Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just Say "No"

In my last post, I declared that my One Little Word (OLW) for 2012 is Love. When I picked this word, my thought was that I wanted God's love to consume me to the point that it overflowed to everyone around me. My attitude will not have any bearing on how I treat others if I am filled with super-natural love.

This begins the journey of how giving God the reigns of my life can change my priorities and directions into so much more than I could ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

It's no secret that I'm single. I don't try to hide it, even though some see it as tragic as a fatal disease. I desperately want to be married, but God has gently shown me through my family and friends that marriage is not the answer to my lonliness. I've heard this all my life but God, in His infinite love and mercy, knows that I need to hear it, see it, and experience it many, many, many times for it to sink in. I am ever so thankful for His patience with me.

In late December, I felt led to write a prayer to continually give God my desire for marriage. I've been told to be specific for what I want in a man and God will give me every characteristic on my list. Instead, I chose to be vague and give it over to God. I know that He knows what is best for me and His list of what my future husband will posses is so much better than what I think I need. My prayer asked for me to recognize when this man comes into my life and for him to recognize when I come into his life so he will have the courage to ask me out.

The new year is always a reminder of how lonely I am. I usually dread New Year's Eve, but this year I decided to embrace it. This is going to be the year I finally achieve my goals. I wasn't going to get my hopes up for a last minute date and I looked forward to spending the evening with friends (even though most were couples). I was surprised at how much happier I was by deciding to enjoy myself ahead of time.

On January 2, a friend was flying into DC to drop his son off. The boy's mother lives in MD and my friend (we'll call him T) lives in Kansas.

Background story: T and I met at Regan National Airport after I returned home from vacation in July last year. He was dropping his son off after a summer visit and I was dropping my friend off so she could fly home to Ohio. Her plane was delayed for over 3 hours, so I started talking to the cute boy sitting next to me (T) while she talked on the phone to her boyfriend. He and I kept in touch over the months and while we talked about the possibility of dating, it never seemed feasible.

Thanks to him, I realized that I date unavailable guys. They don't have time for me, they hide me, they have kids that keep them busy in the evenings, or they live too far away. I finally admitted to myself that I want to go on dates. I want to be pursued. I want to snuggle on the couch and just watch movies on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I would never experience that with T. He led me on for a little while with the idea that he would consider moving to the DC area to be near his son. Subsequent conversations proved that he hates large cities and he borderlined on racism. Needless to say, Kansas held no appeal to me so that wasn't ever an option. He started school and being a recent college
graduate myself, I was very proud of him for pusuing his goals. When I made it clear that we couldn't be together, he thought it was just because of the time he spent at school. He couldn't fathom that it was because of the distance - no matter how many times I told him.

Now back to January 2, 2012. T's layover in DC was less than 2 hours, so we just met for lunch. We had a great time of talking and laughing. He even bought lunch for me. If it weren't for the nasty NY Rangers jersey he was wearing (just to spite me, a CAPS fan), I would have wished for a longer visit. Then the strangest thing happened. When he was walking to the security line, he slipped in the "L" word. I played it off as if I didn't hear it and/or he was talking about loving me as a friend. Then when he arrived at home, he was texting me non-stop for days. The attention was nice, but he must have thought whatever happened at lunch was so much more.

I blocked off the weekend of January 7 to organize my basement. I had no idea how impossible it would be to get the whole thing done in one weekend, but I made great strides despite my over-ambitious schedule. He was texting me non-stop and I came to the conclusion that I had to put an end to this. I wasn't the least bit interested in him. For whatever reason, he thought he was in love with me and I cared for him enough as a friend not to lead him on any longer. So, I pulled out the only card I hadn't played yet. God.

If you are a fellow Christian, you might find it odd that I hadn't brought up faith, God, religion, or beliefs before this point. It came up in discussion very early on, but it was abruptly shut down. He is a former soldier in the Air Force and during some of my interrogations of his past life and many trips to the Middle East, he told me, "There are 2 things you never ask a soldier: if he's ever killed someone and about his religion." When someone shuts off a topic this way, I try to respect their wishes. I also made the mental note that if someone refuses to talk about their faith, chances are, they don't believe the same thing as me.

So, while I knew that this would break the boy's heart, I let him know that we had to discuss our faith if he wanted to pursue this. As expected, it didn't match what I believe. He asked immediately if this meant that I never wanted to see him again. I let him know that I wanted to be with someone that shared my beliefs. Then he said something that really floored me. He never gets involved in politics or religion because all it does is cause wars, such as the war he fought in. I agreed and said that I didn't want to be at war with him. For the second time, he didn't understand, but he did respect my wishes.

Remember the prayer that I wrote in late December? I didn't realize until 2 days after the fact that the last line was asking God to give me the courage to say "no" when the wrong man asks me out. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but you may not know me well. I always give guys chances. I don't want to judge others before getting to know them. I give too many chances and renew chances until the relationship has dissolved into something beyond miserable and ends in a bloody battle. By God laying it on my heart (and me actually listening to His gentle leading), I avoided that whole mess by loving T enough as a friend to tell him, "no".

God gave me a miracle with my OLW the first week in the new year. He also is giving me direction and purpose, two things that were lacking in my life in 2011.

God is good. All the time.

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