The Almost Never

     My roommate is training to swim the English Channel next August 2016.

     Let me repeat that. MY. ROOMMATE. IS. GOING. TO. SWIM. THE. ENGLISH. CHANNEL

     Oddly enough, I find that her training is much like my dating life....

     This week, I'm mildly ashamed to say that I actually threw books at the wall in my own frustration with my romantic journey. Like, I FLUNG books at the wall on purpose in the midst of an ugly cry breakdown.  

     {To my roommate, who wasn't home at the time... I apologize. No walls were harmed in the hurricane of my emotions.}

     But training/waiting/dating is a beast. A FREAKING beast.

     If anyone tells you being single in 2015 is easy, or rather, being in church culture and being single over 30, female, and a working professional is easy, just Batman slap them across the face. You have my permission. 

     Because, I'm out here trying to be an adult and manage my junior high crush feelings, which sounds so silly and puerile to say, but seems so insurmountable at times. 

     And yet the world still seems to run at its own frenetic pace with its own goals and priorities. And to weed through those, is also a part of the training. To know and to recognize and to call out what's truly and inevitably important in life.

     And aren't we all just high schoolers at the end of the day, perpetrating as adults just trying to figure it all out the best we can.

     But I realize more than ever, I've been in training.

     It's been hard on purpose.

     Yes, for a long time. 

     It feels like the worst. 

     And in the midst, I see something that glimmers in my direction and I immediately want to POUNCE on that bad boy (figuratively and literally--but I'm on a purity plan......so yeah....) 

     And you convince yourself, this is the only chance I'm going to get, to catch a shooting star!

     And God's like, I just wanted you to start reaching for the stars, so you could get comfortable with heights beyond your usual perspective.

     And I wrestle with that.

     I throw books.

     I cry.

     I cry some more.

     I read and reread text messages from him.

     I cry again.

     Desperation isn't such a good look either. Self preservation is also dangerously close to something we don't want to cultivate in our lives...becoming a slave to our own Selfishness.

     And that was the battle, as I threw books and tissue---and my body across my bed.

     I wasn't contending for his (my crush's) God-given best interest, but my own limited selfish perspective.

     Because if training teaches us anything, it's painful and tedious in the midst--often lacking the glory that we find so attractive with accomplishment. But when training is able to show forth its true fruit, it's nothing short of an Olympian's fists raised in the air with full victory.

     My roommate has been training for a year and a half for the English Channel. She recently finished an 11 mile swim in about 6 hours and will have a 17 mile swim in the coming days. The English Channel is 21 miles.

     It has been as much about the journey as it's been the destination. 

     She almost never thought she'd be able to do something like this.

     And yet, she is doing it.

     You know what, in 8 years, only ONE man from my church has ever asked me out. And I think it was by mistake. It was awkward, he was sweating a lot, and I felt the need to just look at him with eyes of sympathy. But I had decided to say yes to stepping out, to new faces, to the possibility of being surprised. I allowed my heart to dream and to be trained in love.

     Fast forward to today.

     I've literally not dated anyone seriously since I was 19. I am now 35.

     It seems to me today, that I'll almost never date, let alone get married. 

     But I think I'm starting to believe this has all been a part of the intense training. 

     Full disclosure though: Just 24 hours ago, I was about to buy myself a ring and pronounce myself a professional spinster. Instead of cats, I'll just throw myself into work and  "accomplishments"--which we all know are flavored a bit meaningless when we don't have someone to share them with. 

     Because when things are 'almost never'-- you have no precedent or framework for how God is going to show up and rock your world, because you've never seen it done before--

     I just read the new blog post by Carrie Grace, from her "Mighty-Men Series", titled "Fearless in the Female Zone" and it did something for my heart.

     I pray that every man I know: Brother, cousin, or friend be the type of mighty man that she describes. You women deserve this. Not just out of a lover, but out of a friend, a father, a brother, etc. 

     Because being intentional is so healing for our hearts.

     And Men: The type of women that you'll attract and have the privilege of loving will be so healing to your own hearts as well.

 

 

     So here I am. 

     A bit of a mess, but I'm making it through another round of training. 

     I think by September, my heart will be ready once again to say yes. 

     Yes to the possibility of love, of romance, of dating.

     By then, I think I'll be ready to choose and to say yes to the man that pursues me with intentionality, who trusts God above all else, and moves past his own fears and confidently chooses me whole heartedly, while having been prepared and trained in his own journey to take me on--completely.

     Because, you know what, I'm quite positive he almost never thought he'd be able to have someone like me. xo

 

Wisdom's Knocking:

 But as it is written:  

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

- I Corinthians 2:9

 

 

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