In this season of life, it's very hard to believe that good and beautiful things still unfold. With the state of the world and the pain that is being echoed worldwide, it's a bit overwhelming.
And in the midst of all of this, our hearts cry for something stable, something true, something eternal, and something just plain good.
I want to be honest with you, I've been getting rattled in this season.
My emotions have been a bit erratic.
And there's a longing in my heart.
In the last week or so, I've met an array of people through my adventures. And almost everyone one of these precious strangers asked me without fail, "Do you have any children?"
The first time I was asked, it simply felt endearing.
Oh. Who me? I'm much too young...wait, have I just forgotten my age? Yes. Why yes I have.
And by the time the 5th person randomly asked me, "Do you have any children?" I was honestly almost in tears. Which was probably awkward for them, especially since it was our first meeting.
But there it was laid out before me:
The condition of my heart.
Our hearts will tell us what's really going on with us, if we simply listen and pay attention.
And this is such important work.
To listen and pay attention to our hearts.
Sidenote: Our bodies often know when we are heartsick even before our own brains have a chance to play catch up. I was feeling more aggro and short tempered with people for no apparent reason. Well actually, a yet to be apparent reason. It being, I myself wasn't happy with the state of things and was frustrated with myself first and foremost. Feeling like I had done something wrong all these years to land in this state of singlehood in my 30s.
But I felt that God was allowing this tension to rise up in my heart for a reason.
I had been running so fast this summer, with that project and this project that I didn't have time to think.
Didn't have time to truly process that I missed a man and family that I didn't yet have.
And didn't have time to truly forgive myself for not being "perfect enough" for a 2014 date. I mean, all I asked for was ONE real live date people!
Sorry. I had moment.
But as you know, often we are our own worst critics. I had a list of resentments and reasons in my mind why no men of any age who I found interesting (on a variety of levels) dared to pursue me romantically and take me out for some great Mediterranean / Thai / Italian / Soul food.
The list of reasons I conjured up was bad people. I'm not gonna lie.
Curious to know...
Fine. I'll share my previous Top 3 Reasons Why Patrice is Still Single:
1. I'm not attractive enough
2. I'm too adolescent and inexperienced in so much of the ways of the world, especially of how men and women truly connect, love, and become.
3. I'm just not enough, period.
Now, I share that, not for you to necessarily stroke my ego or for you to worry about me.
No, no, no.
I share that mental list because I know that I know, I'm not the only one feeding herself these thoughts.
However, as these criticisms rose up in my heart to try and defend my current state of singleness, God's peace began to address each point on my list in some very specific ways.
1. You are and forever will be beautiful, Patrice. (Feel free to insert your name over mine)
2. You have been filled with the all the knowledge you need for the journey--romantic or otherwise, because you are connected to Me (God).
3. You, Patrice, are always, always enough.
Now God was gaining more access to my heart and pouring in His truth, like water over a desert.
Because doubt had come in like a drought.
But when we start to believe God's words over us, the watering begins...
And all God ever asks us to do is to simply believe.
Yeahhhhh, I know. The easiest-hardest thing we could ever do.
To believe for and in something beyond ourselves and out of our control.
It's like pure crazy talk.
And I begin to laugh-cry.
This journey has been something else.
Here I am, helping other people find love and even get married, only to find my butt still sitting on the sideline bench.
If someone says that doesn't effect your psyche. I would kindly like to tell you:
THEY ARE A BIG FAT CRAZY LIAR LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE.
But in the midst of such juxtaposition--of believing and breathing in love for others, only for it to seem so allusive like water through my own hands--God is so intentional about renewing my heart's strength.
Trust me. It's much needed right now.
And with that, I've been forced to dust off those things that were always important to me.
But at the same time I'm afraid to expose them to the light of day.
I'm scared that once I dust these beautiful things off, they'll actually happen.
Yes, wonderful indeed.
But I can't remember a time in my life where great blessing didn't come with a thunderbolt of bittersweetness.
Whether a strategic friendship is born in my life, inevitably an already established and rich friendship transitions or ends in some profound way. And so on and so forth.
I'm painfully aware that true and lasting beauty often comes with a price. (i.e. The butterfly tearing open a cocoon, a seed breaking open to bring forth an oak tree, birth pains of a woman to bring forth a child...)
As God begins to bring the many promises to pass that we've waited for, I can't help but think, what will go missing? The unnecessaries of previous life seasons?
Or what will be added?
I don't quite know.
But what I do know, is that God is asking me to dust off my dreams once again.
Funny, I hadn't even realized dust had gotten on them.
But as God helps me dust these things off, and even in the midst of all that's happening in the world, He tells me over and over again:
"I'm stable. I'm true. I'm eternal. And I'm still just plain good."
"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
shall change and renew their strength and power;
they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God]
as eagles [mount up to the sun];
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint or become tired."
(Amplified Bible Version)