Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Candid Valentine

Hey Guys!

Well, it's Valentine's Day again! Does anyone feel a bit left out of today's gushy, mushy festivities? ;) lol

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to write about. I feel like there's this unspoken rule that I must spend today either bewailing the fact that I'm 19 and single…or else I should spend my time writing a blog post all about how Christ is my "Prince Charming" and how I shouldn't mind "Single Awareness Day" because He is my fulfillment, strength, Lover of my soul, etc. After all, who needs Valentines when the Bible is (duh!) the ultimate love letter? Right?
Wrong. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not buying into that logic. Call me what you will, days like today just plain stink! Big time. Because while the rest of the nation (and maybe the world, I don't know…is Valentine's an international holiday?) is out celebrating romance, butterfly feelings, and sexual intimacy, I'm at home in my flannel polka-dot pajamas, popping Hershey's kisses, and watching Beauty and the Beast with my 10 year old sister! lol Funny, for the first time in my adult life, I feel like a homeschooler! ;)
Of course, being single has its (many) benefits. And I'm the first to admit (sadly) that I prefer my own company to a lot of things…But I digress.
Believe it or not, I am actually 99.999% happy about the fact that I'm single. I'm just really not a fan of drama. In fact, if God were to throw a relationship into my life at the moment, I'd probably high-tail it in the other direction! ;) (Naturally there is always that fraction of a percent that wishes for something more.) My point in highlighting days like today is not so much to affirm my feelings on the subject, but rather to make a statement. Because I know what every (or almost every) Christian young woman is doing out there today in blogville. And well…kudos to them, but sugar-coating reality never did anyone any favors.
It's time to take a good hard look at where we are as Christian women and come up with something more substantial than "Jesus is the Love of my life." Because you're right, He should be the Love of our lives. And every day we should strive to make that more of a reality than the day before. But let's be honest, girls. If any of us can look ourselves in the mirror and profess that that statement is 100% true, we're kidding ourselves. The very phrase forbids it. In order for God to be the Love of our lives, we must be attuned to His spirit 100% of the time…or else incredibly resilient to the things of this world. And if that statement were true, why would Christians desire to get married /have relationships in the first place? Wouldn't God be enough?   
We all have multiple "loves"--distractions that push and pull us in a million directions. It doesn't necessarily mean we are less spiritual or somehow an inferior Christian…it just merely means we are human.
If that's the case then, why do we Christians feel this overwhelming need to justify our spirituality? Do we honestly believe we are convincing others as to the immensity of our faith? Or are we self-deceived? I can't tell you how many times I've heard godly women say that they are "perfectly content" waiting on the Lord to bring them a husband/boyfriend/future significant other, etc. It's like a beautiful recited speech, filled with dozens of Christian-ese terms, long sighs, and time-appropriate scripture references. And every time, I come away feeling a trifle less sure of myself and my (apparent) lack of faith in God's timing/will. I've probably done the same thing, so understand I don't say this to offend anyone. It's just part of what we have been taught: to say our prayers, wear our purity rings, and wait patiently.
I don't know about you, but I'm done waiting patiently. In fact, I'm so sick of waiting patiently, I've thrown away/deleted all my journal entries/sentimental "I-wish-you-were-here" letters to a future mister somebody! Not that I don't believe there will be a future mister somebody. But I'm done with the mentality of "when I get married…" or "when it comes time for a relationship…"
I think we should just accept that when it comes to romance, the Christian's perspective on the subject is dichotomous. ;) On one hand, we acknowledge the sovereignty of God; on the other, we are ever-so-aware of our own physical, emotional, and communal needs. I don't think it's wrong to be of that opinion…or to say that most days, we struggle to reconcile these truths.
I just really want us, this Valentine's day, to take a good, honest look at our own lives and motivations. Can you really deny that NOT having a special someone in your life today--for lack of a better word--smarts? Are you smiling between your teeth? ;)
Please, I beg you. Don't go around today professing that everything is hunky-dory when, in reality, you would like nothing more than to receive a bouquet of flowers from some gorgeous hunk standing at your door. Or at the very least, an "anonymous" (but-not-really-anonymous-because-that-would-be-super-creepy) Valentine with an invite to coffee!
Please. You give Christianity a bad name. Why? Because when the world looks at us they should NOT see some hyper-spiritual, holier-than-thou, have-it-all-together superwoman. You know what they should see? Brokenness. Humility. Admittance to the fact that maybe we don't have it all together. That God is so much bigger than our problems, He is able to overcome them for us. That is our testimony. It's a little hard to overcome something that doesn't "exist" in the first place… ;)
It's ironic, isn't it? Here we are pretending to have our little lives all ship-shape and Bristol fashion…and yet we completely eliminate any opportunity for God to work through us.
So, dear sister in Christ, I ask you: what good is your "Son-shiny," Christian life if it is does not lay open to exposure your specific areas of weakness? Insufficiency. Suffering. Is not order in the midst of chaos a greater testimony to the work of its author than order in and of itself?
I'm not saying we should throw up our hands today and wail for our lack of boyfriends. ;) All I am asking is that we stop pretending we're more spiritual than we really are.
And if you're on the flip side of the coin and can't sleep at night for thinking when/if/how/where you're going to find a relationship, I'd encourage you…find your identity before you waste it on someone else. God has so much more in store for you than butterflies and roses. A life that is brimming full of adventure and opportunities that you can't possibly imagine. You're in the garden. There's an entire forest out there just waiting to be discovered! And it's not so bad, really, to be independent. ;) Trust me.
I really hope this post has, if nothing else, brought some awareness to the fact that Christians are a little afraid of appearing weak. Okay, a lot afraid. And there's nothing wrong with that, per se. The problem is when we put expectations on ourselves (and each other) that even God didn't intend for us to carry.
So let's not waste today. Send Valentine's to your friends. Eat some chocolate. Enjoy the flowers from your dad/brothers. And watch Mr. Darcy sweep Elizabeth off her feet. But all the while you're watching them banter, as you watch their lips pucker up for that oh-so proper, English kiss, I want you to say to yourself, "Someday, that's going to be me." 
And I guarantee, the Lord will be looking down from Heaven and smiling, "Beloved, I make all things beautiful…in My time."
In the meantime, enjoy this video, which I think encapsulates the general sentiment towards February 14th. ;) XOXOXOXOXO 

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