When I was in a 12-step program, it was really easy to be single. It was recommended we not date while on the program, and I knew I was not in a place to date, so I put myself in a 1-year sanction from dating.
It was rather comical, because some of my guy friends would ask, “Hey, you think that girl is hot?” And my response would be “I don’t care.” It was funny because it was true. When you’re considering if someone is attractive, you’re considering if are they attractive TO YOU. I didn’t need to consider any girl in any way. I knew I had to take the time to work out my issues, and a girl would only distract me. Or far worse, I would bring her into my mess. So why even entertain the notion of her attractiveness?
When I was done with the program and was in a healthy place to date, it was very exciting. I’m fortunate to be a man (yes!) and be the initiator. It doesn’t mean I have my pick of any girl, but I do have my pick on who to ask (not that they will say yes). But it was still exciting because in order to get married, I had to ask someone out. And my mind filled with dreams and fantasies of asking out a girl, her saying yes, going on dates, making memories, falling in love and getting married. There’s so much joy in that hope of a perfect story.
But I’m not in any of those stages. I was in a long-term relationship, and now I’m not. It’s a very interesting spot to be in. My relationship ended healthily, and I’m in an emotionally stable place. But it didn’t come without its struggles.
My thoughts after this relationship have gone from “this is a good thing,” to “I can’t wait to date again,” to “it’ll be so much better next time,” to “gosh I miss her, to “I think I should wait for her,” to “I hope she’s thinking about me,” to anger and bitterness. But not with her. No. I’m angry and bitter about where I’m at. Here. Now. Stuck.
And this sucks.
I can’t even think about dating someone else for too long, because I still feel like I’m in a relationship. It’s too soon. I haven’t even gotten used to saying “ex.” I rather say her name.
And maybe there’s a part of me that hasn’t accepted that it’s really over.
Are these thoughts even normal?
Catch the Foxes
Sometimes it feels like I am struggling more now than I was at the very beginning. But I think it’s just my desperation of wanting to be further along and be out of this stage.
And dating is the last thing that I should be thinking of. For now, I’m disqualified. And I’m at a place where God wants me to focus on Him.
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” –Solomon 2:15
All those thoughts are my foxes. Foxes that can ruin what the Lord has restored for me. And it’s important during this time to heal in a manner that stays focused on the Lord. It’s perfectly natural to wrestle with my thoughts. But it’s a transition phase. It’s not okay to stay here. My healing has to be focused on my Lord.
I like the New King James version of Psalm 13:2:
“How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily?”
Is it possible that David was having sorrow in his heart daily because he counseled his own soul? Was he trying to find answers within himself to all his thoughts?
‘Will I trust Him?’
But how long, though? I dated well. Why? Why am I here?!?!
Because this is where God wants me to be. It didn’t work out, and that’s the end of that story. I don’t think God really wants me figure out the “why,” but rather the “will I?” Will I trust Him? Will I honor Him? Will I take the time to listen to Him? Will I wait for Him? It’s during this time that the Lord has me looking at verses like Psalm 139:23-24. He wants to test my heart. Will I listen to what He’s teaching me when my emotions are running away with my mind?
My emotions are trying to form a story that will give me hope. But all the hope I need is in Christ. He will not fail me. My fantasies will.
My “why” questions are really self-centered. My “why” is my desperate desire to know God’s will in this moment. It’s me looking for an answer to thoughts I’m wrestling with. And God just wants me to trust him. He wants my heart.
The Lord’s Delight
I don’t know where you are in your healing, but I do know that the LORD takes delight in his children. You were wired to be delighted in. So while you’re in this place, be still, trust him and know that you are loved … and that he is working in the background.