Today I am guest posting over on my friends Justin and Trisha Davis’ blog, RefineUs. To be honest, when Justin asked me if I’d be willing to write a post, I got nervous, really nervous. I knew that they wouldn’t be looking for a fluffy little post. I knew they would want me to reveal some parts of my heart that I wouldn’t be completely comfortable sharing. And I knew I had to say yes.
A few nights later, Justin emailed me details about what they were looking for…
There are people who read our blog that have tried their best but their marriages that haven’t made it. There are people that have tried for years to find the right person, and for whatever reason God hasn’t brought that person along. There are people who have done everything right, and have been disappointed by God, or by how their life has played out, up to this point.
It’s easy for me to write about second chances, because I’ve been given one by my wife…but not everyone story plays out like that. So my thought was to have each of you, as singles share perspective of how to experience God when life doesn’t go like you’ve planned…through waiting, through hurt and betrayal, through disappointment, through success, through failure…how have you learned to experience God where you are right now.
I found myself sleepless until this post wrote itself. I hope that it brings comfort to others who are living a life that was once incomprehensible. And I hope it brings a level of understanding to those who have the life of their dreams.
When I was younger, my friends and I loved to play this game “MASH.” I know, it sounds like a war game, but it was far from that. MASH was a game where your future was randomly laid out for you: what kind of home you’d have (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House), who you were going to marry, how many kids you would have, what kind of car you’d drive, what kind of job you’d hold. Worst-case scenario you’d drive a mini-van and live in a shack with Arnold, the dorky guy from algebra class, raising eight kids and struggling to make ends meet as a librarian.
Looking back, the peculiar thing about MASH is that being a single child-less Volvo-driving Corporate Communications Director was never an option. Because being single at 33 was just plain incomprehensible.
Candidly some days I wake up and it still feels a little incomprehensible. I wake up thinking, “Is this my life?”
Don’t get me wrong. I have a good great life. I have friends, a lot of interesting and loyal friends. I have a supportive family. I travel. I have the cutest dog on the planet. I have a challenging but stable job. I feel loved.
But still this is not the life I envisioned myself living.
Over the years, I have dated a handful of boys seriously. And each relationship was filled with its own set of problems, its own dose of dysfunction. As the song goes “I’ve been cheated, been mistreated…” Sometimes they were to blame. Sometimes I was to blame.
In each relationship. I allowed a level of intimacy that I feel was inappropriate. In each relationship, I gave an undeserving suitor too much of myself, too much of my heart. In each relationship, I fell for the temptation of letting what was good become what was ultimate. As each relationship ended, I walked away feeling hurt, betrayed, disappointed, and alone.
In the last couple of years, I have really been through a heart transformation. Today I am hoping and praying to find something, someone, different. To find something, someone, right for me. To find something, someone, who will lead and encourage me on my journey with God through life.
But my years of dysfunctional relationships, leave me grappling with questions. Questions that are hard to voice. Questions I feel stupid asking.
What does a healthy dating relationship when you are in your late twenties or thirties look like?
What is an appropriate level of intimacy?
Is it okay to allow myself to still hope, to dream for a husband and children?
Are there really men out there looking for a real woman to settle down with? And if so, do I deserve one?