It never fails, no matter how long or short it has been since you last have spoken to a friend, former coworker, acquaintance, family member, ex… Oh my! It’s been so long! I am so happy to hear your voice. So, how are you? How are the kids? Are you seeing anyone? Are you dating?
Why does this have to be one of the initial questions in your assessment of my well-being, dear friends and family? As though being single is a disease, a fault within my character that must be cured. I wonder… Did I do that to my single friends when I was married and/or in a relationship? Yes, yes I did… I remember…
Why did I do that? Why did I feel the need to push my single friends into a relationship? Because I enjoyed being in a relationship. Because I did not want to see my friends lonely. Because I could not fathom the notion that they could possibly be content, single. How wrong was I? I almost feel like I owe those friends an apology! Of course now, they are in relationships – or married – feeling sorry for poor, single, me!
This is my desk calendar at work. (Thank you, Lysa Terkeust!) The Quote of the Day (if you cannot read it) says: A Best Yes will require having the courage to say no to other things. No to wrong things. No to seemingly good things. That’s the only way to ensure there’s space to run and take that leap of faith toward the best things.
What perfect timing for me to read such a quote! I do not post often on Facebook, but I posted that quote – public! Why? Well, it spoke to me, surely someone else will benefit from this quote as well?
And guess what?! It parallels with what I read in Captivating today! It spoke about allowing Jesus to romance you. How He desires an intimate relationship with us.
One quote that stood out to me from the reading was this: “A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she is loved… Cut off from love, rejected, no one pursuing her, something in a woman wilts like a flower no one wants anymore. She withers into resignation, duty, and shame. The radiance of her countenance goes out, as if a light has been turned off. But this same woman, who everyone thought was rather plain and unengaging, becomes lovely and inviting when she is pursued. Her heart begins to come alive… and her countenance becomes radiant. We wonder, ‘Where has she been all these years? Why she really is captivating.’ … This doesn’t need to wait for a man.” (Eldredge, 2005)
I have kissed a few toads, none turned out to be Prince Charming. They were simply toads. I have said yes to the wrong things. I have said yes to what seemed like something that was almost the right thing. But then, I learned somewhere that it was okay to say NO! You see when saying no was not an option, you forget that you have the power to utter that word. NO! So simple, yet so difficult to say. I remember the first time I said, No, I half expected the world to crash down all around me. Yes, to be stripped from me – but, my No meant No. Oh, I felt cautiously optimistic. It truly takes courage to say NO! (Especially that first time!)
Oh, but my Yes! My BEST YES! When I allowed Jesus to be the Romancer of my heart, even I have felt prettier, more radiant. I’m like: Is my skin clearer? Not only is He the Lover of my heart and soul, but also my Father. He sees me as beautiful. Growing up, I was never called beautiful by my mother or father. I recall, when I was four or five, a gentleman from church saying, “You look just like your mom!” And my mom quickly responding, “She doesn’t look like me.” To me, Mama was the most beautiful woman in the world. She would stare at herself in the mirror often, and ask us if she was pretty. I loved gushing about her beauty! She was gorgeous! So, when she dismissed his comment, so quickly, I grew up believing, I’m ugly. How peculiar, a face even a mother doesn’t love… That explains the abuse. But, when I gave my Best Yes, to Jesus, I asked Him to allow me to see others through spiritual eyes, that I may love as He loves. Never realizing that I would look in the mirror and see myself as He sees me and love myself as He loves me. The child that was unloveable, is so worthy of love! The child that was ugly, is Beautiful!
As I consider my relationship with my BEST YES, there are moments throughout my day when I must pause and take inventory of myself and my Romancer. I can become so caught up in the many distractions that come my way. Then, when the dreaded question arises: Are you dating? I am caught off guard. To keep the loneliness at bay, I find myself asking God at times: How do I know You love me? How do I know You’re romancing my heart? Then, a miracle that is all my own will occur. Whether it is the song of a bird. A rainbow in the sky. The sun peeping out of the clouds…. I know that He has answered me.
No, I am not dating a man. I am allowing myself to be romanced by the Most High. As He heals my broken places and makes me whole, I find myself craving more of Him. I find myself loving me all the more. I have loved before, but never like this! Every now and then, a man tries to creep in to tempt… But, even then… I have learned to say, No. I have learned to Be still. Because there are many distractions that are there to lure us away from our destiny.
Eldredge, John & Stasi. (2005). “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul.”