Your deadlines are pressing in on you like a heavy weight, you’ve run out of clean underwear, and you think your marriage or your dating life (or lack of one) just might kill you.
Life can feel overwhelming. That’s why I write. I write for the men and women who need to know that even though life feels out of control, that might actually be a good thing – there might be something to learn or a way to grow and stretch beyond the present trials. I write for people who want to find purpose in the small and big, the light and dark, the mountains and the molehills. Purpose that stems from who they are, not what they do.
I write for the woman who sometimes struggles to see the beauty in life – especially when she looks in the mirror. She’s so caught up in the trials and frustrations, and I just want to tell her: It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. Because these things are hard. But 1) God is present with you, and if you let him come close to you in this state of frustration, you’re going to find a peace and joy that you didn’t know was possible. And 2) these circumstances will change you. You’re in the crucible. So rather than trying to find a way OUT or AROUND, look for the way THROUGH and the gifts you’ll find IN that place.
Basically, I write for me, because those are truths I need to remind myself of daily. And I write for you. I write for the women I know and love – even if I’ve never met them – who want to believe there’s grace in the messiness of their lives. Who are tired of the constant striving and hustling for their self-worth. Who want to experience joy and love that’s not tied to their performance or the level of perfection they’ve achieved in their bodies or their work. Who want to press through the challenges and come out stronger on the other side.
I love what my friend Erica has to say on this topic of pressing through:
“It takes a great amount of faith to go through instead of around. More often than not we are all about having God change our circumstances. But He is all about changing us. Making us new. Making us stronger. Building our character and strengths. This doesn’t happen when you take the long, easy way around things. It happens when you press on and go through.”
Both trials and triumphs have the potential to draw our eyes to beauty. Take athletes as an example. When handled gracefully, we look at a fallen runner with the same wide eyes of admiration as we do the one with the gold medal around her neck. Sure, it may be a slightly different kind of admiration. But I honestly don’t think either is better. In fact, I think both are necessary; both experiences make us the kind of people we are. When we fall, do we get back up, brush ourselves off, and keep running? Do we push through the pain, and do we take the necessary time to rest? Or when we stumble, do we stay on the ground for a while, contemplating whether we really want to finish this race at all?
I’ve been asking myself these questions lately. After years of dating guys I’ve met in the church and now months of dating guys I’ve met online, I am FED UP. I’m exhausted. I’m at the point where dating is no longer fun, and I just want to say: Peace out. This is all much too hard. I am done. Thank you very much.
So, that’s what I’m doing. At least for now. I’m at the point where my knees are pretty skinned up, and I need to see a medic. I can’t keep hobbling along the course until I’ve taken some time on the sidelines to rest. And I am okay with that. I’m listening to myself and what my heart and body needs. And I’m ignoring the destructive voices inside of me that say lies like: You’re just not enough. You’re too sensitive. You’re never going to find a good relationship. You can’t trust men; they all lie and hurt you, so put your walls up.
The truth is, in this time of tending to my wounds, God is doing some wonderfully healing things in my heart. I’m letting my walls down for him only – as well as the precious friends and family that are my “safe people.” He’s whispering truths to me that drown out the lies. He’s saying: You’re beautiful. I sing a song over you that I created just for you, Laura. I delight in your sensitive heart and vulnerability. Your relationship with me is perfect, and I’m the only one that can satisfy you completely. But I’ll let you know if there’s a man I want you to partner with in life. And you can trust that I’ll protect you; I’m not going to let you join your life with someone you can’t trust. I’m out for your good. I’ve got this.
“I’ve got this.”
There’s an article that’s been circulating around Facebook for the past couple weeks about those three words, claiming they are the sexiest words a man can say to a woman. In saying, “I’ve got this,” a man is stepping up to the plate and offering to help, even if the woman doesn’t really need it.
“There’s something deeply compelling about the idea of being with a woman who can fully take care of herself, and who enjoys allowing me to take care of her anyway,” author Bryan Reeves says.
While I’d agree those are comforting words to hear from any man I’m dating, I’d hope they stem from the greater truth that God’s got this. Human love is fickle and fails us but God’s love is constant and trustworthy. I want to be with a man who understands that God is the one who takes care of us. That it’s not on either of us to be perfect, but rather to trust the only one who can support us perfectly.
Those are the truths that God is speaking to my heart in this time: that he’s with me always, that he has good plans for me in this and all seasons, and that he’s protecting me. I can trust him. Instead of relying on myself, I’m asking for more of his strength. I’m choosing faith instead of fear and peace instead of perfection. I’m letting him tell me how much he loves me, and I’m learning to lean on that love more and more each day.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” (1 John 4:18)
God’s love is so good, so complete. And I’m so thankful that I can say with certainty: He’s got this.
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