If you’ve ever clicked on the relationship category of my websiteonly to discover zero dating-related posts, it was not a mistake. I’ve avoided this section like the plague.
You see, at the time I was planning this category, I was in a long-term relationship and love seemed to be a topic I thought a lot about. Naturally, I envisioned sharing my highs and lows of dating with you all.
Then, before I had a chance to dive in, I went through a break-up. Oh, the irony. I decided to keep the lows to myself because without highs, lows are just depressing. I figured I’d delve into topics like friendships instead.
Who am I to write about love? I thought. TBH, I still think that. I figured I’d just let ya’ll know when I’m engaged. Winning at life, and such. Until then, the relationships section, much like my heart, would just be — “coming soon, under construction…”
But discuss the journey head on, while it’s in progress? Nah, fam. I’ll keep my adventures in love to myself thank you very much because, good Lord, there are a lot of blunders, pitfalls, and awkward encounters. And questions. I have all the questions.
Not to mention, as a Christian who is called to love people, sometimes I’d like to do nothing of the sort. You can keep those humans, God. They are messy and complicated and imperfect and 99.999% do not have what I’m looking for. Just give me that dog we talked about.
Plus, writing about love when I am not currently in love means having to admit that I’d like to find love. And God, that’d be embarrassing.
Yet, with this blog, I have one job: to be open and honest about my journey in hopes that it inspires you along the way on yours. So I am holding myself accountable to do just that. Within reason. This will not turn into a Carrie Bradshaw column. Mostly because I hate casual dating.
I do not date to just date. (Perhaps, this is my problem.)
Deep down, I’ve always felt I know what I’m looking for in someone. Like when my soul meets theirs it’ll be like, “Oh hey, there you are, I’ve been looking for you.”
And, I’ve experienced this. A couple times in love, but mostly in friendships. God always knows who to bring into my life and when. When I reflect on my amazing group of BFFs, I get a little overwhelmed at the perfection of God’s timing. Surely, He cares about the details of our lives and knows exactly who we need to do life with.
Yet, if I’m admitting things, which I guess I am, sometimes I have a hard time believing he will do that when it comes to the person I’m supposed to spend my life with. In fact yesterday morning I texted my friend something to the effect of ‘today feels like I’m going to be alone forever.’
2018… the Year of Optimism.
Okay, so not my most faith-filled moment. She proceeded to remind me of the verse our pastor had recently preached: Do not be anxious, do not fret or worry (about relationships, finances, anything circumstantial). Instead of worrying pray. Let the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, displace worry at the center of your life.
Oh, how soon we forget. I can practically hear Jesus saying, “Oh, you of little faith,” as I sink in the water. This is why you get yourself a community, people. We rise by lifting each other.
Here’s the truth: yesterday was a bit lonely. I work from home, all day. I write, a lot. Sometimes I’m in my head too much and I visit that place of doubt. Instagram feeds full of life partners, fresh engagements, and babies galore only fuel the “of course this can happen for other people, but not for me” theory.
A theory, by the way, I’m well aware is a lie. Not to mention a very limiting mindset. I think it’s natural to fall into a self-pity trap once in a while, but the trick is recognizing it and knowing how to climb out.
It starts with remembering: a.) our path is uniquely our own and b.) that just like God knows the number of hairs on our heads, He knows what, and who, is around the bend. Try as we might, we cannot surprise Him.
Yet, it’d be nice if we had a map, one where x marks the spot. An instruction booklet with illustrations. A flashing neon sign above the head of the person we’re supposed to be with.
All we have is this innate desire to love and be loved and the depths of this big, beautiful world in which to find it. And once we do, the simultaneous struggles of being human and trying to navigate it.
Well, that, and we have Jesus. From what I can tell, of all the people I know with successful marriages, that part is key. Any story from my past worth telling includes Him, I imagine my love life will be no different.
So for today, I’m choosing to trust. Not just that my future will be bright, but that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be right now. And since it’s not our job to be anxious or worried, I’m turning that over to God, and learning how to rest in this place of certainty. Not in my circumstance or my own ability, but in Him.
And while I’m at it, I might actually try to let go and have some fun. That’s what dating is supposed to be, right — fun? So they say. Who knows, you may get your Christian Carrie Bradshaw after all.
Just like God knows the number of hairs on our heads, He knows what, and who, is around the bend. Try as we might, we cannot surprise Him.
© Jennifer Lynn Callahan 2022. All rights reserved.