made, for good reason... It's a commitment I made that has nothing to do with my own selfish desires and nothing to do with the way this world works, and everything to do with what Jesus wants and the way His Kingdom works.

I guess I'm learning to live out Matthew 16:24-25.
'If you want to follow Me, you must deny yourself the things you think you want. You must pick up your cross and follow Me. The person who wants to save his life must lose it, and she who loses her life for Me will find it.'

I'm not perfect at it. I'm still learning to set boundaries and live within them. I'm still learning that it's okay to ask people for help so I can actually keep this commitment... I'm still learning how to guard my heart and my mind, how to not give in to every emotional temptation that comes up. It is hard, really, really hard. But I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't give up the lessons I'm learning for anything - not even that really cute guy standing right in front of me. God's got it, ya know? I'm using every cliche I've got here but if it's meant to be, then it God's perfect timing....

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