As I mentioned in my previous post one of the things I decided to give up for lent was dating. I knew this was going to be a challenge for me but I also knew it was something I needed to do. Up until this time, I wasn’t technically dating anyone but my mind was constantly consumed with one guy who would feed my ego to the next. I imagine my heart with several holes in it and the words of some guy as a thin liquid being poured in. Clearly, these words run right through me and don’t make my heart full. But I suppose if I have enough guys lined up and their words are consistent, and perhaps even overlap with the compliments of another, then maybe just maybe I will feel complete. It’s really sad but I don’t think I’m the only one that buys into this silliness. We all are looking for love really. Watch anyone for a given amount of time and you’ll notice. Love is what makes us alive. We all are inclined to do what I do but your liquid may just be something other than the fleeting words of a guy- money, fame, success, you name it. I may not understand much about it but one thing I do know is that it all eventually leaks out and you are left with an empty heart. Unless, of course, your heart is already full of something of a greater consistency- a thicker substance. Of something that actually stays. Of something that actually lasts. And that’s Jesus and that’s what I’ve been focusing on these past 26 days. Focusing on what will truly complete me instead of focusing on the cheap imitations.
These past few weeks have been interesting as I’ve tracked my thoughts and feelings. I am a firm believer in us doing our absolute best as that’s an indication of how much we desire God to change us. One of my favorite quotes from Joyce Meyer says “God wants you to do what you can so He can do what you cannot.” To me, it has always be a sign of how bad we really want something, how bad we want to change. This lent study has truly been me doing what I can and God has definitely done what I cannot. He has changed my heart and those are the times I treasure the most.
Here are just a few of the ways I have benefited from this time so far:
- I have fallen more in love with Him and have a greater understanding and appreciation for how much He truly loves me
- I have felt more complete in Christ as my faith and trust has grown tremendously
- So many times we wonder what we should do but as I’ve gotten closer to Christ, He has illuminated my path and my peace has increased
- I tracked how I defaulted back to old guy friends for love; though this wasn’t necessarily the healthiest thing to do in my opinion, it did give me the strength to not turn to new potential dates
- Furthermore, I realized how important a father’s role really is; when a girl has a dad (or I do believe it could be another male figure) who continually tells her how loved and valuable she is, she has the strength to never settle for less than God’s best; she knows her worth
- I was able to get over and lose feelings for someone I still liked at the time because he was feeding my ego
- I have met some really awesome women and have been able to invest more in those friendships
- I have spent more time with my family which has been a huge blessing
- Ironically enough, I have a better understanding of what I am looking for in a potential spouse
- My guy friendships have strengthened
I want to talk about the last one now. I think people assumed when I said I was giving up dating it meant I was giving up talking to guys. It was funny to watch as my friends would yell at me if I even dared to mention a guy. But I didn’t give up talking to guys. And I’m so glad I didn’t. For me, it has been my mind and thought process that has changed. Whenever I talk and engage with a guy, instead of viewing him as a potential spouse I’ve looked at him differently. I have looked at these guys as brothers, as friends, as someone I could potentially be a blessing to. I didn’t realize it at the time but I’ve moved from a “me” centered attitude to an “others” centered mindset. And it has been incredible. I already feel less needy, less dependent, and most importantly- more like myself. I love it. There is something so wonderful about living for something greater than yourself. I feel happier. I feel freer. I feel more loved than I have ever been. Nothing is as radiant as the smile of a girl who knows how loved she is. ♥