Photo Credit: My sweet Tiffany Johnson
So most of you knew that I was steady on a Singleness Vow for all of 2013. I know. I couldn't believe it myself. The long and short of it was that I, on purpose, chose not to date or pursue any romantic prospects all year because I simply wanted to get my spirit and my mind right.
Have you ever just gotten to the place of overload, where everything in your mind just seems cluttered? I had so many dozens of romance well wishers around me for the last several years that the voices and desires of others got somehow tangled in my own heart. I wasn't quite sure what was true anymore. And more importantly, I was having a hard time hearing what God was saying to my heart in regards to my romance story.
Now let it be said, I met some amazing men in 2013, but I tried my best to not insinuate, flirt, or ruffle the waters (Is that even a phrase??), my vow was first something I wanted to honor and actually complete because of my relationship with God. If I was going to enter into an sort of romance after 2013, I had enough sense to realize that I'd need God with me every step of the way. I mean, I'm such an Awkward Annie when it comes to knowing how to just be in the beginning stages of a relationship, probably because I haven't had much experience in that territory.
Nevertheless, my advice to anyone choosing to take a break from your romance pursuits and desires, whether a year long sabbatical or a 3 month breather, please.be.kind.to.yourself.
While one area of your life may be on a type of pause, the other areas of your life will most likely still be moving full steam ahead. You may catch yourself in a bit of a self-pity party when you count how many of your friends just got engaged or married in the last 3 years and you have yet to have 1 proper date. But Stop.
Give yourself grace.
And as you allow one area (an extremely important area) of your life to get de-cluttered and refocused, know that other areas of your life will become stronger and clearer, if you allow yourself to surrender in the midst.
Note: I did not say "give up". I simply said "surrender". It's that ability to accept and know you cannot control every outcome, but with God in your life, He is working all things out for your good.
I'm convinced this is one of the hardest things to do. Surrendering.
Because surrendering is not a one time act. It's one that you must do repeatedly. Ugh. I know.
But before you know it, a year full of grace has passed and your heart is ready, ready in a way that it couldn't have been last year this time.
Heartbreak as painful as it is, can often widen and strengthen our capacity for love, in both the receiving and giving.
We ain't got no time for bitterness. And I'm learning that fear is a time stealer as well. But simply cry out for courage to scale the mountain. God is faithful.
So today is January 2, 2014.
You KNOW what that means, right?
Single and Ready...
"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
- Nelson Mandela
Below is a cover of one of my favorite songs, "Higher Love" - sung by James Vincent McMorrow: