No season seems to be quite the same in life.
Yes, there seems to always be a Winter, a Spring, a Summer, and a Fall. But have you noticed, in all its expectation; these seasons are never quite the same. Said season is never a cookie cutter clone of it’s past year predecessor. There’s always just a little bit more rain…or less. Or more snow…or less….or more storms or less than the years before.
There’s something innate even in the formula of seasons that require change and a sense of flexibility---a molding of our expectations.
But yet, there’s a comfort in knowing that there is a season change, even though we might not know what it is meant to fully look like, we can grasp the basic outline of it.
And for those of us, constantly looking to the future this can be a comfort, but if we rely on this outline of a season solely, it can turn into a trick of sorts.
Our walk in life is meant to be a walk of faith. And whether you believe you are a person of faith or not, you are exercising faith by simply turning your phone on or stepping into your car--Believing that it will simply turn on…and it will yield a specific result. You don’t know for certain, as much as you’d like to rely on its intense technology, but you walk in a level of faith.
We live with expectations.
For ourselves and for other people.
And yet, a sense of compassion is also needed towards ourselves and others when we are traversing through our life seasons and expectations.
At the beginning of this year, I felt renewed.
I had just finished an impromptu trip to Texas to spend time with God and myself and to get answers.
I got answers, just not the ones I was hoping for.
No one in Texas asked me to marry them, and God whispered to my heart that my journey in California was not yet done.
I came back home resolved. And content. Like really content.
Like maybe I-don’t-need-a-man-ever content.
I still loved the idea of marriage, but I was pretty much tempered by it.
I wasn’t depressed at all. I felt at ease.
While others cheered from the sidelines, “YOUR MAN IS COMING, YOUR MAN IS COMING!” with pom poms and sirens, I simply smiled and nodded.
He didn’t need to come anymore.
If you’ve read my blog for more than a year, this may sound like devastating news. But it was truly freeing.
I mean, I enjoyed and admired beautiful couples. And I appreciated beautiful men in life, but I just didn't feel compelled to possess them or belong to them in any sort of way.
Sometimes, only you and God know how much you’ve put your own heart through. And after the year I had last year, I just wanted to give my heart a breather.
And so this year started with a new sense of groundedness and clarity.
I didn’t really share this with anyone—the fact that I had finally resigned to the idea of being married and forever being a Cinderella sans the prince and ever going to the ball.
Plus I’m a do-er, I’m a bit of an A-type personality. So I know how to throw myself into work and ‘accomplishing’ things.
And somehow, my family is proud of me most when I’m working and accomplishing career goals, and not so much on the romance front. I think they like the idea of me having a baby, having a partner in life, but there a sense of greater pride in being a career woman.
Because there’s always time for romance later, was what I was told in jr. high, high school, college, in my twenties---and now it’s later…
Have you seen the movie “Baby Boom”.
I need you to--like now.
Here’s the preview: https://youtu.be/I8T6WgQoNvs
I always wanted both. The “Baby Boom” life—career and love. But now….it’s all a jumble. Summer has yielded some strange snow.
Okay. Sorry. I went off on a tangent.
So in mid-January, on a Sunday, I felt a cool breeze of peace go past my heart and soul.
And I thought to myself, “Okay, I can do this, 2017. I can be single. I can *not be kissed again for the 16th year in a row. I can *not have sex…..because I’m already a unicorn anyway (Oh, and not the type of “unicorn” mentioned in an episode of “Chewing Gum”—I’m definitely not THAT type of unicorn……#nothreesomes)
So like I said, I had this revelation and pep talk with myself. But it felt oddly genuine and completely peaceful.
And then I went to church, and I still felt great.
And then later that day, what has become my weekly Sunday practice over the last year, I danced my little heart out at my favorite country line dancing joint. And I noticed someone new there. And he noticed me.
And it was instant chemistry.
Don’t think I’ve experienced anything so fast, so strong, so tender, and so peaceful in all my life.
And I left that Sunday thinking, “Well that was nice. But he’s probably married, hates church, or is not into ladies….”
But I thought about him all week, and I couldn’t wait to get back the next Sunday to see if he would appear.
And he did appear. And we danced again. And he asked for my number. And I actually gave it to him.
All the while, feeling no pressure and absolutely peaceful about the whole ordeal.
That week, he and I had an impromptu date—my first date in over 5 years. #truestory --And per my preference for a first date, I didn’t know it was an actual date until it was done. So I felt no weird nervousness or pressure. It was just something natural that happened after we finished dancing for the night (by the way, in a public place – because let’s be wise girls…).
And then I began my interrogation.
Because I don’t want to get murdered by a psycho. And I never hang out with men that I don’t know, or that I don’t have mutual friends with.
Even if I did feel peace, I needed answers.
And he gave me answers. More answers than I knew what to do with.
Definitely not the answers that I was ready to hear.
(In case you’re wondering, he’s not married, loves Jesus, and is straight.)
And so I had a lot to digest that night—a lot to pray about.
Meanwhile, the next day I danced again, and he decided to meet me there. Which then, unintentionally became our second date. And remember that chemistry I told you guys about—so yeah, it’s practically fire at this point.
But I hold firm to my, I will-not-kiss-you-and-make-a-baby-on-night-two rule.
But daaaag, it was difficult to not. Like very difficult.
Remember, I’ve practically been a nun the entire run of this blog being in existence…so my affection tank is basically depleted at this point. Lord knows, I am readaaaaaay to make a baby. But alas, I waited.
And in the midst of it all, I felt peace—I felt as if I had already known him somehow, and I felt as though I somehow knew what the outcome of us would be.
I know it’s crazy to say , “Love at first sight”, because it really wasn’t that…it was more like “Love at first peace…..” Or maybe rather strong affection….In any case, it felt very real to my heart. Very real.
Someone mistook us for husband and wife while we were on this second date, and we both felt oddly at ease with the mishap.
And I left that night, thinking, wow, this might just be it. It feels so easy and so effortless. Now, I understand what everyone was talking about!
And I immediately texted all my friends and my mom.
There was excitement and elation—there was also concern and fear.
Because prior, I had also shared with them, all the answers I was still digesting about him. His messy past and his unclear present situation.
Wisdom told me to consider the story he was playing out before me.
Because as much as chemistry would love to rule the day, character will guide the story, and will always have the final say.
So I needed to see his character.
And within a week, there were discrepancies—and he never returned my phone calls, texts, or messages.
I knew that he traveled internationally for work and leisure, but this was unexplained and odd.
It was as if he never existed.
Or perhaps had another life…
And my heart began to shatter.
My vulnerability snatched for consumption and then discarded.
In all my preparing for 2017, I had not prepared for this. Not one bit.
I didn’t prepare for snow in Summer.
I had been “Ghosted” as the kids call it.
And throughout the course of this past weekend, I cried and cried and cried and cried.
I’m not cut out for dating. I don’t know how you all do it.
I simply wanted tenderness.
I simply wanted my man, my husband, not a counterfeit, not another one…
Contrary to popular family belief, my heart has been open to love and marriage since 1996. Since I’ve been praying for my future children. But perhaps it’s too painful for my family to see that I don’t find my promises being fulfilled through work and career, but rather in having a partner in life.
And that’s okay to say.
I actually love what I get to do for a living. But it’s not my life force. And now, its come to the point, where I want to share and need to share my days and life with a lover. Maybe that makes sense to you, maybe that doesn’t. But that’s where my heart is tonight.
If you couldn’t tell….I’m in dire need of tenderness today. The type of tenderness that work and a career can never yield.
Let me go somewhere and breathe for a moment.
Ok. I’ve wiped away some more tears, and I can finally see my computer screen again.
You know what else is a bit unpredictable and messy?
Since the beginning of January I’ve been re-reading the book of Genesis. And I’ve actually been surprised this time around. I was actually a bit/a lot grossed out by it. I mean, have you read it….like past the creation story, and into the first family…..and Abraham….Isaac….and Jacob. Like what -- Liars….cheats….murderers…..adulterers….incest….what is going on here?? And this is our grand and glorious beginning?? Full of mess?
And yet, one of the major themes and promises left to us in the book of Genesis is redemption. A coming redemption.
God in His beauty and love doesn’t abandon this complicated and messy beginning. He enters it and makes a way for the mess to become beautiful. It’s not just a hope, it’s God’s promise and His covenant.
How will my love story play out? I have no idea. You may have ideas of how it will play out, but I’m quite sure it won’t fully play out that way either.
Because you see, true beginnings in their very nature, are a disruption. An inciting incident. A noticeable interruption of the current status quo. A violent breaking forth. Like a baby being born, with blood and fluid gushing out. And yet, it is a glorious beginning nonetheless.
And so the groundhog has seen his shadow, in 2017….
And this feels oddly like repetition.
It almost felt as though spring would appear early, but alas, winter will last just a bit longer.
How much longer? Not quite sure, but seasons always change.
They always do.
And there’s always a new beginning ahead. And redemption is always on His mind.
But to be clear, for your heart and mine, this new beginning will most likely not come packaged in the way or in the circumstance that you expected it to.
But I do know, it will be every bit as meaningful, valuable, and purposeful --if not more, than what you've ever imagined.
For it is the kindness of God to give us new beginnings.
“When someone you love says goodbye
you can stare long and hard at the door they closed
and forget to see all the doors God has open in front of you.”
- Shannon L. Alder