Oh have I walked a curvy road. My straight path turned to twists and turns with rocks and boulders in my way, and most because I chose to stray. My focus lost on the endless pursuit or romance, and the never-finding of what I was chasing.
I say ‘what’ instead of who for one simple reason. I was chasing ‘something’. Romance, or my idea of what a romantic relationship would look like was so idealized that I set unrealistic expectations. Why? I am a romantic through and through. I probably bleed purple for the passion that is inside of me. Old Audrey Hepburn movies are my cup of tea: particularly Roman Holiday. Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Josh Groban, and many of the old 90 country romantics rank among my favorite music. I love the idea of what love can be.
“What is the problem with that?”, you may ask.
My answer would be that there is no inherent problem with that. It is how God made me, and I love how swoonily romantic I am (yes, I just made that up, but it is real in Carey land so ha) It can, however cause problems in the balance of life if focused on too much. This is true of many other things in life as well. As an example, If someone pursues success and does not count the cost as they go, they also can end up in a place where, if they look back at where they came from, can realize that everything is falling apart because the balance is swaying waaaay too far to the side. Almost everything we pursue in life can be taken to an extreme where it is unhealthy.
Now, before you get any ideas, I am not talking of becoming stalker-ish or overly clingy. I am mainly speaking of losing sight of God’s plans for our lives because of where we place our focus.
When I was young, and all the way through high school, I was very focused on God and my relationship with Him. We had such a bond! Jesus was my everything and I strove to show Him that every day. By the end of the first year of college, (and through the next SEVERAL years) if you had asked me where my focus was, I would have told you it was on God, and I would have believed it too, but I would have been lying through my teeth. My focus was on love.
I started dating when I was eighteen, and in college. He was from my political science class, he adored me, he saw, and appreciated who I was. It was first love. It was amazing. It ended. I was heartbroken. I wanted more of this love drug.
I did end the relationship myself because I knew it was not what God had for me. He was not a christian, and I had let myself slip in to dating him even though I said I would not. I loved God, but I pursued love. God patiently waited. (He is so so patient with us!)
That is really it too: you figure out where your heart is by your actions. You can say (and believe) almost anything about where your true heart lies, but the truth is in your actions: it is in what you pursue.
I pursued love. I was focused on love. I spent years dating the wrong people in pursuit of the right person. I have not found them yet. This, I believe is for the simple fact that I am not supposed to go find them. At the proper time, when I am ready, God will reveal them to me.
Think of Isaac and Rebekah. In the Bible, this is the closest story that you get to a man really pursing his future bride. Is this really what happens though? Not if you think about it. Who sent the servant to go find a wife for Isaac? Abraham did. The father. Who revealed whom Isaac was to marry? God did. All the servant did was pray and wait at the well, and God brought the correct woman out to meet him where he was.
This is so full of meaning to me. Our responsibility is not to spend our time finding a man or woman to love us and spend life with us. Our responsibility is to dig in to God, and trust that HE is preparing the proper person to meet us where we are.
Balance is upset if we focus any other way. By putting love and romance up on a pedestal above our relationship with God, we start swerving off of the intended path for our lives. When making decisions, we will begin to take steps away from God’s perfect will for our lives because love seems to be in the other direction. We get distracted as Samson did with Delilah. Now I am not proposing that we are completely ruined and lose everything God had for us as he did. I am just using an extreme example.
In putting our man (or woman) on a pedestal, we are demanding perfection from them. If they do not perform in the way that we think they should in love we begin to get frustrated. It causes a lot of problems in relationships. “I wish you would just…”; “Is it really too hard to just…”; “why don’t you ever…”; “would it hurt you to…for once?!” some of these may sound familiar, particularly if you have been through or are in a long term relationship.
Particularly in long term relationships, we can run in to points where our focus becomes blurry, and we need to re-focus it on God. If we don’t we run the risk of selfishly demanding perfection from our mate. This is unfair and uncalled for as nobody is perfect, and we are called to show grace in our lives.
Last August, I finally came to a point where I surrendered my endless searching to God. It came at a turning point in my life. Since then, I have realized that, unless a man is going in the same direction as God has me headed, it does not matter whether he is a nice guy or loved God: he is not the right one for me. God recently spoke to my heart, “I am preparing someone to go with you.” See, I am going to be a missionary. This narrows down my playing field significantly. Do you know how many men you meet in life who are on a missions path as a career? umm… so far my number is up to a big fat whopping zero. That does not mean he doesn’t exist, just that I haven’t met him yet, or he has not heard God tell him he is going yet (surprise baby! This is gonna be fun. lol)
My earlthly eyes can’t see, but that doesn’t change the fact that God made my heart desire a family, a husband, and the field of missions. God has someone out there for me. I believe that with all of my heart. I believe that because He told me. I will not stop pursuing God or his plans for me in pursuit of a husband. I will let God take care of the details as I keep on the road of surrender and serving. To quote Mandy Dobbelman, another blogger whose voice truly resonated in my heart,
“The one thing you will never see me do is back down from this race that Christ has called me to for the sake of catching the eye of a man.”
God is a jealous God. The Bible states this very clearly. We are commanded, for instance, to “have no other gods” before him. He, time and again, in the old testament, promises the destruction of Israel for adulterating their hearts to the gods of the lands around them. Don’t place your mate before God. Place your heart in God’s hands, and trust Him to take care of it. It can be scary at first, but it is the safest place you could possibly be.
“Place your heart in God’s hands, and trust Him to take care of it. It can be scary at first, but it is the safest place you could possibly be.”