Monday, May 5, 2014

Hi, this is Sally- remember me? I’m dating!

I always find it interesting how dating seems to go in cycles.  It works like an epidemic- for a few years no one is getting the dating “bug”, and then within a few months almost everyone you know has come down with it.  Well, lately I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls and texts from friends; so it must be that time again.  I love being able to rejoice with my close friends that were thoughtful enough to let me in on the secret as some of the first to know about their new relationship!  However, I do have a certain pet peeve about the cases when I barely remember the person calling- somehow I find it strange when girls I haven’t talked to for years suddenly contact me and invite me to events so that I can see them and their boyfriends together.  Not a huge deal, but why didn’t they try to hang out before and instead wait so many years later until they started dating?

I’m afraid that we girls are placing too much identification upon finding that someone special.  We feel that we are incomplete if we are single and have finally achieved completion when we get a guy.  We want the world to know that who we are is based upon the young man that is by our side.

Okay, let’s admit it- I think most of us single girls have longed to be chosen.  When we are overlooked, it feels a lot like the awkward social misfit that is standing with a group of athletically-gifted others on the baseball field.  The captains start choosing teams, and one by one the others leave, until one little girl is left standing alone and unchosen.  Of course, everyone watching the game has their own reasons for why Miss Lonely was never picked, but that doesn’t change the fact that she was never given a chance to make the team.  Believe me, I’ve had well-meaning individuals try to tell me what I should be doing differently so that I can “snag” a guy.  I was even told that I scare guys; (well, I personally never thought that I was that scary;). 
Friends and family have their own opinions on why you are single- you talk too much, you’re too shy, you’re too bold, you’re too short, you’re too tall, you’re too geeky, you’re too redneck, you’re too independent… and those dear souls never see the beauty in who you actually are.  They too have based your success on whether you make the team and get a “Mrs.” stamped on your uniform.  So many times I have felt like pleading with aunts and cousins to really look at my heart, look at my love for children, look at my values and standards, look at my love for God, look at my interests, look at my hobbies, look at me for who I actually am and see that I am just as special as the married girls around me.  I’m sure you have been there as well!

We can usually handle the outside pressure, but what’s hardest is when we start despising ourselves and our singleness.  This is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately.  As my mother and I sat with my father in the hospital, I thought about how he had people that loved him there to be with him for hour after hour.  If I’m still single when I’m an old lady, there won’t be a husband or children to sit by my side when I’m lying in a hospital bed.  There may be friends and nieces or nephews that stop by, but most of the time I will be alone.  Being alone starts to scare me because I want someone comforting to always be there to rescue, protect, and cherish me and someone that I can love and honor in return.  As friend after friend are “chosen”, I’m left alone to criticize myself and pick out all my flaws until I think that I’m completely worthless.  —–I only come to this conclusion though when I base who I am on my relationship status.

Being “chosen” doesn’t make me any more special than anyone else, neither does not being “chosen” make me any less special.  Courtship and marriage is a wonderful thing and can blossom out people beautifully, but the core of that person should still be built upon God’s love for them and their love for Him and His plans for their life.  I have seen a lot of girls become desperate and plead with or bribe the captain to choose them; eventually he gives in and the girl gets her uniform, but somehow the team is always off-balance and doesn’t work together in harmony.  God has a different plan for our lives, young ladies!  If He has marriage in mind for you, He will eventually bring the right captain along that will pick you because he sees you for who you are and loves the passions, dreams, and quirks that make you- you.  He will see your trust upon your Father’s plans and be enthralled by that.  Then your team will win big because it cares about more than the identification of the uniform.

Maybe God doesn’t have a knight in shining armor in the future, but then He will come beside the little girl standing alone and take her hand and make sure she is never alone again.  They will walk and talk together, and she will have someone to love, cherish, and protect her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health.

He will love her when she is at her worst, He will laugh when she giggles, He will wipe her tears away when she cries…….He will love His Bride for He has chosen her!