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Archive for December, 2010

Calisthenics and Jazzercise

I had an epiphany last night and this morning that wouldn’t formulate so I thought I would try blogging about it.

It had to do with dating and how God has been getting me ready for it.  I was really thinking about how long it has been since I have had a date. 7 years is  a long time to go without a date! So why have I been dateless? Maybe I wasn’t ready to date. Maybe God still had other calisthenics he wanted me to do before I would be ready to date. I still needed to lift weights or run more miles or walk longer distances or do more jazzercise :).  All of these things were getting me ready for the person I am supposed to be with.

Now all of  you know I have a crush on a guy, a specific, particular guy and even though I am hundreds of miles away from him for the next 14 days  I can’t get him out of my head.  He has been in a serious relationship for quite some time and if I was to date him I would need to give him ample time to get over his last girlfriend.  So I was thinking about him and thinking about these past 7 years and wondering what is going on.  Not that God has spoken and said “He is Yours” or anything like that but he did give me a message in this form of epiphany and I know it means something. So right here and now I will try to formulate it so that it makes some sense to me if no one else.

Perhaps God has been building me up for a particular person, a particular relationship these past 7 years.  Perhaps God has chosen a specific person for me and he knew I wasn’t ready yet so he benched me.  He told me to stay there and learn, watch the game and make some serious decisions about myself and my life and when I was ready he would put me in the game.  There were times when I was itching to get off the bench and would have lost the game if God put me in.  It’s like that song “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play” but God knew I wasn’t ready (not that I’m sure I am ready right now but I can feel that God is getting ready to put me in the game).  It’s a different feeling when God knows your ready.  When I thought I was ready it was an anxiety that was leading me on.  An anxiety that made me want to get in the game because I was afraid I would never get off the bench.  When God is ready to put me in the game the anxiety will be different.  I will look back at God as I get in the game to ask him if he is sure because even though I know I have the tools and I am actually ready I am scared that I will lose the game. 

Maybe I took the game reference too far.  Maybe I stretched it a bit.  But  you get the idea.  If I date too soon I might get hurt.  But if I date when God is ready for me to date I might find something real and that might be just as scary as finding something hurtful and unreal.  I feel in my heart that God is getting ready to put me back in the dating game.  That he is getting ready to show me that I am ready.  That the lifting weights were the figuring out what I like to do without a man telling me what he likes to do.  The running a mile was the opening of my heart.  The walking long distances was the character building where God destroyed the lies and allowed me to see the tree of truth.  All the calisthenics we were doing together were building me up and getting me ready to date again.

Now imagine that God was doing the same thing with someone else. Only maybe they were in a relationship, or dating frequently or maybe they weren’t dating at all either.  Maybe God has been doing the same work with the person he has chosen for me.  Maybe he handpicked a guy that would hold my heart and speak truth into my life.  A guy that would look passed my so-called “damages” and see the real, beautiful, trustworthy me.  Maybe God has been doing the same work in someone else and perhaps soon God will bring that person into my life.  When I am truly ready to be there for someone else without losing myself.  When I am truly ready to let someone else hold my heart.  When I am truly ready not to run in the opposite direction of commitment but ready to run open armed into it.  When I am ready and he is too.  Maybe God is doing this work with my crush right now or maybe God is preparing him for someone else.  Either way I’m pretty excited for the continued work God is doing in both of us whether or not we will be together.  Soon God will put me back in the game and the person he has chosen for me will get back in the game as well.

I feel the butterflies of excitement and the anxiety of finding something and someone real.  But I think I might be ready to go back in the game “soon.” And “soon” I will be ready for the person God has been preparing for me.  ISN’T THAT EXCITING!!! I’m excited 🙂

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I’ll protect your heart and you’ll protect mine

I’ll protect your heart and you’ll protect mine. I was sitting here awake at 6:30 am and wondering why am I awake? It could be the mounting Christmas present projects but I kind of doubt that.  I’m guessing it was the fun but vague encounter with my crush last night. If you want to know more e-mail me and I will let you know :).

I am of course doing the analyzing thing because that’s what we girls do.  We look at an innocuous situation and turn it into something. We analyze what he said, what I said, and we ask questions. What did that mean? Did it mean anything? Should I do something about it? What if I do something and he rejects me? What if I don’t and I miss out on something great? And so on and so forth. 

In general both guys and girls are very vague when it comes to signals that we like each other.  For me, I don’t in general hug single men unless I like them.  I am very intentional with my touch. If I touch a dude I and he’s single I like him.  It’s that simple. If you see me touch a married dude I’m not hitting on him but in my mind this makes him safe in the touch department. In other words I can get a touch need met by hugging a dude (guy) that is married because I know he doesn’t think I “like-like” him and I don’t think that he “like-like’s” me.  If I touch the arm or knee or back of a guy that is not married that means I like him.  Its subtle and you have to be watching for it.  But for me that feels like a really safe way to let a guy know I’m interested in him.  But it is also really vague. I know what I do with touch but the guy I like would have to be paying attention to know that. I also tend to smile more at the guy I like and I look him in the eye. These are just a few of the things I do that are really subtle to let a guy know I like him without throwing myself at his feet and kissing the ground he walks on. 

Why don’t we just come on out and say it? Why don’t we just say, “I like you”? I think the answer to this is simple: We are all afraid of rejection.  I’m afraid he will reject me and it will get weird. He’s afraid I’ll reject him and it will get weird (I”m guessing, I have no crystal ball into the male psyche).

Anyway all that to say that that is probably why I am up this early (and I am hoping by writing this so early this morning I might be able to get back to sleep soon). 

So what does “I’ll protect your heart and you’ll protect mine” mean? What could it mean for dating relationships? It seems like (from my end) that most relationships (dating relationships) out there are about getting your needs met.  I’m lonely so I jump into relationship. This is not how I live out relationships but it is how I often get hurt in them.

I often put myself out there (at least in the past) and I give for the other person. I like to meet other people’s needs in relationship and do my best to protect them.  To keep their heart safe. But who is keeping my heart safe?

I was thinking about my crush this morning (and let’s face it if he reads this he probably already knows I am talking about him but oh well sometimes you just have to say what you mean and damn the consequences) and how he might have a heart that needs protecting right now.  He recently got out of a pretty serious relationship so he might not even be ready to date.  Could I wait for him to be ready? I can, could, would. But could I wait in this limbo without knowing if he really likes me? I could but that wouldn’t me fun for me.  So what if (and it probably won’t happen right now because I am leaving for Kansas on Wednesday) we mentioned to each other that we liked each other but that we wanted to take things über slow and protect each other’s hearts?

I would protect his heart by letting him have this grieving time and letting him say goodbye to a long-lasting relationship and he would protect my heart by being intentional with the way we interact until he is ready.  Once in relationship we could continue to protect each other’s hearts by being intentional and clear and by thinking about what actions might mean to each other.  In other words we would drop the vague and really be there for each other.

I would speak truth into his life and he would speak truth into mine.  I was talking with my roommate last night and we were discussing this vagueness at the beginning of relationships.  I am not this vague with my friends. If I have a friend I want to spend time with I mention it and we spend time together. We were also discussing that romantic relationships bring an intimacy that other relationships don’t have.  It is because of this intimacy that we need to be more careful with one another.

“Be careful with me I’m sensitive” should be our labels. We should each protect each other’s hearts. Even if nothing happens with this crush of mine and he becomes another really good guy friend that’s okay. I mean I will grieve what never was but he would make a great guy friend.  But I think he would make an even greater boyfriend. But nonetheless I will survive.  I think this idea of “I’ll protect your heart and you’ll protect mine” will continue.  In every relationship where we are vulnerable to hurt and pain we should each be willing to protect each other’s hearts and hold them dear. In some ways we are already doing this but what if we made it more intentional? Maybe then we could drop the vague and pick up the intentional.

Okay I’m off my soapbox maybe now I can get some sleep 🙂

Its been a while

Its been a while since I have written.  A lot has been happening in my life and the lives around me.

1. I got a job. I am now working for the Fuller Writing Center http://www.fullerwritingcenter.wordpress.com I am an on-call editor. So I read and edit people’s papers. It actually takes me back to my teaching days. When I sit in front of my computer and read someone else’s words I actually try to make changes and give instruction so that I am not only correcting their mistakes but that I am also giving them tools to be better writers. In essence I am teaching them without having to prepare a lesson plan, or give grades, or assign homework, or meet with parents.

2. I have been working on remembering. Most of my life I have chosen not to remember so I am, for 5 minutes a day trying to remember. I am working on remembering both the good and the bad things in my life.  Particularly my childhood. I have been pushing those memories away so hard that my hands are starting to hurt.

I have been speaking with my therapist about trying to remember for a year or so now.  She has been pushing me or gently guiding me but wanting me to go further. She asked me this week why I am so against remembering and I told her that after the rape I was so depressed. I was taking maximum doses of depression meds. I said I never want to feel like that again.  She said I wasn’t really feeling then. Depression happens when you don’t allow yourself to feel.  I am so worried that I won’t be able to hold the weight of it all. But then I remembered a conversation I had with a friend of mine, Becky.  We were talking about her son, who is a few months old and already 20 lbs. I said something to the effect that she must be really strong.  She said that babies grow gradually and as they grow you build muscles. God and I have together been building my muscles to hold the weight of my memories.  It is now time for me to try to remember.

So for the next few months I will be remembering for 5 minutes per day (so it doesn’t get too overwhelming) the good and the bad.  Because I might finally be ready to remember and I might be strong enough to hold them without falling apart.

3. I am opening my heart. Earlier today I sat with my supervisor Gwen and we discussed a specific lie I believed about myself for so long.  That I am untrustworthy.  As we asked God to remove it and to replace it with truth.  I got this picture (because God often gives me pictures) of God opening my heart to allow me to see the good inside.  Last year (or maybe longer) one of my good friend’s Laura was praying for me and got a picture of God holding my heart in a bag for me. It wasn’t as damaged as I pictured it but it was instead being held for me because I could not hold it. Now God has taken my heart out of the bag and is showing me the goodness inside of it. As I learn more about the good person I am I can see the good that lives inside me.

4. I am seeking truth in my life. I mentioned a few seconds ago that I met with my supervisor and she prayed for me. While she was praying for me God planted in me a tree.  A tree of truth.  Each new leaf that grows on my maple leaf tree is a leaf of truth.  Today the leaf that grew is red and contains the words “You are Trustworthy.”

5. My friend Laura, who I mentioned above, is getting married. She got engaged last month and this month we went dress shopping. It was so much fun.  She seems utterly happy and ready to be married and I am very happy for her. As I journey through my healing I pray for the day I will be ready for marriage. I pray for the day I will be ready to date again.

6. I joined another dating site. But this one I really like. It is completely free (www.okcupid.com) and it is a lot of fun. I think I am ready to start dating I just have met anyone worth meeting/dating yet. Well that’s not true I have a crush or two in my real life but I want to be pursued.  Even on this online dating thing I want to be pursued. I don’t want the guy that wants my number after reading my profile or looking at my picture but instead I want the guy that wants to say hello through an e-mail and wants to woo me into meeting him. I want the guy I like in my real life to ask me out. To notice the smile that is just for him and to notice that look that lingers a little longer than normal. I want him to notice me as I notice him and to ask me out. I want to be pursued and if that means waiting a little while longer to go on a date then I am willing to wait.

I’ve grown so much over the past few months and years. I have learned that I like listening to people and leading the group I am leading at church. I like meeting one-on-one and giving girls rides home after the meeting so that I can be a service to someone else. I like using the gifts God has given me. I like praying in church for real needs and speaking in church. I like giving my testimony or giving a sermon in front of people. I have a gift for public speaking and I want to use it.

I am growing like my tree of truth and God is continuing to form the beautiful person I am.

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