If you’re like me, sometimes an issue will begin to gain size in your range of consciousness at the moment it’s about to bowl you over. Kind of like a snowball that began rolling down a mountain, and I’m Sasquatch at the bottom, realizing that thing’s grown 100 feet thick and is now 10 feet away.
Tonight, that’s me and dating. I’ll be honest. Sometimes long-term hope. can. be. HARD!
As I was driving to an event tonight, I got surprised with some unexpected pain. I turned off the radio and began externally processing with God. After explaining some frustration about some ‘don’t date him’ vibes I’d been getting from God, I heard myself say “I actually think you’re trying to make me wait for something you’re never going to give me. I feel like you’re trying to make sure I don’t have any fun and I’m gonna die before I meet someone I like.” WHAT? Woah!
The things you didn’t know you were thinking until you say them!
I have been dismantling the image of this cruel joke God in my mind and heart for a few years now. This God that loves to poop on parties, and functions like the father from Footloose. In the area of romantic relationship, party pooper God relegates me to a boring, single, stationary, sexless life while my heart roars and aches for the opposite. It was time to confront these sad ideas I had about a God who did a really good job inventing relationships, and booooi did we need to go there.
I have heard empowering statements in the past few years about TACKLING disappointment and facing it head on. I’ve vehemently agreed, and shouted “YES, tell ’em Kris Vallotton!” while inside parts of my heart a message of ‘^%&! Don’t look over here, I can’t handle this,” has been on loop.
Tonight: 100 foot snowball, impact. Sasquatch Ash smashed up against the wall.
Sometimes it’s easier not to hope than to be disappointed, or so swore my tired heart.
Because sometimes the reality that you’ve chosen hope relentlessly with no end in sight is exhausting. The fact that the last guy you wanted to date didn’t reciprocate, that’s painful. In those moments my heart had interpreted those situations as information about my value, lovability and desirability. In pain I sidled up next to disappointment’s bodyguard, we’ll call her Blaise. Girl just doesn’t care.
When I find myself caringly trying not to care, I ask myself questions. What’s disappointment promising? What’s it actually delivering?
Disappointment is promising to protect me from more pain. That protection advises, “don’t hope. Don’t try. That’ll never work out because he is/you are a flawed person.” It lives in low expectations because those hurt less, and it casts whispered aspersions over an entire gender. Disappointment offers its perfectionistic services to me, to weed out…humans. . It promises safety, and protection, but actually delivers…
A hefty load of hopelessness, discouragement, and isolation. It robs me of hope and vision for an incredible relationship. Disappointment makes something that is meant to be really fun, absolutely terrible. It makes me want to hold on tightly out of fear or accept whatever comes easily for the same reasons. Disappointment says ‘that’s impossible, lower your standards.’
Great news, disappointment can be ditched! And the situation isn’t that dire if you’re not currently in love! People aren’t ticking times bombs that explode at 30 if unmarried, as much as we make them think so. Ladies, your uterus won’t combust, your dreams don’t set themselves on fire, clocks don’t run backwards and break. Men don’t scream at your crows feet and run in the other direction.
How do we risk and dare to care here without settling, or jumping off a cliff into reckless or boring arms? 😀 😀 😀
Digging into hope involves a lot of truth assessment. What do you believe about the quality of man or woman you are? How do you view yourself alone, and in the context of a relationship? Do you think you’re good? Do you think you’ll be a good boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife?
If you have inaccurate beliefs in these areas, you may be avoiding relationships entirely or self-sabotaging by dating people that you know aren’t a good choice.
You actually have so much power about what you believe. You’re not stuck. If your thinking is currently negative, you are facing the opportunity to become really happy!
And to my favorite little word, rejection.
Rejection’s not as personal as it feels, and it’s not permanent! Instead of logicing myself into acceptance of unreciprocated feelings, holding onto shreds of hope, or scream singing Lemonade songs (Don’t Hurt Yourself), on this journey I decided to plant and feel it. Running from it is far worse than moving through it. There was a period of time where instead of finding fault with someone who had rejected me, I decided to say “yeah, he’s an incredible man, and he didn’t want to date me.” This minuscule attitude shift helped me face reality and quit running. He’s great, I’m great, and he said no. A huge weight fell off, and it helped me function so much more easily in friendship with these people.
When we let the truth gently slide off our jade colored glasses, it’s astonishing the good that we’ll see in everyone around us, our own lives, and the hope we’ll find jammed into every nook and cranny.
Because of God I’m coming awake from years of fear-induced paralysis and playing dead. Jesus meets every former “You’re not enough” I have on record with an honest message of pointed accuracy that debilitates hopelessness. He has been dying to tell me the truth ever since the sharp pain of rejection found it’s footing in my tired heart. As He affirms my value and lovability with his trademark direct sass and confidence, I feel something growing inside of me. There’s something about being loved recklessly and assuredly by a really good man that ignites courage in my feminine heart that says, “hell yeah, we’re up for this!”
Where disappointment and discouragement made me want to shut down, God violently turns the lights on and jumps on my bed to shake me awake. Not to break my heart, not to disappoint me again, but to show me how to have fun!
His hopes and dreams for your life are way higher, a little scary they’re so great, and I’ve found his protective no to be so accurately applied. Even before I liked him, He fireman carried me out of a burning building posted up next to a little white church. He has saved my life and saved my heart, over and over.
If he says He’s got something good coming, it’s coming. Does that stand to reason that in the meantime you get to stay afraid, embittered, and hopeless? I don’t know. Would you want to date that?
So face that disappointment! Follow that heart, and take your brain with you!
Get that strength, get that hope, and perform hope maintenance as the days (and hopefully minutes) pass before you meet someone you want to go all in for.