Posted by: JennyRain | February 18, 2010

Dating for the Desperate: True Confessions

So I have a confession to make.

I have always wanted to be married. When I was in my twenties I was so desperate to get married before I hit thirty that I allowed myself to make some really dumb choices y’all.

Really dumb.

There were some people I allowed in my life that probably should not have been there and some things I tolerated that were… let’s just say… not good for me (which is probably putting it mildly!)

I admit it, I was desperate with a capital D!

When you are desperate for love, you’ll settle for anything.

The problem was, I did not realize I was desperate. I thought I was a pretty all-together-gal.

Corporate management job in marble-guilded office park, latest-model SUV, fully-scheduled weekends with an occasional get-away with the all-too-posh crowd. I thought I was hot y’all and looking in from the outside I looked like I had it goin’ on.

The problem was not with my outside, it was with my soul.

Inside I was dying for love but I did not know it. 

God tried to reveal it to me. I remember one particular night after partying too much and waking up in the zone of the unknown (ladies, I know you know what I’m talking about here), the song that woke me up was… 

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many places…
Hoping to find a friend and a lover
I’ll bless the day I discover,
You – lookin’ for love.

Oye.

The desire for love had such a voracious appetite it gobbled up all of the aspects of my identity that should have resulted in a healthy self-esteem. The more it ate the worse I felt. 

Because I valued myself so little, I entered into relationship after relationship where the people around me were simply mirrors to my low opinion of myself.

I became blind to my own desperation until landing face down in the mud hole of my own bad decisions with no ladder to get out.

There is something inherently frightening and liberating about coming face to face with your own desperation.

Once I admitted I was desperate, God could help me learn how that desperation for love twisted my healthy desires into an unhealthy craving.

As I began to realize the dysfunctional way I typically entered and maintained relationships I realized that in order to climb out of the the loveless-hole I was living in I would have to learn to live with myself – no distractions attached.

So I sat in that hole for awhile and learned to get a long with myself.

Talked to God a lot.

Weaned myself from the phone (it had become an appendage).

Saved every Friday night for a date with myself.

I allowed myself to be taught by others more experienced than me, listened to God’s voice, and remained with the pain of lonliness so that I would know what it felt like when it threatened to force me into bad decisions.

By the time I began climbing out of the hole of desperation I had a better sense of self, more complete understanding of the character of God, and I had a game plan for how to manage my love life.

I stumbled a bit after crawling out of my hidey-hole, but after a while, I got the hang of what it looked like to date, to maintain healthy friendships, and to find a healthy community of faith.

It was worth the time and effort I spent alone with myself and with God and the fruit that has resulted from that season continues to be a blessing. I have experienced first hand the truth of Psalm 68:6:

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing

Whenever I am down on myself for how far I feel that I have to go, I refer to my favorite poem by Portia Nelson and remind myself how far God has led me thus far.

 

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

by Portia Nelson

I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III

 I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street. 

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Responses

  1. Great post! Sometimes that time apart is so necessary and yet so hard to do. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Well written/expressed … amp this x10 and write a study. Seriously. Miss you! /t


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